Deb Brumley

Deb Brumley

A weekend in the August desert sun will cause the mind to go places. As I adventured up and down the valley Friday through Sunday, sampling area grown fruits and vegetables, then taking in history preserves, my mind went new places.

So much sun and so much history. This welcome late summer combination made me realize each of us, in our own way, are almost always in a state of preserving things.

As one who writes words to create stories of the valley, I think of preservation every time I put a story together. This is this individual’s career or that individual’s new grandbaby — it matters greatly, preserving correctly.

With 10 kids and five grown children, and four accompanying spouses, ranging from 2 to 43, this grandma’s phone is too full of photo and memory preserves. With 3,200 photos (down from more than 4k mind you), I’m a memory hoarder.

Vendors and buyers at the Central Washington Ag Museum this past Sunday, were enamored with odd looking, metal and old looking goods. Railroad nails, belt buckles, mid-century furniture, once scorned in family yard sales, were now commanding prices.

How much would you pay for a rusted out vintage tractor front cover? The tag on it at the Swap Meet said, $100, but the seller was happy with the $20. The historically correct covering whose original home was in Connell, has moved down the valley; the new buyer, equally happy but perplexed. “I have no idea what to make from it,” the buyer exclaimed. “But I will figure it out,” he acknowledged. He said he is all about preserving things made from metal and each piece’s history, too.

I have seeds and herbs drying on assorted paper plates, a photo collage is in the making for my ‘70s era college class reunion — why didn’t I save those hot pink disco bell bottoms? I wasn’t into preserving in my 20s, I was busy doing.

My late grandmother’s ceramic crock is waiting for the pounds of green cabbage to start the fermenting process towards sauerkraut, more preserving.

In the course of your day, look around – there’s a high chance you have things in your world you are preserving. Until the sun and good activities overwhelmed me in the best way this weekend, it hadn’t occurred to me preservation is in absolutely everything we do.

Deb Brumley can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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