From the Wreckage

It’s said the first thing someone would remove from their burning house is a photo album. Photographs can’t be replaced. If a tornado hit your home, what would you try to gather from the wreckage? Honestly, let’s start a simple blog discussion. What would you hope to find? Also, what would you grab before running out of your burning house (children count)?
I was drawn to small piles of people’s belongings that they found amongst their broken homes. This woman couldn’t believe her ceramic duck survived. It reminded me of a cookie jar my mom had at the house. Do you still have that Mom? If you do, don’t worry about it if the house gets hit by a tornado, but do make sure you grab my black box of old love letters!

Posted May 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized.


  1. Rebekah Deitrich:


    While your pictures are breathtaking as usual, and these very sad, I’m sure they don’t capture even a small fraction of what it is like to observe it firsthand. Thanks for trying to give us a small viewing window.

    I have a box of negatives from all my pictures before digital that I would try to grab, after the obvious like kids and cats. Perhaps this sounds shallow but I might also try to grad my laptop since so much of my life is there, including all our photos since digital. I imagine that instincts kick in in a situation like that and maybe I would go for entirely different things, on autopilot. I hope I never have to face that situation.

    I hope you have a great trip to Finland you lucky man!

  2. Lau:

    No laptops here, still print my pics, but do have kid and cats to save. But almost as important to save for me are all kinds of relics and stuff from places I have been and people I know or have known. When running into them in my house they give me a pleasant feeling and often bring a smile on my face. Grabbing things wont be enough, just hope nature runs into my house slowly. It will be time consuming to save my grandma’s dinner table and blue oak cabinet that we use to change my kid’s diapers. The small antique porcelaine christmas statues that once belonged to my great-grandma will even be more difficult. Jim’s painting can be done, just above the fireplace, right next to a strange collection of stones from the egyptian desert and an ethiopian bat and coffee-pot. I will ask Paula to take care of her grandma’s sculptures. My small collection of travel-relics hangs just above the stairs, half a minute will be enough.

    Wow, this never can be done in time. I would not know where to start, decide within a split second what has been most valuable in your life. Do surely hope something like in Picher will never happen out here. Almost like not only will I be homeless, but part of me and who I am now will go with it.

    Just lucky I almost always wear the necklaces Jim and my mom gave me. The jade buddha and golden clover will help me build a new history

  3. mom:

    Jim, What an interesting subject, one we have all thought of at one time or another. Sitting here thinking what I would try to save first, first thought is pictures and animals, but I wouldn’t want to stop there. You might say other things are just material things, but after years of memories a small token could mean so much. Things you gather during your life, bring back a memory, wether it bring a smile to your heart or a tear to your eye, it is a memory you treasure. So though I would not mind a tornado taking down the house, so I could get a new one, I would like time to get every thing out first. My heart goes out to those that have endured something like this. Not to worry about your black box I have buried it in the chicken coop it is safe. As for the cookie jar, it is just waiting for little hands to open it again and find cookies made specially for them : )

  4. Lau:

    Joan, those little hands might take a while.

    But maybe Pip will return some day. Ever since she has been to your place she wants to help doing dishes. You did a good job!

  5. mom:

    Lau, Thanks,what exactly do you mean by a while, you might think you know something I don’t 🙂 One of the tokens I spoke of is a little bottle you left behind which has Pip’s name written on the top, it sets right next to my coffe cup, makes me smile thinking of her…I should send it to you but you can have it back when you bring Pip back. Joan

  6. Lau:

    Joan, no need to send it. We will just leave the bottle waiting next to the coffee cup, for my second one or any of your future grandkids to use. Pip will be drinking wine probably. We will be back, dont worry!

Leave a response: