What Would YOU Take?

Pieces of Eight

I am copying this theme from two of my good friends, Mo (Mo is Blogging, I think and Judith: Creativity to the Max) Read their answers on their blogs.

There’s a blog dedicated to that very subject created by Foster Huntington.  Here’s a bit of what he says about his blog:“The Burning House” showcases photos and lists of the things people would take with them if their house was burning. The project is a little over a month old and so far has received over three hundred submissions!”      

Read More of Foster Huntington’s interview on  http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2011/06/something-different-the-burning-house.html#ixzz1WOJsaa4y

I had to face this for real since our house is unlivable because of various horrible problems, think mold, carpenter ants, rotting wood etc. Before Hurricane Irene came and before my husband’s surgery we stopped at our house to dash in and get certain things. This is my list….

Went through that just two days ago with the Hurricane on the East Coast. Not to mention that our house is unlivable, literally so we are in one room in a hotel. I took my old stuffed  yellow and black monkey,  (Nokey because I couldn’t say Monkey) that my dad bought for me on my 2nd birthday, I took a necklace with good luck charms that my dad used to wear when he was alive, a favorite black and white picture of my mother, laughing, many years ago on a beach in Israel,  I took a photo of my daughter and me when we were on Cape Cod, when she was little, something my son found for me: a piece of wood with the number 8 (that number was always special, some day I may reveal it’s significance) on it, and his picture, my computer and books. I will not be able to move back for months but the immediacy of Irene made me make a choice. I chose things that could not be replaced in my heart. I don’t know when I will be able to go back home, it could be months. I have the things I need right now, but I miss having a home.

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My Ultimate Keepsakes

:. via Flickr”]Zip

(Hey, Plinky: Is this a Plinky Prompt Repeat?)

Nokey. (Monkey)
This is the most sentimental item that I have. My father bought me this stuffed animal, a monkey, when I was two years old. I couldn’t pronounce monkey so Nokey it was. Nokey came on every trip with me, sat on my college bed and was there with the birth of my children. He now sits in my bedroom, wearing a Newton-Wellesly newborn shirt, the same shirt my children wore when they were born. He is barely stuffed anymore but still has his wide, open lipped, red smile. My father bought me Nokey at Lamberts; Nokey is now 52 years old. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me.

A ceramic, green 8
Eight was always a special number when I was growing up. It was significant to me as a child, a code between my father and myself. This is less about my dad and more about my daughter. She once made me a green, ceramic 8 when she was in sleep-away camp. I look at it every day and every night. The fact that my daughter made this for me means everything to me.

Photographs
I would scurry around my house ducking in and out of the flames so I could carry as many photographs as possible. A photograph taken on Cape Cod of me and my children when they were young, a photograph of my husband and I when we were first engaged, one of my dog, Callie, looking straight into the camera with a sweet, panting smile. A photo of my mother and I when I was a newborn, my sister and I when we were young and she was my world, my father and I hugging when I was pregnant with my son, pictures of family, friends, reminders of good times in the past.

A Wooden Heart
My mom gave me this heart many, many years ago. It says “I Love You” on it and it is very special. My mother, not an emotional person in any way, gave this to me as a gift. It was her way of showing me how much she loved me, I keep it to remind me that while she doesn’t always show it, I know she loves me deeply.

My Clam Engagement Necklace

My boyfriend (now husband of 22 years) and I went to Hawaii over Valentine’s Day many years ago. He proposed to me on Valentine’s Day, while we were in the kitchen of our rented condo, sipping Diet Coke. While he didn’t have a ring (he thought I would want to pick it out himself) he bought me a delicate gold, clam shell necklace. I call it my engagement necklace and while I have jewelery that is far more expensive, this means the most to me.

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Birthday Sunshine

 

Red rose

Image via Wikipedia

 

Today is my 54th birthday and while I have never been ashamed of my age it’s still new to my lips and tongue. It also means I have to change the Hibernationnow home page because there it says I’m 53.  I had no expectations for today, even though I dearly love birthdays. This year, however,  with so much on my mind, with so many questions left unanswered, so much uncertainty: unemployment, health issues, etc. I woke up not with excitement but with a small, soft smile.  I slept until 9:20 am, went downstairs for a giant birthday bear hug from my husband and an extra-strong cup of coffee.

I got morning birthday calls from my mother and my sister which is a family tradition but I still thought of the annual red rose that my father used to give me every year on my birthday when he was alive.  For once, I did not need a “sign” or a “message” from him because even though he died 8 years ago, I knew that I was still in his heart and he in mine. Maybe being a year older brought me some much needed wisdom.

I went out to lunch with my friend Sarah at our favorite diner and we laughed and shared stories and commiserated about colleges for our seniors. Before we left she handed me my gift, a gift that I would have picked out for myself (and almost did). A beautiful silver star fish on a chain that made me gasp with happiness and surprise. It was a piece of the beach and the ocean that I dearly love, now wrapped around my neck.

I took my dog, Callie, for a birthday walk, just my sweet canine girl and me. We walked under the gorgeous sunshine,  the red and yellow leaves blazing on the trees. The air was warm and smelled like pumpkins and I relished the 75 degree weather birthday treat. When my kids and husband came home there were hugs and kisses, gifts and happy voices, mine being the happiest of all. I opened presents from my son, my daughter and my husband and cards and well wishes from so many friends. I felt truly blessed; I am truly blessed.

The day ended with a surprise delivery of flowers from an old, lost friend, and dinner consisting of  filet mignon, a chopped salad and pumpkin spice cake with ginger mousse for dessert. Even though I am 54 I  was happy and excited that the waitress brought it over singing “Happy Birthday” with a candle  to blow out and a wish to keep in my heart.