Fire Line

Fire Line

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Four Months.....

We are four months out.  Four months ago our lives changed forever.  Some days it seems like it was just yesterday and some days it seems like an eternity ago.  We have been on quite a rollercoaster as anyone can imagine over these last four months.

We are to the point now that we really miss just hanging out in our house.  Other than clothes, electronics, and some kitchen things, MJ and I haven't replaced anything else.  It is wearing on is so very hard to not have things that are our own.  We want curtains on our windows and pictures on our walls.  It's the little things really that are the most maddening.  We will get there though....

The boys are great. Kids are so resilient!  Drew has just blossomed into the most enjoyable 4 year old and Jack is crazy as ever.  They truly keep us going and are our heart and soul.

The rebuilding has not yet begun as it has been such a process.  We started thinking that we would definitely rebuild on our property and then once the dust settled a bit we figured we would take the opportunity to start fresh elsewhere.  We met with builders, we found a piece of land, we were sure this was it.  And then another curveball was thrown at us.  The mortgage company (who has all of our insurance money) has been difficult to deal with; there are rules about what you can and can't do with your insurance money that we didn't know about.

So, the bottom line is that we will be going back to our property and rebuilding there.  Drew is elated!  He can't wait to see his friends in the neighborhood and is happy that we can swim in the lake this summer.  We are excited about the prospect of designing and rebuilding our home.  We meet with our builder tomorrow to get the ball rolling.  The advantages are that we already have a well, foundation, and cleared lot.  That will save a lot of time!  We are hoping that we can be in for a good part of the summer.

We are very excited about our meeting tomorrow so that we can get going!  We need to talk about how to creatively add a few more square feet to the house as it was getting a bit small for us.

Spring is coming, the snow is melting, the days are longer, and things are headed in the right direction.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Three Months

Three months out is turning out to be a much better place to be.  We are finally coming out of the fog, there is a tiny light to be seen in that long tunnel, and we have some vision (finally) for moving forward.

Our house has been torn down, we have met with a builder, and we have found land to build on.  All of those are great moves in a forward, positive direction.  We are in negotiations with the builder, headed to the bank in a few days to secure a loan, and getting ready to put our land where the house burned on the market.  All good things.

It is still hard to have basically nothing that is our own.  We have not replaced things for a few reasons.  We don't want to have to move it, we might as well have all of our stuff be new once we move, and we don't know sizes of rooms, etc to buy things.  It is humbling though to realize how little you really need and how much you really can live without.

MJ and I have set up a "craft room" in our basement as we are really itching to be crafty.  We have some scrapbooking and stamping stuff that people have so generously donated to us to get us started.  We will get down there soon to work and I am sure that it will be some wonderful therapy.  We so love scrapbooking and stamping and it will be good to get back to doing something familiar and enjoyable.

The boys are doing well.  Drew still has his moments and I will save that for another post.  I can't wait to have a home for them that is ours where the stuff is ours and we don't have to worry about them ruining anything or being careful with things because we are just borrowing it.  I can't wait for them to have a great yard for them to play in with their swingset and water table and all of the things that are familiar.

Our ultimate goal is to be able to spend some of the summer in OUR home and hopefully spend most of the spring with the excitement of watching it be built.  Our builder is saying we could be in as early as July 1 - we are keeping Aug 1 in our head so as not to be disappointed.

And so the baby steps continue.....

Friday, December 5, 2014

One Month

It has been one month today since our house fire. One long, hellish month.  Full of loss, tears, frustration, exhaustion, humility, generosity, and love.   A month of days that we sometimes didn't know how we would make it through.  But we are here, and we have made it.  One month behind us and hopefully one month closer to our forever home.

MJ and I have had a really rough day today.  So many emotions swirling.  So many thoughts racing through our brains.  So many new realities to adjust to.  We are tired, worn out, and missing what used to be.  We are thankful, blessed, and humbled.  And sometimes we don't know what we are, but that is OK.  We are navigating this together and it is a good thing we have each other.

Some thoughts on this one month anniversary:

*We continue to be humbled by the generosity of others.  There is no way that we would have made it through the last month without our family, friends, colleagues, local businesses and perfect strangers.  So many people have shown us so much love and support that they have carried us through the darkest days of our lives.  We would not be where we are without all of the love and support.

*We were happy to hear today that ServPro has finished cleaning, drying, and taking the smell out of the few things we salvaged.  We will have the stuff on Wednesday.  That means we will have some of our Christmas stuff.  Having that will be good for our souls.

*We haven't been back to the house in almost 2 weeks.  We need to go back soon as Drew wants his shovel and snowboard that were in the shed.  We need to get it for him before the snow gets too deep and we can't get to the backyard anymore.

*I get so tired of comments from people who have no idea what we are going through.  MJ took an insurance check to the bank the other day and the teller made a smart remark about how nice a check like that must be.  Yeah, real nice - only had to lose everything in the blink of an eye to win that lottery.  We go shopping to replace items and the cashiers make comments about how nice it must be to get so much Christmas shopping done or how nice it will be to have all this new stuff.  No thanks, I would rather just have my old stuff and not need to be dealing with this.  I know that these people are just being friendly and whatnot and they don't have any idea, but it makes you think before you make a comment about something that we really don't know what cross someone else is bearing in their day to day life.

