Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ten Days

Ten days.

A week and a half.

Not much time in the grand scheme of life but let me tell you what these last ten days have meant for me and my family.

We've gone for devastation, mind-numbing despair, and doubt that life would ever be the same to optimistic hope, humbled - overflowing hearts, and steadfast faith in both our friends and future.

We can breath again.

I'm going to use a puzzle as an analogy.

Take a beautiful a picture. One of serenity and contentment. Maybe for you it is a majestic snow capped mountain range reflected in a pristine lake. Or a herd of muscular thoroughbreds nibbling on a field of wildflowers. For me it was my life, my home my family.

The fire ripped that apart like a jig saw and as I watched it burn and stared at the charred aftermath, I wasn't sure that I would ever be able to put the pieces back together.

Now, and greatly thanks to all of my friends, both local and located around the globe and blogosphere I know that I will. There may be a few of the original pieces that will be gone forever but somehow we will fit new things into those gaps and the resulting print will be just as beautiful. For that I want to say thank you to all of you. These ten days have shown me just how much a person can do with the support of friends.

In ten days and with y'alls support the burn site has gone from this ...




... to this.



And while my insurance does cover the cleanup. I felt compelled to do it myself. When I say myself I don't mean by myself which in the end should give me more money to put towards a new home. My brother-in-law, Bill,

has done the work of three men in helping as has some of my coworkers. And complete strangers (friends of friends and firemen that Bill recruited) have shown up with to help bringing much needed equipment to complete the job.


In ten days we've gone from being homeless (but not without a place to stay thanks to lots of offers and the graciousness of Jennifer's parents who put aside their kitchen remodel and made room for us) to having a rent house and a place to call our own. Again that is due to the kindness of friends who have made sacrifices on our behalf. Thanks Dan and Nicole.

My son's have PLENTY of Hot Wheels, Matchbox cars, and books. I'll post pictures later to prove it, but trust me when I say they have PLENTY. The Disney shirts have been covered as well.

In ten days we have learned just how many friends we have and despite the loss of our home we know know just how blessed we are as a family. Thank you to all of you for your different roles in making that happen.

59 comments:

WordVixen said...

Wow. Looking at the cleared shots, it just made me think "a clean slate". Here's to filling up that clean slate with more beauty and love than was there to start with!

alex keto said...

A lot of work done, a lot to do... Glad you're feeling optimistic and looking forward. That should help.

Melanie Avila said...

Travis, I'm filled with so much hope for you and your family. I couldn't imagine looking at that cleared yard and seeing the future, but I hope it happens quickly. Good luck.

Ello said...

Travis, I love your attitude and am so happy that the clean up went well and you have rebounded so well.

My best,

Ell

Jennifer Jilks said...

You go, Travis! One foot in front of the other!
One word in front of the other?!
I am so glad you are keeping your fans informed!

Great post. Keep your eye on your vision.

twoblueday said...

A cleaned-up site is a big step towards reconstruction.

Sounds like you are carrying a positive attitude around.

Hope the kids enjoy the goodies.

Vodka Mom said...

please, please, please let us know what else you need. You sound as if your heart is healing, and that is a good thing. I always say it's best to look forward, and it looks like you are!

I can't wait to see the new pics, and hear about your climb back up...

Charles Gramlich said...

some good news! I admire your courage. I'd proably still be moping around.

Melissa Marsh said...

Amazing how our emotions can completely turn around in a matter of days. You've had some incredible support from truly wonderful people - you are very blessed!

March to the Sea said...

such a amazing ride..glad things are starting to turn the corner for you..

Monnik said...

Wow, you've been busy! I'm so glad you're moving forward, and that you have such a fabulous group of friends to support you.

Sounds like you've been doing what my pal Dory from Finding Nemo likes to say:

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Lisa said...

I applaud your positive attitude and your ability to see the silver lining. You're quite an inspiration. Onward...

Michelle said...

Wow, your optimistic outlook on things is inspirational!
I'm happy to know your boys are set with books and cars... that's important!

Being Beth said...

