Wish List

The insurance company has asked me to pull together a list of items stolen from our house, along with the cost to replace them. The easiest way for me to estimate the replacement costs was to create an Amazon wish list, which I have done. If you want to be a voyeur and see approximately what we lost, click on the link below. I say “approximately,” because a number of the items listed are newer models (after all, most of what we lost were tech gadgets) — but in all instances save one, the newer item actually costs less than what we paid for when we bought the earlier model a few years back. I know our insurers will likely want just to pay us the fair market value of the actual items we owned, which means what their used price is on the open market. But even though it means we’ll have out of pocket costs, we’d rather replace our losses with new items. Buying a used DVD from Half.com is one thing: buying a used iPod something else entirely.

So here’s the list. I’m not suggesting that any angels who read over this list actually buy something for us (but of course, we won’t turn down any presents, either!) :-)

Carl’s Burglary Wish List

A Gift for Lorraine
Completing the Hospice Journey
Rhiannon's Vigil and Funeral
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Liz

    I’m not sure about your insurance company, but years ago, when we had a house fire, our insurance replaced everything we lost with new stuff, no questions asked.

    Perhaps we just had a great adjuster, but I’m thinking you might be pleasantly surprised.

  • Peter

    I think Liz might be right about this–and I certainly hope so!

    But I just had a thought: hey wait a minute–is this the place where I got the link that I sent to so many of my friends on The Story of Stuff? Yeah, it is!

    This makes you quite vulnerable, Carl, since you are confessing your desire for practical hands-on tools of modern living on the one hand, and on the other hand as middle-age authentic hippie types (of the mystic bent especially) you are clearly aware of both the origin and the eventual destiny of all this “stuff”–and of its true costs as described in the video clip.

    I hope I am following the Golden Rule here and saying this as gently as I would want you to say it to me if it were “my turn.” If I had any “stuff” to give you that would make your life easier or better in any way, I would surely put on my angel halo and send it to you; hmmm, where’s that old used iPod I saw around here somewhere?? But seriously (if I can), I want to express my admiration for you being willing to live in this exposed fish-bowl situation. I know that you did not design it for yourself! But I promise to keep praying for you that you will be able to use the earthly “stuff” for a heavenly purpose, keep your focus, and (despite anything I said or seem to have said) not pick up any guilt trip in the process. For what it’s worth, as far as I know you have been using your “stuff” in a godly or God-honoring way, and this seems to me quite likely to continue even if the insurance company DOES give you all new stuff!

    Love and blessings,

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

    Peter, thanks for being so gentle as you shine the light into my own foibles and inconsistencies!

    Fran and I have coined a new joke, based on The Story of Stuff — we talk about “making the golden arrow glow.” We realize that when we receive the settlement from our insurance company, the golden arrow will be practically beaming with delight. What is perhaps more humbling is the recognition of how deeply enmeshed we are in stuff-culture. While a number of the items we lost (the iPod, the Sounddock) we understand that we can live happily without, others (chiefly the computers and the Nikon) we are completely, utterly, eager to replace (indeed, we’ve already purchased a new laptop, on which I am typing these words). We also are committed to purchasing a safe and a security system to protect our “stuff” as we move forward.

    As Shane Claiborne so wisely puts it, “And let’s not get stuck in guilt. Most good things begin with a little guilt, but they never end there. We are all bound up in the filthy system, and if you find yourself particularly bound, take courage, as you will then have more grace as you liberate others.” Which means for me, as I ponder the call to declutter my life and to live in a post-consumer way even while I’m jonesing to replace the gadgets that a burglar helped himself to, I recognize with humility that conversion is a process. And I’m still processing.