We who are about to die salute you

My insurance claim adjuster keeps calling me.
“Have you finished uploading all the smoke-damaged items to that website?”
“Just calling again because I need that full, completed list of all damaged items.”

Okay, bub, I’ve finished going through everything that was damaged in the fire. All the smoke-damaged stuffed animals from my kid’s room. All the clothing that mildewed after the fire department left hose water and broken plaster all over the floor. The scratched CDs the firefighters knocked over and walked across; the favorite books that reek of smoke; the LOVELY CABLED PILLOWS that were supposed to be a friend’s wedding gift (alas and alack). Just one thing is left.

The stash.

The horrible, tangled stash that’s been crammed in a box and moved along with me everywhere I’ve gone for the last. . . fourteen years now.

The stash I avoid looking at because of the guilt. And the fear. “Why did I buy that? And if I was going to buy it, why didn’t I buy more? Ugh, that project I started and quit after three inches. I wonder how many of my missing needles are in there. Some of that stuff is still new with the ball band on! --and some of it’s just a mess of hopelessly tangled yarn guts. I think seventeen different skeins have fused into a tentacle demon. I should just throw the whole box out.”

But I didn’t throw it out. . . and now have to sort through it and figure out what everything is.

If you never hear back from me, the tentacle demon devoured me.

I feel for you. I shudder to think what kind of list I would have to make to the insurance company if something like that happened to my house. In addition to all my knitting projects and supplies would be my son’s oboe provided by the local high school, my French horn provided by the junior college, seriously out-of-tune piano, flute, piccolo, clarinet, violin, about $10,000 worth of candle-making supplies and equipment, the irreplaceable tatting shuttles my late Granddaddy made me when I was a teenager, and 6 cats. (Just to name a few.) I’ve got about a 10 bedroom house of stuff crammed into less than 700 square feet. An insurance claim would be a major task.

Just plug along one melted skein at a time and you’ll eventually reach the end.

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If we don’t hear from you, Ouisi, we’re coming after that demon with knitting needles and crochet hooks waving in the air. We’re with you (metaphorically writing).
Wish we could help you sort things out.


Oh, the cats. Man, I was home when I realized my house had burst into flames (underneath the bedrooms–squirrel chewed through the wire leading to the condenser unit), and had two babies in my day care. I crammed one baby under each arm, wished my cats luck, and took off running.

Both cats survived, but the little knuckleheads were scared of the smoke and the firefighters and they hid in the wardrobe that was directly over the fire. They went straight to the vet for cleanup and checkup, but the little one’s had kind of raspy breathing ever since (the firefighters couldn’t find her so she was inside until after the fire was extinguished).

Of course, once you’re out of your house for two months and discover that all you were really using was three changes of clothing and a couple of books–you kind of want to never move back in. :laughing: I had a stash of one skein of yarn because I only bought what I was using.

Mischief managed. $582 of yarn and a lot of sneezing later, I can put that dang box out in the shed and wait for a check.

Oh, and I found two stitch holders, a cable needle, a single dpn, and ALL of my yarn needles!

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Thank goodness you and the babies are OK. The aftermath of a fire is horrible. I lost stuff in a fire and as long as 10 years later found myself looking for something that had burned. But the people were OK.


We were fortunate that there wasn’t actually fire damage within the house, and we didn’t lose anything irreplaceable to the smoke. But that was enough of a taste of it for me–if my house ever catches fire again, I’m moving to a cave. All stone. :stuck_out_tongue:

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