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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > What would you grab if your home was on fire? (the flammability of bone, ivory,and teeth)

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message 1: by Heidi (last edited Jan 14, 2009 10:23AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments A conversation about "What would you grab of your home was on fire?" with a friend a few years ago prompted a lengthy response from me - pictures, the quilt my great-grandmother made, a Mickey Mantle autographed baseball my dad gave me, my jewelry (most pieces are sentimental), the laptop... and of course, my dog. It should go without being said that I'm v. sentimental.

The question was put to the test for me this morning.

I returned to my desk after running morning clinic to see a perfunctory email in my inbox from a friend/neighbor - "Apt building 13 is on fire." Building 13 is directly across from mine.

Let me just say, I have never driven so fast out of sheer panic in my life - 70 down Markham (a busy road), 90 down Mississippi... What's interesting to me is that during the 4 minutes it took me to drive home, all I could think about was my dog Robby. All of the other stuff seemed unimportant.

I was so relieved to see my dog was okay. My home is too. It just reeks of smoke.

I'm amending my answer to the question, though - just the dog... definitely Robby.

message 2: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments On a related sidenote, I talked to my neighbors Mary and Leo. They live across from me in Bldg 13. I asked Mary if Bear and Angel (their dogs) were okay.

Leo chimed in with "Everyone always asks about the dogs. The dogs are fine. I'm fine, too."

Mary said she asked Leo the same thing when she got home.

message 3: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I'm glad you and Robby are OK!

I would definitely worry about the cats first. And then my laptop. And my antique books. (The rest are replaceable.) Oh, my journal. I've been keeping one continuously now for ten years, so I would try to fling those couple boxes out a window, too.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Presuming my wife and kids could make it out on their own, probably grab my cell phone, ipod and camera(bag). That would give me my music and my memories, also the computer if I had time. All though I would hate to have to do it, everything else could be replaced.

message 5: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments ok, excluding people or animals i would probably grab two little hand carved stools i got in west africa and one little folding stool i got in china. i think about everything else is replaceable except for pictures and i don't think i would have time to gather them up quickly. in the event of having time to grab something a bit more leisurely it would be a huge box of pictures and my external HD that i keep all my digital pics on.

heidi - totally cool your dad gave you a MM baseball ! i am stoked about that

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, by the way Heidi, glad everything is OK for the most part.

message 7: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) I'd make sure my dog got out first, then grab a few of my favorite books and my laptop. The laptop would be last since all of my photos are on Photobucket and all of my important documents are backed up on Google documents.

message 8: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Man, I don't know what I would stress about other than my cats. Perhaps photographs, my computer...I've moved and lost and left behind many items over the years, so I've ceased being sentimental about objects.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Pictures and the guitar my dad bought me.

I'd have to leave my books (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but I'd grab my dictionary that I stole from my high school. It's on my nightstand. I love it.

message 10: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) My daughter, my wife and my pets.

Everything else, even the home, is completely replacable.

message 11: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Nothin'. I'm getting my family the hell out and counting the insurance money.

I keep some stuff in my office at work, by the way, in the hope that my office won't catch on fire.

message 12: by Heidi (last edited Jan 14, 2009 11:04AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I guess I was always under the presumption that if my place ever caught fire, I'd be at home already and could grab stuff. It never really occurred to me that it might happen when I was at work... or out to dinner with friends... or running errands.

And yeah, all of those things I thought I'd grab before are cool, but they're just... stuff.

message 13: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments pulling up to smoldering remains that used to be your house would be incredibly sad

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I have an old house with old wiring, so I'm always relieved to find my house still standing when I get back after a vacation.
If I were home during a fire, I'd grab my cats, or try to, anyways. Then I'd grab my sketchbooks, some family photos and the laptop.
This discussion makes me want to upload ALL my photos to the web.

message 15: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments exactly jackie. off site storage is where it's at. someone let me know what is the best site to use for this

message 16: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
When we went to the movies last weekend we left the oven on its cleaning cycle. I fretted through the first half of the movie, imagining coming home to a smoldering heap of what once was our home.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd never be able to replace Dictionary #42.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Unless you stole another one, Sarah. Not that I'm condoning such a thing...

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

It wouldn't be the same. Mine is a creamy yellow and the perfect size. They probably upgraded long ago. It's also #42, which was issued to me at the beginning of my junior year. That lit class was great.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Is that how you justify the guilt, Sarah? Figuring they surely must have upgraded by now?
Oh, no, no kid is struggling with his schoolwork because they were missing a dictionary from the class set. Surely not...

Tsk, tsk, librarian!