You're welcome, Travis, though in some respects I think we should be thanking you -- for showing us our humanity, for humbly allowing us to participate in your rebuilding, for reminding us of what's really important in life, for showing us a REAL man who loves his family more than life itself, for your courage and faith, and on and on. I think we're going to have to nickname you "The Phoenix" -- out of the ashes has risen quite a man. It's an honor to call you my friend.

dizzblnd said...

Amazing the transformation of the lot. As I was reading your post, I was tearing up and I was filled with joy for you. You will make it through :) Keep the positive thoughts flowing, as hard as it is.. it will help

Hilary said...

What's left to say after Being Beth's eloquent comment? Good to know you and your family are getting through it. And thanks for keeping us posted.

Crystal Phares said...

Thanks for sharing the progress with us Travis. When things are all said and done, life will go on, only this time bigger and better. I'm glad to call you friend.

Beth said...

Wow - You've come so far in just 10 days. Thats incredible.

Thank you for keeping us all updated and I'm pleased that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Bx

Kristen Painter said...

Yay! It's so good to know things are happening in a positive way.

Reb said...

Being Beth said it so eloquently, thank you Travis.

Now, you have the opportunity to build a house that fits your family. Think carefully about all of the things you hated about the old house, design your dream home and then scale it back to affordable without sacrificing function.

Remember you can change the finishes in a few years, but it is harder to change the floorplan/layout once it is built.

Can you tell I wanted to be an architect?

Angie Ledbetter said...

Thank God for friends who put words into actions, eh? Since you're such a deserving guy, you've got plenty of 'em! Hugs and prayers continuing. Hey, what's the Mommy need???

Annie said...

I don't think there are enough words in the english language to cover those ten days. You've come a long way. Hold tight and keep moving forward!

McKoala said...

That's quite amazing. Because of you.

Georgie B said...

I'm sincerely glad to hear (and see) that things are starting to move along, slowly (well maybe not slowly) but definitely surely.

Here's wishing you nothing but stress-free days ahead.

jerseygirl89 said...

What an amazing attitude you have. I hope the kids are enjoying the cars and books and that everything keeps getting better and better.

Robin said...

What an awesome cleanup job! I can barely imagine how much work that took!

Good for you for having such a terrific attitude, Travis. Let us know if Jennifer needs any stuff, now.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

It is my honor to help in the little bit I have. I'm so glad you're starting to light!

I personally love to design, build, and decorate houses, so here's hoping this next part of the journey contains more joy than sorrow.

Janet said...

So glad you guys have hope again. That is so important.

How is your wife doing?

debra said...

Our box is on the way with hug and best wishes.

Chris Eldin said...

Travis, I'm glad you and your family are on the road to healing. It's a lot to take in, such a short amount of time.
Hugs to all of you.

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks for the sharing the pictures Travis and glad to hear things are looking up for you and your family. It is also nice to hear how many people helped you out. I wish I could have done more for you and yours but I hope what I did send helped. Take care.

preTzel said...

Travis -

A light on the horizon. Sun chasing away shadows. Hope overcomes despair.

What a beautiful picture to see that the scars of ugliness are being erased and once again your homestead will reign proud over your land.

Many hugs and thoughts coming from frigid Iowa straight to you.

P

Shauna Roberts said...

I honored your blog today with a Prémio Dardos award at my blog: http://shaunaroberts.blogspot.com/2009/01/prmio-dardos.html. Thanks for being a bright light in the blogging world.

Robin said...

I see that blank canvas you've cleared and I see possibilities! Only because of your attitude, instead of despair...I see hope.

And isn't this blogosphere amazing? You never know who your friends are until you have to move...or have a fire!

You deserve every accolade, helping hand and hug you get! Here's one from me!

WordVixen said...

Oh yes- on the architectural side... Don't forget to put the toilet in the master bath. No joke, I had an architectural major friend who was designing his dream home. He shows me the plans and goes "But I can't figure out what to do with this space here... maybe a second linen closet?" I looked, and there was no toilet.

Do not be a Wes. Install a toilet. Just sayin'.

PastelGuy said...

Travis - Kudos to you and your family. This all renews my faith in humanity; hanks for sharing it with us. I'm sure there won't be a lack of blog material any time soon!

the Bag Lady said...

