Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Update

Today, I feel human again.

That is a good thing because for the two days prior I felt like something less than human. A robot devoid of emotion, feeling, or any other brain activity. The inspectors finally finished and turned over the house to us. We started poking through the debris looking for any thing that might have survived. Tomorrow the cleanup begins in earnest and I am glad to have something to do, a goal to accomplish.

Lots of you have asked me for details about both the fire and things my family now needs. I'm going to start at the beginning and try to answer a few of those questions.

Sunday 7:30 ish in the morning -- I woke up due to an angry and complaining bladder. I shuffled off to the bathroom and at some point realized I smelled a plasticy hot aroma of the sort I normally detect when my wife leaves her curling iron on. I check the curling iron but it is turned off and cool to the touch. I also check the clothes iron in our bedroom but see that it is unplugged. I walk out of our room to the kitchen but no longer notice smell. Back in bed I wake Jennifer and ask her if she smells anything. She tells me no and asks if I checked the curling iron.

I lay back down and close my eyes but less than a minute later the smoke alarm at the opposite end of the house goes off. I rush back through the kitchen and down the hall only to see smoking seeping from above and below the door of my computer room. Jennifer is right behind me and when I push open the door smoke billows out and a flash of flame flares. I tell Jennifer to grab our dog, which is still inside the small kennel he sleeps in, and get out. Our boys had spent the night with my mom as they do lots of Saturday nights. And that is perhaps the biggest blessing in all of this as their bedroom was right next to the room where the fire broke out.

I grabbed a fire extinguisher from the kitchen and ran back to the room but when I pulled the pin and squeezed the trigger only a small poof of air and white foam came out and then nothing. It didn't even dent the growing flame. Jennifer ran to the neighbors and then came back to grab our other dog which was out back in her kennel which butted up to the backside of our house.

Meanwhile I made several trips in and out of our house in an idiotic attempt to save something. The first few trips in were not so bad but apparently my mind was already putty because I grabbed things like a giant Christmas platter and left my wallet which was right next to it. I grabbed my wife's contacts, but not her purse. A truck of the boys artwork and keepsakes, but not Jennifer's huge box of pictures and scrapbooking stuff. Much to the chagrin of my buddies it never occurred to me to grab my 50 inch high def big screen.

The last few trips were scary. The house was full of acrid black smoke and stuff was flying around and cracking and I failed to get so much as one thing before being forced out for a breath of air. When the windows blew out in very dramatic, action-movie style I gave up on going back in.

The timeline is fuzzy, but only a sort time later, my house lay in smoky ruins. The first firetruck did not arrive for nearly thirty minutes due to my remote location. By that time the house was completely engulfed.

I am told that neighbors have pics and when I get a chance I'll get copies and post a few.

The house and all of it's contents were a total loss, but I am proud to say it could have been worse.

As I said my boys were not home and did not have to taste the fear or experience the trauma of seeing the flames destroy every last thing they owned.

No one got hurt, expect the boys turtle named Captain Jack. We told the boys that we let him go in the nearby creek, but in reality Captain Jack went down with the ship.

The night before we'd gone to a friends to show them pictures from our trip so both our camera and my laptop were still in the back of Jennifer's car. I lost only a few very old snippets of my writing and truthfully they were probably not very good, and a few chapters of my most recent work which was on a flash drive.

I do have insurance. Not nearly enough to cover everything, but after all the expenses are paid there will be a bit left to start the rebuilding process. I never realized just how much crap we owned until we started trying to itemize. I have learned the importance of updating your insurance often though I must say it is the costliest lesson I've learned thus far in my life.

The fire inspectors are speculating maybe an electrical problem in the wall, but there was far too much damage for them to make more than a guess. For my own peace of mind I wish that we could know for certain but I guess in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter since knowing will not change anything.

And the best thing I've learned is that I have more friends that care about me and my family than I ever dreamed. I thank you for all of your well-wishes and offers of help. Accepting help has been hard even though I realize that we need it and there are some things you can not simply man up and get through.

As for what we need, I'm not exactly sure.

A very generous friend with a rent house is getting it prepared for us to move into sometime in the next week, until then we are staying with Jennifer's parents. We have had many offers of furniture and bedding and accessories but at this moment we have no place to put any of them. People have brought clothes for all of us. The boys especially now have a decent supply. The Red Cross was amazing as they showed up before the fire was even out and have provided some financial assistance as well as moral support.

