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Monday, August 21, 2023

My Love for Laurie Colwin books....

This will NOT be my usual Monday morning post. You see there will not be a recipe or a quick antidote about how I came to find/enjoy/learn about the recipe being shared. Why? Because I lost a few books in the great broken pipe flood of 2022. And one of the replacements is quite special. Come and read the rest of the story...


It wasn't until we got back to Wyoming in May of this year, that we knew what the real damage was. We had been kept informed about the structure damage and the repair and replacement of needed walls, appliances and the such. But what we did not have any clue about was the personal loss that could never in a million years be evident to any insurance adjustor or even the contractor. Only to us. Photos of loved ones now gone, not restorable. Books that we cherish and have taken the time through the years to collect, a pulpy mess on the back deck. 

What we heard was, "sorry to have to say this, but your book collection looks to be mostly gone." This of course had already been backed up by some of the photographs sent our way. My husband was quite taken back. As was I. Which books laying out in a pile in the yard, however, remained a secret until our return to Wyoming. It is rather hard to read the title of a book in a soggy pile, in a photo.


Being on the road and with no home to go home to, we gazed at the photos showing the lower parts of every wall in our downstairs apartment cut away. With the studs in plain view, but all the insulation ripped out. Other photos with all our furniture tossed out or already hauled to the dump due to water damage. So yes, we knew the damage was significant. We were asked to begin the work of placing a value on our belongings. And so we did, working from photographs. But we knew the books would have to wait until our return to Wyoming, when the mountain pass was safe to travel.

It took four days of hard travel to get from Huntsville TX to Worland WY. And in order to do so, we left our travel trailers in storage. We knew if parts of the route we were traveling was still in snow, we would be fine with our trucks, but not if pulling a trailer. It was a tough four days, and a little harder yet on our grandson who was cooped up for hours and hours each day. 

Arriving home was great, but that is when the real work began! Construction dust and debris was everywhere! Our furniture that could be saved was upstairs in the kid's apartment. What did not fit was being stored in an enclosed 16ft box trailer that was loaned to us by someone in our community. It took a solid four days to get each apartment moved about and ready to live in. When ever we were outside working or taking the baby to the park, everyone welcomed us back to Worland, which was so nice. We got comments about all the work done to our house, how sorry they were for our loss. And how long it took. Supply chain shortages made the repairs take more time than usual. 



My husband took on the job of getting a list of the books we had lost. That list was 144 books long, some were quite collectible and others were novels and reading materials we had picked up at one of the many book sales we like to go to. From there he needed to find the replacement value for each book and we shipped the spreadsheet off to the adjustor. I remember the moment he came in from outside and told me that some of my Laurie Colwin books were also in that pile. 

I have been collecting Laurie Colwin books for a few years now. All in hardback. I have all of her novels, and Home Cooking. The only book I do not have is More Home Cooking A Writer Returns to the Kitchen. That one has been very hard for me to find in a price I can afford, in hardback...while I am a serious collector, these books are not an investment, they are my joy to own and read.



But once back home in Wyoming, Texas was calling out (especially to me!) loudly. You see we had only lived in Wyoming about three months before leaving for winter travel and volunteering. Once the house was damaged, we were actually in Texas much longer than we ever were in Wyoming...so we decided to make the move permanent. Our remodeled/repaired duplex sold very fast. To a family that had lived in the area years ago and wanted to return. It was a win/win for everyone. So the packing began again...

Fast forward a lot of hard work and even more driving and we have been in Texas one month. The first thing that my husband and I did once we got the moving vans unloaded was begin to replace the lost books. And that included my beloved Laurie Colwin books. Anytime we purchase a used book, my husband especially will thumb through the book to see if anything was left behind by the previous owner. I wrote about what I had found once before...but this replacement book was just a bit different. 



A Big Wind Knocked it Over, was owned by someone who was also a fan of Laurie Colwin, for it held a newspaper article where Laurie Colwin was interview about writing the book, a clipping of a recommendation for purchasing the book, along with a copy of the program from the Tribute held to honor Laurie Colwin. And while I would turn back the hands on the clock to not have lost anything in the great broken pipe flood of 2022, it turns out, this is the perfect replacement book and I feel blessed to own it! 

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  1. Aw, what a sweet little blessing amongst so much loss.

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    1. Joanne, I felt the same way! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

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  2. Sorry about your disaster but does sound like it opened new doors. Thanks for the tip on an author new to me.

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    1. Joy, yes new doors, and we are going to be just fine! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

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  3. Oh no, I can't even imagine seeing such loss. I don't know if you know about Thriftbooks but they have many books, some out of print, and usually at reasonable prices. They also have a feature called Wishlist so if they don't have the book/movie/etc you add to wishlist. They notify you when they get a copy.

    I'm glad you have a home now in Texas but what a nightmare you guys went through.

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    1. Tina it has been a lot of work! But I really think we are going to love it here. And yes to Thrift Books, it is a favorite of ours! Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate it.

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  4. OMG! I'm so sorry to hear about all your losses- but so glad (despite so much work) you were able to move on, re-coup some of it and be able to replace some of your favorite stuff. You are a good story teller- it is very heartfelt - thank you for sharing it with us!!

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    1. Judee, thank you so much! We have lots to do, but I do prefer keeping busy! I appreciate your stopping by!

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  5. Sorry to hear about your pipe disaster and all that was lost, including your treasured books. But glad you are starting to be able to replace. Popping by via #WeekendCooking

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    1. Thank you and thanks for stopping by. We are slowly getting the infrastructure in place for our own little house, and I can't wait to get all move in!

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  6. It's so sad to lose much-loved personal items. I hope you're able to find other special replacements like the Laurie Colwin book.

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