What Was Saved

Please consider donating to the Red Cross to help them prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to the wildfires burning in our area.  For too many people, this is not an interesting exercise, but a reality.


  1. Online: go tohttp://american.redcross.org/NorthwestResponse
  2. Visit:  U.S. Bank branches in Western Washington  [ find a branch near you ]
  3. Mail a check to:

KING 5 Northwest Response

P.O. Box 24525

Seattle, WA 98124

Since the Taylor Bridge fire began on August 13, dozens of homes near Cle Elum have been destroyed.

Earlier, I posted an entry about a book called “The Burning House: What Would You Take?” by Foster Huntington:

Your house is burning. You have to get out fast. Suddenly you are forced to prioritize, editing down a lifetime of possessions to a mere handful. Now you must decide: Of all the things you own, what is most important to you?

  • The practical? Your laptop, your smartphone, what you need to keep working and stay in touch?
  • The valuable? Your money, your jewelry, the limited edition signed poster in the living room?
  • The sentimental? The watch your late grandfather gave you, the diary you kept as a teenager?
What you choose to bring with you speaks volumes about who you are and what you believe in—your interests, your background, your view of life.With contributions from all over the world, The Burning House is an eye-opening pictorial meditation on materialism; an in-depth, intensely personal interview contained in a single question; a revealing window into the human heart.I put forth a challenge to everyone to try and do it themselves, grab everything you think you would grab when your place is burning down and photograph it.
Oddly enough, a couple years ago, the neighboring building caught on fire in the middle of the night and our building was evacuated.  So, including waking up, getting dressed and waking up the rest of the building, I think all I remembered to grab was my wallet, keys, and phone.  I think I was wearing that super-warm extra large parka I “borrowed” from the Nordstron valet parking guys years ago.  In all fairness, I was pretty sure our building wasn’t going to burn down.
I recreated that night tonight and grabbed all the stuff below.
Clockwise from upper left: my great-grandmother’s small wooden box sitting on my grandfather’s wooden box, an old whale vertebrae, two Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera with sonar focus, reading glasses, passport, MacBook Pro, red scorpion paper weight, photo booth picture of Rick and me drinking beers, external hard drive, iPhone, wallets, two white ceramic artichokes made by Rick, small metal frame and art made by artist and friend David Hamlin.

I guess I am going to put all that stuff in the wooden boxes?  To be honest, the whale vertebrae and ceramic artichokes were already sitting on the table and I found the Polaroid cameras when I was searching for my passport.  I know that if I had a bag and five minutes, I would probably not stop until that bag was full and the time had run out.  I mean, how could I forget external rechargeable speakers, iPod, and more books that I could even count.  Then, there is that pair of elephants my sister gave me and that elf head cookie jar I bought at the junk store in Navy Yard City.

I made a photo slide show of items I would try to save from the lake house if it was burning, here it is (naturally, I used a LOMO filter on all of them):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick created his own collection of things he would save from a fire, between the two of us, the only thing we would be prepared for is international travel if our place burned down.  Here are his:

Dogs, Pia and Bear, passport, assorted love letters, photo album, Gucci sunglasses, running shoes, and ceramic artichoke (made by Rick).

I am not sure how he managed to get the dogs to sit still on the table.

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