The boys are coping, well though my youngest is starting to realize the impact. he had a minor meltdown over hot wheels tonight when his 2 year old cousin wanted to play with one. My son cried and said he only had five left and he didn't want any lost.

I am a bit worried about Jennifer. Every so often she seems to drift away and simply stare into space and my heart breaks that I can't give her the peace of mind she needs right now.

Lots of you have asked how you can help, so swallowing my pride I'm going to list the few things that come to mind concerning my boys.


Children's books. My boys are 6 and 8 and they both love to read and I know at some point they are going to feel the loss of their books.

Hot wheel cars for my youngest. They sell for about a buck and I imagine they would cost only a bit more than that to mail. I know it would bring a smile to his face to find one in the mailbox.

Also if any of you live in the Orlando area or are visiting Disneyworld soon I'd love to replace t- shirts they boys picked out while we were there. My oldest is a size 10 or I think a child's large and he had a shirt with Mickey Mouse's body that said I'm the big cheese. His younger brother wears a 6 or a small and his ad a picture of Mickey and Goofy dressed as pirates along with a treasure map and it said How to Be a Pirate. It is very silly I know, but they spent a week agonizing over what shirt to pick and then they were gone before they ever got to wear them at home. I would gladly repay anyone who can find those shirts for them.

And many thanks to both Erica Orloff and Stephen Parrish, who I believe are the kindly parties responsible for starting a blog and fundraiser on my family's behalf.


My mailing address is 522 Casino Amarillo, TX 79118 and it comes to a cluster box not the house so it doesn't matter that the house is gone. I will still receive mail addressed to there.

But I understand that he economy is tight and that many of you have hardships of your own, so prayers, kind thoughts, and well-wishes mean just as much. I truly am blessed to have so many wonderful friends, both here in Amarillo and scattered around the world. Thank you all. Just knowing there so many who care about me and my family has been a great relief.

I'll post again when I can.

111 comments:

Bill Cameron said...

I'm sorry you had to go through this, but grateful you and your family are safe.

Lisa said...

I am so glad that you are all ok. I have a suggestion, Travis. Why don't you go to Amazon and create a wish list with your address listed (there are 2 Travis Erwins, but no address for either). You and Jennifer and the boys can add the things that you'd like to replace to the wish list, including books, clothes, toys, household items, etc. and it would be an easy way for us to send things that we know you could really use, clothes that you'll like and are the right size and it would help to eliminate duplicates and things.

I know it's probably hard to imagine doing that, but just imagine that there really is a Santa Claus or that you're creating a gift registry like people do when they are getting married.

What do you say?

blogless troll said...

I don't know if they told you, but don't stop itemizing when you hit your personal property limit. Everything over that limit not reimbursed by the insurance company is tax deductible. So write it all down and make sure the ins company gets a copy of the whole thing so they can back you up with the IRS.

And I'm in Orlando so I'll look for the Ts.

Cloudia said...

Grateful you are starting to sound like yourself again. I suspect that your mailbox will be wayyyy full of hot wheels ;>
You DO have lots of friends who care - thanks for the update. Holding a good thought for your wife & the whole family. aloha-

Reid said...

Hang in there, my friend. We're all with you in spirit.

I'd be with you in person, but Amarillo is like 6000 miles away from Tyler. Kimberly and I are still thinking of you and the family.

WordVixen said...

Blogless- I'm heading to Disney in a few weeks- please post if you do or don't find the T's and I'll look myself if you don't have them yet.

Travis- What I just said to Blogless. :-) Aside from that, I have no idea what to say! But I'm definitely praying for you. And Lisa's got a good point- an Amazon wishlist would be great!

Sepiru Chris said...

Best wishes in a trying time. You came through the hospital ordeal; you will come through this.

Angie said...

Good wishes to all of you, hon. {{{}}}

Angie

the walking man said...

I doubt that there is much more than the distance of time that will allow some perspective. You and Jennifer and the boys will heal up and move forward through the twists and turns that make a life worth living.

A tip of the hat to that brave Captain Jack and

Be well Erwins.

Bubblewench said...

OH Travis.. I'm in tears. I am so sorry your family is going through this. I think Lisa has the right idea with Amazon wish list, that way even the boys could pick stuff out.

We are all here for you and thinking good thoughts that you and your family are safe and have a great support group around you.

Kim Stagliano said...

