That is all I can say at this point. I am humbled by the outpouring of generosity. From the Amazon gift cards to the donation over on the Habitat for Travis site, to the caring heartfelt emails. I say thank you. It has meant a lot and eventually I will personally thank each and every one of you directly rather than via an impersonal post, but for now I'll say it again. Thank you.
For the last few days I have been concentrating on digging through the debris and cleaning up the mess left behind. Of course there have been moments of tears, but also little discoveries of joy. Such as both boys birth certificates. Sure they are singed on the edges, but the little ink footprints are still visible. We also found my wife's rosary, my class ring, a few pieces of Jennifer's Department 56 Halloween village, and a handful of Chuck E Cheese tokens. Many thanks to my nephew who along with help from his football buddies made most of those discoveries by digging through the watery black muck.
There have also been some oddities. The fire got hot enough to actually melt our refrigerator down to nearly half it's original size, yet a bottle of ketchup inside didn't so much as warp. And along with cockroaches add green shag carpet to the list of things that could survive a nuclear attack. Yes, sadly I really did have green shag carpet in my house, in the very room where the fir started and large sections of that carpet survived and are just as ugly now as they were before the blaze.
Friends help me load all of the metal that was once our household appliances and what not onto a trailer. We took the load to the local scrap yard where a man paid me a thirty five dollars for what once was a our fridge, freezer, washer and dryer and other assorted metals. One of the toughest moments for me was watching the giant magnet lift my world goods and deposit them atop a huge pile of rusting metal. I'll admit it, I shed a few tears as I stared at my blackened things settle in among the refuge of others. Some how it felt final, like dropping a handful of dirt into an open grave. Though, I'm afraid there are still more such moments to come.
But thanks to the compassion of so many of you, I know that both me and my family will get through them. For that I am grateful and again, I say thank you.