A week ago today, we were awoken at 5:30 am by our smoke detectors.
A week ago today, we ran out of the house in our pajamas and in bare feet.
A week ago today, fire roared though our basement and smoke belched through our home.
A week ago today, surrounded by my family and supported by my friends, family, and community, I understood how blessed I am. How lucky. How rich, indeed, with all of you in my life.
We are settling in to our temporary home--a 2 bedroom apartment just a little over a mile from the house, on the bus line for the kids to get to school and for my husband to get downtown for work. The complex is dog friendly and Tigger has already made a canine friend.
While there was extensive smoke damage throughout the house, it appears as if more can be salvaged than we originally thought. The emergency dry cleaners have rescued our dress clothes and I've discovered that washing with detergent and baking soda, followed by a white vinegar rinse gets the smoke out of our washables. I shudder to think of what our water bill will be this month.
The insurance adjuster has been wonderful, coordinating all the things I didn't know had to be done, from boarding up smashed windows, to getting emergency lights in the house, to winterizing the plumbing, having our rugs cleaned, the furniture, family photos and art that can (probably) be saved picked up, moved and cleaned.
It's a daunting task to inventory your life. Especially when you've raised a family in the same place for nearly 18 years. That is our next task, even as contractors are assessing the house, figuring out what has to be done for us to have our home again.
Even I can see that it will be some time. The basement and first floor will have to be gutted and rebuilt. The experts are not yet sure what the second floor is like.
Everyone keeps asking me how I'm doing. In truth, far better than I have any right to be. I know there is going to be a good cry sometime in my near future, but right now, there is just too much to do for me to turn into a puddle of mush on the floor. My boys, as grown up and as mature as they are, need their parents to be a strong presence for them.
I could not be functioning at all if not for all the love and support from all of you: dear friends, family, fellow writers, readers. So many of you have asked if there's anything you can do for us. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts. Especially once the immediate crisis time recedes. The emotional toll on all of us will continue to be huge. Hugs, in person, or virtual, will be much appreciated.
We are looking to borrow art to hang on our walls so our apartment has less of a clinical/hotel feel, but unless you are local, that's not something easy or realistic to do. (And thank you for folks who have already given us some things to hang up!)
I will send out an email with our new address. If you would like it, and I haven't gotten to you, please just pop me an email or leave a comment and I'll get it to you.
Again, my gratitude to all of you.
I am humbled.