I think you're going to need a bigger mail box. Your list of items is terrific - it's easier to accept help for the kids, isn't it? I've learned that - my husband lost his job twice in '08 and so many people have helped us with incredible generosity. The world is a good place. Horrible things happen - but all in all - the world IS a good place.

Now let's see what I can send to the Lone Star State.... Hmmmmmm.

Erica Orloff said...

Hi Travis:
If you or your family think of anything tangible, email me at:

erica@ericaorloff.com

We can get the word out. In the meantime, thanks for letting us know what the boys need. Helping them through this trauma is way at the top of the priorities.

Much love and support,
E

Erica Orloff said...

Oh . . . new idea!

You have a Wal-Mart . . . Like Lisa said about Amazon . . . create a gift registry like a wedding. That way we don't get you hideous colors of towels that will give your wife a headache every time she looks at them. ;-)

E

laughingwolf said...

travis it's tragic... the best thing is no one was physically hurt

prayers and good wishes continue until i get my credit card... and beyond that, of course....

Liz said...

So good to know that you are all okay....so sorry that this happened to you and your family. Keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

Kristen Painter said...

I'm so glad you're all okay. What a scary thing to go through. It really nice to see all the offers of help you've gotten. Reaffirms a person's faith in people.

niar said...

dear Travis,
I hope the situaton at your home would be better sooner. But I am grateful you and your family in the safe condition. May god always guide you and gve you serenity

alex keto said...

Amazing that even in this situation your post is funny... "Captain Jack went down with the ship" indeed.

Hang in there

Kathryn Magendie said...

I'm over here from Angie's site - I was reading your post, but was distracted by the short story link - so I went there to read it -- I want to tell you how that story affected me - in a physical way - my heart pounded and my stomach clenched - your use of character, scene are so strong and sure...a fine story, Travis.

Now, I know from Angie (since I haven't finished reading posts) that you had a fire - I am so sorry...I can't imagine. WHen I do imagine that, I have to turn my mind away from it.

((HUG))

Beck said...

OH MY GOD, TRAVIS. I just heard about this this morning. I am so glad your boys weren't home, and I'm so glad that everyone made it out okay (except poor ol' Captain Jack).
Thank God you guys had insurance. My prayers are with your family.

Kathryn Magendie said...

PS tried to follow you but it won't let me -- hope you don't mind I tried to follow you! In fact, though, can't imagine that's anywhere near your mind-thoughts right now!

Virginia Lady said...

I'm so sorry this happened, but glad all of you are okay. Well, except the turtle, but still not bad considering what might have happened.

Now we all know why the firefighters say don't try and save items. You're in shock and you don't necessarily grab the things you would if you were thinking rationally. So glad you weren't hurt going back in.

I already visited the Habitat for Travis site. What a wonderful idea, and so is Lisa's of creating a wishlist. That's an easy way for people to donate without multiple duplications.

Good luck to you all. I'm checking for some hot wheels and books for the boys. You can never too many of either.

Edie said...

Travis, I'm hear from Erica and Spyscribbler's blogs. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Travel Writer said...

Thank God nothing happened to you and your family!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I bought a brick for y'all, and know you will remain in my prayers too. The items you mentioned as wanting to replace for your kids tells the whole story of who/what you are! Blessings, Travis, for the whole bunch of you. *Thanks to the Habitat for Travis folks too*

Janna Qualman said...

I wish I had some special words to leave, but I don't. I can only imagine what you've gone through.

I'll be praying for your family.

Dee said...

Hi. Stumbled upon your blog while reading other blogs. So sorry about what happened. My prayers are with you and your family.

Melissa Marsh said...

Travis - Wow. Just, wow. I can't even imagine. But I am so glad your boys were not home at the time - a very big blessing indeed. My prayers are still with you all.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for taking time out of these difficult days to fill us in. I'm hesitant to say this, but I think the best thing people could send is a check, even if it's a small one. Who knows what will come up along the way? Why load yourself up with stuff before you have a place to put it. Money isn't evil or crass when it buys food and heat.

Monnik said...

I am so sad about this, Travis... What a horrible thing to have to go through. I'm off to visit the fund raising blog.

One Blue Marble said...

Thanks for the update...

We're starting a book drive here among family and friends for your boys... We'll see about finding some hot wheels, too.

Colorado Writer said...

I'm sorry.

I have been in a cave and missed this news.

