When Your Dad Labels Something IMPORTANT

Someone recently asked me to name one thing—other than loved ones or pets—I’d save from my burning house. Of course, we all know you should never, EVER run back into a burning house, but the question was asked hypothetically. My answer might surprise you. Or, not, if you know me well.

There are three things I’d want to save.

  • The Raggedy Ann doll my mom made;
  • My dad’s original paintings; and
  • This:

DadWhat is it? you ask. Well, it’s a piece of acid-free mat board taped to Masonite to protect what’s inside. I’ve added white squiggles on the jpg because I want you to guess what’s in there. In case my dad’s giant letters don’t make it clear, the contents are IMPORTANT. I mean, Dad said so, right there in clear print, and he was never, ever wrong (except for that time he claimed I met Russell Ferguson along the Cocolamus Creek for romantic purposes. No matter what my sister says, I was only fishing! Thanks, Sarah.)

So, what do you think is in there? What item would have me running through flames to retrieve it?


HeneryIt’s a handwritten list of McConnell births, marriages, and deaths, beginning with Henry, born in 1802. This particular Henry is the son of the Henry featured in SCATTERED SEEDS. It’s just an old piece of paper, and as you can see, it’s not in great shape. But it means everything to me. I don’t know why. I know we aren’t in therapy here, but I suppose it’s because I’ve never been able to bear children, so the only family I’ll ever have is the one I had.

In any event, I don’t know that I’d recover from the loss of this document. Or my Raggedy Ann. OR my dad’s paintings.

Have you ever asked yourself what you’d hypothetically save? Other thanĀ  your family and pets, of course. Is there some monetarily valueless thing you couldn’t live without?

Let’s turn that question into a contest, shall we? Comment on this blog post by April 28th, swear by Rafflecopter you did it, and good ole Raffle-de-Copter will select one random poster to win this tea bag holder and a digital copy of SCATTERED SEEDS. Doherty, the sexy shite, hauled that tea bag holder the whole way home from Ireland in his suitcase, so it still has plenty of awesome Irish leprechaun magic stuck to it from the Auld Sod. No cheating, now! If you say you commented, you’d better comment!

** UPDATE ** Congratulations, Rose Lange! You are the winner of the tea bag holder.


Tea Bag Holder

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Fiction That's Plaid to the Bone

Posted in Giveaways, Scattered Seeds
36 comments on “When Your Dad Labels Something IMPORTANT
  1. I’m pretty sure I’d grab my laptop, my jewelry, and photographs of my kids. I wish I had historical documents like the one you displayed that your father labeled as important. My mother is a Holocaust survivor and everything, everyone, including, photos of her as a child, went up either in the gas chambers or was burned by the Nazis.
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

    • Ooh, I forgot about my laptop! All of my stories are in there! How awful for your mother! I know several other daughters of survivors. I just can’t imagine . . . Does she ever talk about her experiences?

  2. Jessie says:

    I would grab as many photo albums/media discs as I could.

  3. Diane Nielson says:

    I would run back in to save Mousey Mouse. Georgia’s fav stuffy. She’d be lost without it, and if we just had a fire destroy everything, she (we) are going to need Mousey to get through it.

  4. Heather Chatfield says:

    Our external hard drive. It holds aaaaaall of our pictures. All of them. Including all of the pictures from my parents’ house that I scanned once upon a time. Losing the physical pics would not be nearly as painful if I knew I could replace everything later. My parents actually had a house fire years ago that destroyed many of their belongings. Luckily the pictures survived. Friends of ours had a house fire, but as their house literally burned to the ground they were not so lucky. I cannot imagine losing our photo history. Thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach.

    • Yeah, you can’t replace that stuff. Scanning these old documents has been hanging over my head. I finally brought them to work so I could take advantage of the big scanner. Even if they’re destroyed now, I’ll still have the digital copies to pass on to the next family archivist. That person has yet to make himself/herself known to me.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Easy. The items that accompanied each of my baby children from Korea – outfits they had on, gifts they were given, bottle they were using.

  6. joyce henry says:

    my pictures and under ware

  7. Judy Pannebaker says:

    I have a lot of things that I would want to grab, but my dad’s furless teddy bear from when he was a youngin would be the one thing I would have to have. It was something he loved so much that he pulled all the fur out of him! That is how he would fall asleep, slowly picking out the fur! And strangely enough, I did the same thing when I was a baby. And this is how my obsession with Teddy Bears started!

  8. Rose Lange says:

    I would take my Mom’s antique necklace. Her father in law bought it for her wedding day, and I wore it on mine.

  9. Pam says:

    My grandma’s piano (it had better be a slow burning fire!), pictures, jewelry from my family, all antiques left to me… I would open windows (not a good idea with a fire) & just start pitching stuff out of the house. Too hard to decide.

  10. Amy Long says:

    Pictures of the kids, family photos, important files. Let’s hope this never happens since I would have to run to different floors and probably be overcome by smoke (then someone would have to run in to get me!).

  11. Monica says:

    My computers. Yes there is more than one.

  12. I would grab the tiny baby bracelet that was placed around my wrist, so many years ago. The bracelet ha pink and blue beads, each with a letter of my last name

  13. sarah sheaffer says:

    Moms raggedy ann and my special boxes of keepsakes with dad’s marine stuff. P.s. it was SO a romantic meeting. Smoochie smooo.

  14. Audry Mason says:

    I would save this sweet, well-loved stuffed animal kitty that was my sister’s when she was a little girl.. One day I will give it to my niece.

  15. My dad’s flag and bodhrn. The Bodhrn was handmade and painted in memory of me dad.

  16. Letty James says:

    Laptop definitely. It has all my WIP bits and digital family pics. Having moved 18 times in my life, I know how to whittle my life down to the essentials. But I hope not to ever have a fire do it for me!

    • Oh. My. Gosh. You moved EIGHTEEN TIMES??? I just moved into what I hope is my LAST house on Saturday. It’s Tuesday. I am still so sore I can barely move. All bruised up, too. I can’t imagine losing my writing. That has to be the worst for a writer (other than family, etc.).

  17. Mary Miller says:


  18. CONGRATULATIONS, ROSE LANGE! I’ll email you for your address.

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