Travis - it really is amazing how much work has been done in those 10 days! Things are looking good.

I'm so glad that you and your family are safe, have a roof over your heads and so many wonderful people in your lives!

We do not know what we have until something like this happens.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Blessings on everyone involved.

Barbara Martin said...

Optimism and faith will see you through, Travis.

Cloudia said...

Travis- Thank YOU, Sir once again for touching us with your words. Hellova price to pay, but you have reduced fear in every reader today through your honest portrayal of this most personal tragedy. Reaching out works. This model may be what saves us in all this $ upheaval. Peace, Blessing & Aloha to your family and friends!!!

The Smith Family said...

T- you are such the "nice guy". The guy who always has something kind, positive, or funny to add to any sitation (or blog post). To have something so devestating happen to someone so kind- it boggles the mind. But then again, it is because of YOUR attitude, YOUR generousity, YOUR kind heart that you are seeing the same in other people.

Wishing you & yours all the best in the upcoming months. :) Keep on sharing your journey, my friend. We're all in this with you, even if it is via the internet.

Sepiru Chris said...

Travis,

It is great to see and read the updates (and to hear your imagined voice in your posts).

I am really glad that things are looking up for your family and for you.

Best wishes,
Chris

Liz said...

Best Wishes as your rebuild your house; sounds like your 'home' wasn't damaged at all by the fire, as homes can't be contained under a roof or surrounded by four walls. Cheers to all the Erwins and their friends...

theneatos said...

I think Beth speaks for all of us, and does do quite eloquently!

Travis, I am so grateful for each and every person who has given to you - emotionally and financially - to get you to this point. You have made an amazing amount of progress on the clean up. It is absolutely awesome that your boys are immersed in Hot Wheels and that someone was able to find the Disney Shirts for you.

Good luck with the rebuild - and let us know if there is anything your lovely wife might need, as well.

{{{Hugs}}} to the Erwins

Clare2e said...

So glad to see the progress. There's nothing like visible change to help reinforce hope. I see a new place with fresh paint, a fountained grotto, and rum-running Pirates' Cove!

Beth said...

A beautiful analogy.

pita-woman said...

Thanks for the update and glad to hear things are looking up.
Can't wait to see the re-building process.
Anybody in blog-land have any connections to the "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" show? How great would it be if they came and did the work!

angel, jr. said...

You have also been a blessing to us. In so many ways.
I continue to keep your family in my prayers...and I promise to get some stuff out for your boys soon!!

Demon Hunter said...

There's a lot more to do, but you have great friends to help you, Travis. :-)

Glad you're doing so much better. :-)

~Tyhitia

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'm so glad things are on the mend. What a horrible thing to go through, but I'm glad you found out how many friends you have.

Marci said...

What an incredible set of ten days - I wish you continued strength and courage as you rebuild. May you cry when you need to, laugh when you can, and hold each other close whenever possible.

David Cranmer said...

Travis I'm glad you have found hope and strength through this horrible ordeal.

laughingwolf said...

glad things are looking up again, travis!

i'm sure things will go well from here on in... blessings to you and yours

Simplicity said...

Well, that just looks like a beautiful clean slate to start a brand new chapter in your life! :)

Your positive attitude is phenomenal!

Brenda Bradshaw said...

There really are no words, are there?

Your spirit and attitude are awe-inspiring. I'd hope that I'd have the strength of character which you show here. You're amazing!

Keeping you and your family in my warmest thoughts as you heal and build and create a thousand new memories...

Sarah Laurenson said...

Thanks for the update. And for sharing the bright outlook. I appreciate seeing life through your eyes with this experience that hopefully most of us will never have to go through personally.

My wife works in movie advertising, so the pub/promo people at her work put together a few things. Should be getting that box soon. And books, of course. One can never have enough books.

Jeff Shelby said...

Those pictures are incredible. Glad to hear you guys are doing alright. All the best.

Lexi said...

Wow, Travis! I'm so sorry for all you and your family have gone through! I'm also sorry I haven't been around sooner. I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Kate said...

I haven't been here in a while and I am in disbelief about your house. So how is your wife doing with all of this? And the boys? I know there are great things on the other side of this.