HUGS and godspeed.

Amy said...

Travis, I'm so sorry to hear about your home. I'm also so thankful that your boys weren't home and you are all safe!!! You will be in my prayers! I also think you will soon have a very full mailbox! Amy

Melanie Avila said...

My heart is breaking for you and your family. It puts everything else in perspective, that's for sure. And I'm glad to hear you didn't lose much of your writing.

Dianne said...

I am stopping by from Hilary's place - The Smitten Image - we don't know each other but we are all connected aren't we.

I like Lisa's idea about Amazon -

I'll be back to check on you guys.

Hugs from NJ

Lauren said...

That is so sad. Some people have suggested a wish list, which I think is a great idea, especially for your kids. My nephew loves his hot wheels and trick tracks and I can imagine what your kids are going through. All the presents form Santa are all gone. If you make a wish list I would love to get something sent to them addressed from Santa and I am sure that many other people would as well.

My prayers are with you and your family.

Kerri said...

Hi Travis, I am here from Hilary's blog, Smitten Image. I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this tragedy! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

I have an 18 year old son with some Hot Wheels left from his younger days. He is going to give them to me and I will mail them out to you sometime this week.

I also have a 16 year old daughter who I am sure will part with some of the books she read as a child. I'll send those too.

If you think of other items or make an Amazon wish list...please post so that we know. We are here to help!

Chris said...

Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts.

Michelle said...

Hi Travis,
First time to your blog. Found you through Hilary at the Smitten Image.
I am so sorry for your loss. I was teary-eyed reading this post. Very touching. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

I've sent a special book for your boys. It's coming from Amazon.com, and should be there in a few days. I hope they enjoy it.

Warm regards,
Michelle
http://givingtree2009.blogspot.com/

Mom24 said...

So, so sorry. Glad you're all physically all right. I just sent two gift cards to BN for your boys. They're small, but hopefully they'll each enjoy picking out a book or two. Take care.

Julie Weathers said...

Travis, I was just shocked when I heard this. I will be sending an Amazon gift so you can buy the boys some books.

Did Jennifer collect anything special?

Hugs to all.

Julie

The Anti-Wife said...

Glad to hear from you. You and Jennifer are both going to be experiencing some PTSD, so take some time for the two of you to relax and regroup. We're all here if you need us.

Chris Eldin said...

I'm so sorry you are all going through this. It sounds like you will have things to do to occupy your mind, but I truly hope you're able, and your wife and children, are able to find a routine as quickly as possible.

pita-woman said...

Travis,
Don't beat yourself up for not grabbing more important items. I've been involved in one way or another (as a firefighter & the wife of a firefighter) for over 20 years, and have heard that same tale over & over how people grabbed things that seem so senseless & not the important items. It's impossible to keep a calm head when faced with such a tragedy. We're just all glad you and your wife (and dogs) escaped with your lives & ever so thankful the boys weren't there.
Lots of good things are coming your way...

Josephine Damian said...

Thank God the kids weren't home.

Years ago, when a huge brush fire swept through here and we were all ordered out of our houses, everybody did the same mad scramble - grabbing things at will with no rhyme or reason- we all said afterwards that we'd all get our acts together and put everything important to us - everything that could not be replaced in one place, handy and ready to grab in a moments notice.

I never did get around to doing it - but I will now. Lesson learned.

Travis, I will get some hot wheels out to your kids. Glad to hear you have family nearby and a place to stay.

Kate R said...

do your guys use the little legos yet? we have a raft of them, especially designed for you to step on in the middle of the night.

Barbara Martin said...

I'm glad to hear the update on your tragic situation. I lost my home and household items in the past, learning to deal with it one day at a time: just like you and your family will, Travis.

I've put a cheque in the mail to you.

Reb said...

Travis, I am so glad that you are all safe. The boys certainly didn't need to watch the house burn, so I am doubly glad they were away. Poor Captain Jack though. Thanks for including your address. I will see if I can't send along a few things.

Thoughts and prayers are with you.

lisaalber said...

I'm so sorry about your loss. I've had nightmares about just that, and I can only imagine how devastated you and your family feel.

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry about this! Thanks for leaving your address. I hope God blesses you guys in this tough situation with even better things than you had before. You all will definitely be in my prayers.

dee said...

hey travis....

