This will be the last post I devote solely to the fire and it is going to be rather random since there are several things I want to share and say. To give the post some kind of cohesiveness, I'm going to do it list style and call it ... Things I Learned When The Smoke Cleared.
1) Don't jack with green shag carpet. I wrote in an earlier post about finding lots of the green shag still intact. her is the pictorial proof. And yes, my computer room was in serious need of a remodel. But then again, that green shack did feel nice to curl my toes around as I typed away.
2) It is important to update your home owners insurance on a regular basis. matter of fact, you should follow Acorns voting advice of early and often and apply that principle to you insurance updates.
3) It's okay to smile. One of the things I struggled with immediately after the fir was my mood. I was stunned, shocked, dumbfounded, overwhelmed, tired, scared, and short of breath. Sure I was sad, but I refused then as I do now to dwell on that. I believe in laughter, counting your blessings, and finding the silver lining. But for nearly a week after the fire i felt guilty if I so much as smiled. It didn't seem proper or right, but despite everything, there are something that are just funny. Like when I inadvertently told a friend, "I'd love to do that, but I can't commit right now because I already have too many irons in the fire. " Or like yesterday when another well-meaning friend asked if I'd lost all of my CDs. When I answered yes, he said, "I'd be glad to burn you some." The look of horror on his face was priceless when I feigned hurt and asked, "What's that supposed to mean? Don't you think I've had enough things burn?"
4) Avoidance is a good coping technique. Since my family is all safe, the majority of things we lost can be classified as stuff. Sure there is some irreplaceable stuff such as videos and pictures of the boys when they were small, but dwelling on the fact they are gone will change nothing. So whenever things of that nature pop in my head I think about that cracked window I will never have to replace, or the ugly green tub that no longer needs updating. matter of fact there were a million honey-dos that my lazy side put off doing.
5) Shiner Bock makes good sturdy bottles.
6) This one comes from my wife. There is no reason to stow that good china, or keep you grandmother's silver silverware locked away in a chest. Use it. Why? Because you can. (By the way we did find most of that silverware in the rubble. Tarnished, but usable.)
7) Smoke alarms work and they are your friend. We had the kind that actually speaks and sometimes when it is dark and quiet I can still hear her voice say, Fire!,Fire! Fire! My wife says she does too, but nevertheless I will buy the exact same kind when we get our new house. Experts say kids respond better to a voice than a shrill warning. Ours also doubled as a carbon monoxide tester.
8) We all know how dangerous the stock market is these days. And trust me when I say Keeping cash under the mattress isn't a good idea because those suckers leave nothing but springs behind when they burn. So if you don't have a fireproof safe or a safe-deposit box my advice is to take you money and buy Chuck E. Cheese tokens. They seem to do just fine in a hot blaze.
9) We've already established that it is a good idea to go with wall-to-wall shag carpet, but what should you build the house out of ....
Lincoln Logs of course.
I found a bunch of them. Charred, blackened, but mostly intact.
10) And most importantly I discovered just how many friends I have. I'm still in the process of thanking each of you individually and I certainly hope I do not miss anybody, but it might take me a month or so to make it through the lengthy list of those who have gone above and beyond to help in one way or another. Also to express my gratitude, I'm going to be giving away the remainder of my supply of Writer's Calenders. I am going to do this in a variety of ways. Two copies, in a random drawing of those who contributed on the site Erica and Stephen started. Two copies in a drawing among those who have taken the time and effort to send packages, cards, and well wishes via postal mail and email. And one from a random drawing of those who have signed on to follow my blog. I wish I could give each and every one of you a copy, but that is beyond my means.
Thank you all again, and I promise to at least try and get back to my normal style of blogging soon.