PRIORITIES by Caroline Clemmons
One of my favorite movies is “Leap Year,” starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. In the movie, Goode’s character asks Adams, “If your home was on fire and you had 60 seconds to grab something, what would it be?” Great question. Decades ago my aunt’s home caught on fire and she grabbed the first things she saw as she ran from the house. Unfortunately, those happened to be a stack of magazines and a broom. Priorities?
Several years ago, grass fires reached within a quarter mile of our rural home. A quarter mile looks a very short distance when billowing smoke rolls toward you! In the unincorporated areas of a county, residents’ greatest fear is fire. There are no fire hydrants and a home’s well cannot generate enough water to make a difference. At least, the wells in our area cannot. Volunteer firemen--once they get the call and get to the station (another problem)--race with a pumper truck of water to fight the blaze. At most, they can spray the home’s roof to prevent the spread of burning grass to the dwelling. A fire inside a home usually means a total loss.
As we watched the fire’s progress years ago, my husband and I discussed what we would remove and how we’d pack. You’d be surprised how your priorities change when faced with a life and death situation. Who cares about furniture or knick-knacks or a wide screen TV? We planned to take pets, tax files, family information, one family painting, and photos. Oh, and a few clothes. No, we’re not clotheshorses by any means. ;-) We strategized how we’d load the car and pickup, who’d take what, and estimated how long it would take--longer than sixty seconds, but we figured twenty minutes would work.
Recent weather disasters have once again opened discussion between my husband and me about what we could salvage should our home be threatened. Grass fires to the west of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex sent ash raining on us. Hundreds of people lost homes, livestock, pets, and some lost their lives. Those not touched by the fire have allergies and sinus and respiratory infections from the ash and dust. Unpleasant, but nothing compared to total loss.
Our priorities haven’t changed. As for loading? We’re slower now and it would probably take me twenty minutes just to capture our shy tabby from under the bed.
If you had 60 seconds to save just one thing, what would it be?
Here's what I'd save:
|That's my husband and me in one of my favorite photos at a birthday party given him by friends.|
Guest Bio: Caroline Clemmons writes romance and adventures—although her earliest made up adventures featured her saving the West with Roy Rogers. Her career has included stay-at-home mom (her favorite job), newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, and bookkeeper. She and her husband live in rural North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, travel, browsing antique malls and estate sales, and genealogy/family history. Her latest contemporary and historical romance releases in print and e-book include THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, OUT OF THE BLUE, a novella in the Civil War anthology NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, and the upcoming July release, HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME. Her novella SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME is available as a download only. Her backlist of contemporary and historical romance is now at Smashwords and Kindle. Read about her at www.carolineclemmons.com or her blog at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com She loves to hear from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org