I contacted one of our authors who has a large group on facebook. His name is Todd Dean. He's setting up the "habitat for travis" as an event and directing people toward the website to buy bricks...we'll be inviting all our facebook buddies to...and asking them to invite theirs...hope it helps

Demon Hunter said...

Travis,
I am glad that you and your family are safe. You are in my prayers. I have to go over to the other site now and donate something. :-)

~Tyhitia

Janet said...

I cam from Beck's place. I'm so sorry! What kind of books to your boys like to read? I'll see what I can do.

Miladysa said...

Keep your chin up lad :D

(hugs)

M

McKoala said...

Just so shocking. Hoping the Habitat project will help with the insurance shortfall, although I suspect it will be a drop in the ocean. As you think of anything more you need, keep posting.

Need anything from Oz?!

Mr. Shife said...

Stephen contacted me Travis and I posted about it on my blog so I hope you can get more help from some of my blogging buddies. I also gave what I could and I hope I can help out more in the future. You have given me a lot so if there is anything you need like music or books or movies please let me know and i will send it your way. I am grateful that you and your family are OK. I know you must be going through a difficult time and please hang in there buddy.

laughingwolf said...

check on card status reveals: 'it's in the mail'....

Avery DeBow said...

I'm so sorry for what you and your family have gone/are going through. I don't have much, but I'll help if I can.

Be well and stay strong.

Frank Baron said...

Glad you're finding, and trying to focus on the positives. Hang in there.

Aaron said...

I'll be in Disney World in ~30 days and it would be my pleasure to pick up the boys something.

Tophey said...

I'm deeply sorry about your loss but thankful that it's none of your family. keep on fighting

preTzel said...

Travis - I will ask around about children's books and we have a ton of freaking hot wheels that I can sort through and ship out ASAP. I am truly and deeply sorry that you all had to experience such a devastating loss. Be prepared for the stages of grief because you will go through it. I hope you can all process this and reach some level of acceptance although losing as much as you did it will be a difficult path to walk.

Please give your kids, your wife, and yourself a huge hug from this Iowa gal, once a Texas gal, and know that I will do what I can.

Country Girl said...

Dear Travis,
I came via Hilary at Smitten Image. Almost didn't come because one of my biggest fears is what just happened to you. When I hear fire engines, I always stop and pray for whomever those engines are racing to save.
I can't give anything but my words at this point. We are living in a difficult situation ourselves, staying in a home and caretaking it after my husband lost his job after brain cancer.
Regardless, my thoughts are with you and your family as you rebuild your lives.
Godspeed, blogging friend.

t i m said...

Sad to hear about what happened. Sounds like you’re keeping an upbeat frame of mind which is good, so I can only wish you & your family all the best.

Mr. Someone said...

You and your family are in my prayers.

Leigh said...

Dood, I'm glad to hear you and your family are okay.

The word is, your novels were just too hot.

I'm give your situation a mention on Criminal Brief.

Annie said...

Again, I'm so sorry for all of this, but so very glad that you simply lost stuff and not lives. I second the idea of a wish list on amazon. That is a great idea. Hang in there buddy!

Robin said...

Travis, I'm visiting from Stephen's blog. I'm so sorry for you guys. Don't feel bad about help. Help is good. Look how many people care about you! I'm going to troll through my kids' books and send a box, so keep your eye out. You don't mind if they're porno books, do you? Kevin's favorite book when he was 8 was Amy and the Pony. Don't worry. Just throw out what you don't want. ;)

ZogLady said...

Oh my goodness! It's amazing what life lessons are sent our way... I'm so sorry that this one went this way.

I am glad to hear that your family is safe....

Please know that you're in our thoughts (from Canada!)...

Best Wishes!

Jane Smith said...

I'm so glad that you're all safe. But am saddened by the loss of your home, and everything else.

As I'm in the UK and postal charges are prohibitive, I've tried to think of a different way around this. I hope you don't mind, but I've emailed Mattel's PR department and given them a link to your blog. I've asked them to send your boys a whole bunch of Hotwheels as a gift. They probably won't: but if they do, good for them.

I wish you and your family the very best new year to come, despite this dreadful start. I hope things will improve, and that soon you'll find your way to normality again.

writtenwyrdd said...

I just heard about your tragedy, and I'm so sorry about this happening to you and yours! But I am tremendously glad you are all safe and unharmed!

Gary Corby said...

Travis, I've been thinking of you all day. It sounds to me like you're doing a brilliant job of dealing with this disaster.