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't feel guilty for my high school transgressions (except for the lying to my parents, which I already admitted to in the confessions and revenge thread.

message 22: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I stole a book about marijuana from my high school library. (Of course.)

message 23: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments at our library, where my favorite daughter works, (like a drunk havin a brother working in a liquor store) they discontinued carrying a certain photography mag because someone kept stealing every single back issue. here is how smart the thief was - they never stole the most recent issue. it just sat there in the rack with no other issues underneath it.

message 24: by Heidi (last edited Jan 14, 2009 02:56PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments My profile pic... it's what I want to be doing RIGHT NOW. In fact, I'm going home so I can. Robby's the sweetest little cuddlebug ever. Oh man, after I got to my home, I just sat on the couch with him and hugged him while he gave me kisses all over my nose and cheeks and eyelids. I couldn't stop crying, I was so happy he was okay.

message 25: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments BTW, the fire was literally across the sidewalk and upstairs on the second floor from where I live. I just spotted the pics from my neighbors place (where the fire actually started) on a local news website.

message 26: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Heidi, your profile pic is so happy. I was just looking at it and thinking what a nice moment that must have been before I wandered over to this thread.

message 27: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments in a time of great sadness no one i know wants to be surrounded by things to make them feel better. they want loved ones, be it human or furry (or furry humans)

message 28: by Cyril (new)

Cyril I've had several close and not-so-close calls with fire. When I was a kid, a fire broke out in my house and burned part of my parents' bedroom; we all got out safely. Around 2004, wildfires approached us in San Diego - we were ready to evacuate but ended up not having to. Just today, I came home after lunch with my wife to a very strong gas odor. The baby-sitter and kids were and the house and hadn't noticed a thing. No leak was found, but we think it had accumulated very slowly while the stove was on earlier in the day, and we didn't notice it until we came in out of the fresh air. Assuming I had only a little time, the only "things" I would take out of my house are my wife and kids - nothing else matters.

message 29: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments Here is my family's motto:

Love people and use things. Don't get it backwards

message 30: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Kevin, I'm gonna put that in my favorite quotes!

message 31: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Is that by Gerald Deas? (I googled it.)

message 32: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments OK, more googling (and access to Ebsco from my school's library) found Deas' article by that title, and he says he was told the saying by Bishop Fulton Sheen. The article was from The New York Amsterdam News (95:20).

message 33: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments not sure where i even heard it but it has been a good lesson not just for my children but for me too. i think it helped as i have 3 wonderful, loving children who care about people

message 34: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I added it as a quote on Sheen's author page and put up a copy of the article on the bulletin board in our waiting room.

message 35: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I called in this morning... said I was going to be late. I've been squeezing all the extra spoiling and snuggles in that I can!

I took Robby to the dog store with me last night and bought some "In case of fire, please rescue dog" decals (I swore to myself on the way home yesterday morning that it would be the first thing I get if he was alive and okay when I got to the house). I also let him pick a toy out for himself.

Sally, that pic was taken December 17, 2006 - a friend from Florida flew in for my birthday and we spent the day together visiting a couple of tourist sites before hanging out at the pub around the corner. Robby was super happy that we had a guest in the house. He went back and forth between the two of us for snuggles and back rubs and behind the ear scratches... Susie took that picture of us when he finally pooped out in front of me. Or at least we thought he did. He looked like he was about to fall asleep and then threw his head up at me and smiled and grunted as though to say "RUB MY BELLEH!!!" That's when she took the picture.

message 36: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments This book made me think of this thread:

Evocative Objects Things We Think With by Sherry Turkle

message 37: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Oh Mindy! I love that book! Donna Haraway is my goddess.

message 38: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Oh yeah, the reason I'm here on this thread is because I rewatched Fight Club last night. My cat really is much like the Marla Singer character. I love it. Anyhooo, there is a scene where Tyler Durden says "the things you own end up owning you" and I thought of you all immediately.

message 39: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Funny how much this group has infiltrated my thoughts. So many things happen that make me say, "Oh, I gotta remember to post that on the group."

message 40: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments My cats, aged 20 and 5 months, and photos on disk and not yet scanned from "the olden days," and my dad's WWII medals. BTW, does ivory burn?

message 41: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Hmmmm....?

message 42: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I imagine it does... at high temperatures. It's bone, afterall.

message 43: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Is it? Yeah, I guess it is. Seems like it's more than bone though, huh? Why would bone be so damn precious?

message 44: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) From Wise Geek:

Ivory should not be confused with bone, which is an aggregate of mineralized connective tissue as well. Unlike bone, ivory does not have blood vessels, and therefore is not nearly as porous. Dentin, the material that makes up ivory, consists of the area of the tooth above the tooth pulp and under the enamel. It contains a mixture of minerals, collagen, and water. The mineralized tissue is much stronger and more durable than bone.

message 45: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Does that mean it is not flammable?

message 46: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Not nearly as flammable. I guess that's why they use dental records to id burned up people. Their "ivory" doesn't burn very well.

message 47: by Heidi (last edited Jan 16, 2009 01:28PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I meant "biodegradeable"... It is biomaterial afterall.

Wow. I've been publicly humiliated.

message 48: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments Thanks for the answer. I have some post WWII ivory and I guess I won't have to save it, too.

message 49: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments We still love you, Heidi. So does Robby.


message 50: by Félix (last edited Jan 16, 2009 01:42PM) (new)

Félix (habitseven) That certainly wasn't my intent. I didn't know either 'til I Googled it.

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