Monday, October 24, 2016

Loving an Inanimate Object

Considering that some of you know what my sense of humor is like you’re reading the title and already getting worried. No problem. I’ll behave on this one.

Hurricane Matthew’s devastation has touched thousands of people in a variety of ways. On Friday afternoon I realized how it had touched me.

I stopped by the mini-warehouse in which I had stored most of my belongings when I had to move last March. I discovered that about 80% of what I had stored had been destroyed. 

Evidently the water had gotten up to about 10 inches inside the storage units. Bookcases, thousands of dollars in books (many are beautiful coffee table editions), a 75-year old radio that belonged to my grandmother, a photo album my mother created for me before she died, mattresses, and a range of other belongings are now gone.

Now, many of you know how I love books so you understand my sense of loss. Few experiences bring me the joy of being in a bookstore. In fact, if you took all my other possessions and left me with my books I’d be happy.

By the way, the irony is that Saturday morning I got a call from the storage unit owners to ask if I had stopped by. Two weeks after the storm they were calling to inform me that there might have been some damage. Thank you for the timely alert.

Interestingly, on Sunday, while on a trip to Virginia (Go Heels! they beat UVA 35-14!) I stopped by the museum complex in Richmond to see a Thomas Jefferson exhibit. When I stepped up to the desk to get our tickets I was told the museum was having it’s annual….wait or it….used book sale. 

At $10 for a box of books I was in heaven. In fact, I found 3 of the books water had destroyed and was able to replace them. 

All you can do in times of loss and waste is get back up and keep moving. I recently saw a great line that said, “The definition of greatness is getting knocked down 5 times and getting back up 6.” 

Am on the way back up; you can be, too.


  1. I'm sorry you had to go through that. We, too, lost most of what we had in our storage unit during the WV floods this summer. I tend to place a lot of sentimental value on objects and keep everything anyone gives me because I feel it is disloyal to get rid of it. I also hoard books. The hardest thing was the loss of the majority of my pictures. I had a good cry and reminded myself that the lost of the "thing" did not mean the loss of the memory or person associated with it. Maybe a catharsis is what I needed to move on, grow and not lug around the clutter of the past. Like a forest after a fire, it may be devastating at the time but it comes back fuller, richer and more beautiful. I hope the same for you.

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