Don't worry about the odd things you picked up and the things you missed. It's an extremely common reaction in a fire crisis. The amazing thing is you got back in and out at all. I'm very glad *you* got back out.

Wunderwoman said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your house. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Lissa said...

Oh Travis Honey!! I can't tell you how awful I feel for you and Jennifer and the boys. Thank you for posting everything here to tell us how we might help. We are here for anything else you may need. prayers for all!!

Pink Ink said...

What a blessing your kids were away. My heart aches for your family. Wishing you the best.

Cheryl Kauffman said...

A friend of mine works at Disney, and I just emailed her to see if she can get the Tshirts. I'll let you know if she finds them.

Anne Carrole said...

So glad your family is safe. If you do the Amazon idea listed by Lisa, that would be a great way to let us donate to your boys because having a girl I haven't a clue what kind of books 6 and 8 year olds like but would surely like to provide some for them. This is a terrible tragedy but I just know some good will come out of this. Your family is in our prayers and thoughts.

Betsy Dornbusch said...

I wrote you an I-report. http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-177150

FIONA said...

I came here from Janet Reid's blog.

What a horrible experience for you and your family.

Take care of yourself and your wife and sons. You have experienced a huge loss and will need time to grieve. It will hit you in unexpected ways, and your boys may still have a fear of, or nightmares about, the fire even though they weren't there.

We'll send a package this weekend.

Kim Stagliano said...

I have a feeling you're going to be ablet to build your new house from books and Hot Wheels! :)

Reading this comment trail makes me yearn for Miss Snark. Then again, pretty much everything does....

Britta Coleman said...

Travis, I've been thinking about you and your family all week. You are in my prayers (and on my blog.) I'm linking to Habitat for Travis and am on my way to buy some bricks. Thank you for posting your story, and for allowing your friends to help where we can. God bless you and your family, and my sincere condolences on brave Captain Jack.

Mary said...

Thinking of what you said about Jennifer, she, and all of you, must be suffering shock. And it is often the small things that make a difference to a sense of loss; those Disney T-shirts are important. :)

Anonymous said...

I remember ducking under the smoke to run through the house searching for my toddler. Finally found her hiding in her closet and got her out. Most fun of all was calling my husband at work. "Honey, we're okay, and the firetrucks are all gone now."

If you've given your children's photos to family and friends, they might be willing to give the photos back, or let you copy them. Surely the grandparents have copies of the wedding photos. Just a thought.

iheartya said...

I am so sorry. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

--Sarah--

iheartya said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

ZooKeeper said...

I would love to send your boys some hot wheels cars. My daughter used to collect them and we have quite a bit sitting out in the garage getting dusty. I will dig them out and wash them up and send them your way. I was sent her by TheNeato's and I am glad I visited. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope this small token will get your boys through another day.

Salad said...

After reading your latest post, I just want to help you out in any way possible. I don't know you, neither do you know me, and am extremely sorry I can't offer anything other than this:

As days go by
Lives become precious
Not your own
But the lives of the ones you love

Take care of them, Travis. Stand by them. And don't forget to let them know how much you love them. You have braved a huge disaster without losing a single family member. Just remember, things could be worse. I'll try and see what I can do about that Hot Wheels car. :)

Regards from Bangladesh (yeah... strange isn't it?)
Shadaab

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Detailing the event is a great gift to us, Travis. Now we know (almost) first hand what it's like to be in your shoes.

I'm forwarding this post to my hubby, who has waaaaayyyyy too many things plugged into our pathetic 50's bungalow wall outlets.

Take care, and don't drown in Hot Wheels!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Hi, I'm over from the Smitten Image Blog. I'm so sorry you experienced this. I'm glad you and your family are safe.

WordVixen said...

Just a tip, I just found out that Amazon has a downloadable button that you can use to wishlist items from ANY website!

Catherine Karp said...

I read about your situation on Susan Adrian's blog. She and I have been friends since we worked together in San Diego. I told my kids about your boys, and they're preparing a package with Hotwheels and books as I type this. You'll see a box with a note signed "Kids in Oregon" soon.

*Tyler* said...

Oh Travis, I am so sorry for you and your family! I am grateful that you all are okay. The counselor in me is pleased to hear that you told the boys that the turtle is the the creek. Good job!
I will continue to pray for your family.

Alexie Star said...