*I miss my stuff.  I call bullshit on the statement that stuff can be replaced.  I don't want to replace it.  I don't want to have to shop for EVERYTHING.  No, it isn't nice to have everything new. It is just a constant reminder of what has happened. I want my old stuff - in my house, and I can't have it.  It sucks......big time.

*We are not as strong as we may appear to be.....everyone is so impressed with how well we are doing.  Well, we are good at keeping it together when we are out and about.  The reality is that we are done playing this game.....we don't want to play this game....we want to take our toys and go home.  And we can't.....and it hurts every single minute of every single day.   We have a great support system and for that we are very thankful, but it still is so very tough.

*We know that we will come through this OK on the other side, but the other side is still really far away.  The light at the end of the tunnel still seems nonexistent.  But we will keep plugging along and working to find our new normal.  We will make it through this together because really, there is no other way.

*Our boys are our heart and soul.  They are amazing, they are LOVE, they are magical.  They are what keeps us going.  We need them just as much as they need us.

So, there you have month down......

We can do this..........................................

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Strange Things....

Every time we have gone into the house we find or notice something strange about the way things did or didn't burn. In a weird sort of way it is kind of fascinating.  For instance - the toilet paper in the cabinet in the downstairs bathroom did not burn.  The oxygen must have been sucked out of the cabinet much like it did our coat closet in the middle of the house.  An entire closet of coats and things not burned yet everything around it was burned to ashes.  Of course everything in the closet was full of soot and smelled so incredibly bad, but it wasn't burned.  I am sure there would have been quite a backdraft had that closet been opened.

Some picture examples....

This case of water was sitting on the kitchen counter.  All of the tops are blown off, but it still sits as an entire case.

We found the recipe box half burned with a jar of decorating sprinkles melted to the side.  The sprinkles were 2 shelves above the box in the cupboard so how they melted together is a mystery.

Apparently sidewalk chalk does not burn.  When I was digging for change from the boys piggy banks I kept coming across pieces of sidewalk chalk.  The case that they were in burned, the bookshelf that they were on burned, but here is the chalk in its entirety.

Our freezer - the door actually split in half - the half with the shelves on it stayed in the freezer and the rest of the door opened out.  Strange.....

You also can tell really cheap furniture from more quality pieces.  We had two dressers in our room.  Mary Jo's was an old one that was well made.  While it is burned, there is still parts of it standing.  Mine on the other hand (which was cheap) has absolutely nothing left.  

All very strange, yet kind of interesting.

Facebook Update #11

We haven't done an update in a while, but there is still a lot going on.... We went back to work last Monday and though it was only for 2 days it was good to get back into the routine. It was also great to see our colleagues and the kids. So many kids gave so many hugs and so many sweet "I'm sorry about your house" condolences. They really are amazing little souls.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we hosted at our rental place just because we could! We borrowed some pie plates and pots and pans and serving bowls, didn't have some of the utensils and dishes that we needed, but had a perfectly wonderful day with family. It was a year to remember what we are truly thankful for and to realize how blessed we truly are.

The kids are doing amazingly well. We have been settled here for just shy of two weeks and they are adjusting wonderfully. Drew has been in a spectacular mood and has had basically zero meltdowns for a few days now. Jack has settled into a great napping and sleeping routine. Both boys are eating much better. Tonight we had everyone fed, bathed, in bed, and asleep before 8 - that hasn't happened in almost a month.
We went out today and bought a new Christmas tree and ornaments. Even though a bunch of our Christmas stuff was salvageable, we don't have it - Servpro does. I wanted so badly to just go into the basement and pull all of our bins of Christmas stuff out and decorate, but we can't. Instead we spend half of the day spending more money to replace it all. It can be so maddening at times. We had such a great time setting up the tree and decorating though. It was just the therapy we all needed.
In other news, I found a used car this weekend - an 05 Chevy Trailblazer. Problem is that we are waiting for an insurance check so we can pay for it. Once again, everything is a process. So, I will borrow a car from some generous friends this week as I have a 3 day conference in Manchester.
My parents took the kids overnight on Friday night and we were able to so some shopping and replace some more things. We went to Salmon Falls Stoneware and got some nice pieces, replaced our ipads (I was dying without any technolgy  ) and bought some new kitchen gadgets and pots and pans. It was a nice night out together.
We are plugging along, slowly replacing some things that are important to us and finding a new normal for now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Things I Miss....A lot....

Some of the things I really miss......
Our rocking chair for rocking our babies to sleep
 My recliner
 Kitchen Gadgets
 Ipad/Chromebook (the Tech Teacher lost all of her tech ironic) 
 The Magnets from the fridge
 The rocking chair (I know I already said this - but man I miss it)
 A large capacity washer
 The fruit bowl
 The catch all basket on the island
 Drew's nightlight
 The wall art in Jack's Room
The kids' piggy banks from their Aunt and Uncle
 Picture Frames that people gave us when the babies were born
Our home