Travis,

I know that you do not know me but a blogger friend of yours has brought your blog to my attention. I work for the Walt Disney World Resort as an entertainment cast member and I am working with the company to see what we can do for you and your boys.

I do have a question. What are the first names of your two boys, notating which is older and which is younger. Thank you so much and we wish you all the best of luck!

Alexie Schauerte

a_star_shower@yahoo.com

Travis said...

You guys hang in there now. I'm glad no one was injured.

bethyarnall said...

Thank goodness you are all right. If you were sitting here next to me I would thunk you upside the head for going back in so many times. Then I would give you a big hug.
I have 2 boys too so I know how they are about their stuff. That's got to be the hardest. Just Hot Wheels or would Matchbox do just as well? My thoughts are with you and your family.

Phats said...

Travis,
I am so sorry to hear about this, but very grateful everyone is ALRIGHT! Hang in there buddy.

Careann said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about the fire. Sharing these details must bring back painful memories of it but I hope it's also a bit therapeutic. Keep reminding yourself that you're all safe (my condolences on Captain Jack) and that's all that really matters. Our prayers are with you, and I can see that the support of your many writing friends is, too. I trust there will be better times ahead for you and your family.

Careann
near Vancouver, Canada

Charles Gramlich said...

That amazon wish list is a good idea if you have the chance. I'm glad you're feeling a bit more human now. I had tears in my eyes about your son crying over the car. Lana and my thoughts remain with you all.

Lana Gramlich said...

I have boxes & BOXES of kids' books around the house right now, actually. I'd been sending a few now & again to my nephews, but the process has been so slow I'm afraid they're going to finish college before I send all of the books.
Thank you, oh THANK you for this golden opportunity to unload (at least some of) the boxes & BOXES of kids' books I've been tripping over for at least a year now!
Thanks for the updates, too. Hang in there, hon!

Terri Tiffany said...

My heart broke as I read your story!! I am sooo very sorry for your loss and I know that words mean nothing but I am praying for you all as well. I know you were just here in Orlando and I am thankful God gave you that rest before this happened.
Both my husband and I are unemployed right now but if you tell me where you got those shirts, I can at least try to find them for you when I am in the city again.
God will see you through this as he does everything!! Trust me on that one-- I know!

twoblueday said...

We live in the Orlando area and Daughter is going there today. We are asking her to see if she can spot the tee shirts you mentioned. I see there are other responses relative to that, and it might eventuate that your boys have extra.

Hopefully, if exact matches cannot be found, the boys will enjoy the surprise of what is picked out!

Marian said...

Hi Travis,

I found your blog through Something She Wrote, and I'm glad to hear none of you were hurt (except for the turtle). It's sobering, how much can be lost in so little time. You and your family are in my thoughts

Nerd Goddess said...

I found you through Editorial Ass.

God Bless you and your family during this time. My husband and I will be keeping you in our prayers.

twoblueday said...

I commented in the next post (maybe should have been here) that we found the shirts in Disney (actually, I went along and found them myself).

Mail tomorrow.

Eric S. said...

Dam Travis, I'm sorry I have not checked in sooner. Expect a package soon, containing some books for the boys, and a few other things.

jerseygirl89 said...

I'm sorry I didn't check in sooner - I'm so sorry! But I'm glad you all are okay.

twoblueday said...

Our daughter, on her own, picked up some more things we'll be sending along with the Disney shirts.

Debbielou said...

Dear Travis- I've been out of Blog world for a while and have just learned of your dreadful news. I'm glad that you and your family are ok.

I'm putting some gifts in the post from Blighty for your boys xx

Snooty Primadona said...

I've come to read your blog from Janie's Sounding Forth.

Having been through a fire of my own, I do know what you all are going through. I will buy bricks as I can afford them, but today could only buy one.

Don't let this fire devastate you. It's only stuff, after all. Besides, I have tons & tons of junk, if you'd like some. I'd love to share. Really.

From the list of donors, it looks like you might get there sooner than you thought. You have wonderful friends. I hope to someday be counted among them...

By the way, since my fire 10 years ago, I now go around with my digital camera & log everything that way. It sure is easier than trying to make my mind remember every little thing. Just a thought.

Preston said...

I am visiting Orlando Feb 3 - 8, did you get the Disney t-shirts for your boys? If not, let me know and I will gladly pick up some when I am there.

philologia said...

God bless. Hope you're all all right.

From Chicago via Janet Reid,
Brigid