Cleanup


Read the post below this one. Watch this video of our street and help me write the best little note EVAH. You can do it. I believe in all of you.

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Hi everyone! Hope you are having a great day! You are all so wonderful and sweet!

Have I buttered you up enough yet? Because I want something from you. Remember how the only lame thing I could come up with for my neighbors who lost their homes was cookies? Well the brilliant and talented Nannygoat came up with something even better. She was watching them bulldoze the house across the street from her and she thought, oh how sad they lost all their pictures. And then boom an idea hit her.

We are thinking we will go get a bunch of new photo albums and give them to them with a note kinda like this:

To our neighbors:
We commend your strength through this tough time. We wanted to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Here is a blank photo album, for you to start fresh.

Here’s to new memories and great times from here on out. Wishing you all the best.

The XXXXs,
Formerly at 17XXX.

Here is where you come in: This sounds like a great idea to me, but what do you think? Also can anyone who writes prettier prose than us help us with the note?

Thanks in advance!

So, I did it. I went to the old house. Parked across the street. Talked with some neighbors. Their house was spared, but their sister’s home around the corner was not. They had spent the day sifting through rubble and found her wedding ring. The ring part was melted, but she could clearly see the diamonds. The neighbor I wanted to see most, who hugged me and cried the day I moved, was not home.  Her house was spared and I had seen that before, but things are so messy there so I guess she is staying somewhere else. Someone had put a giant sifter, a new shovel, a new rake and a bucket in the yard of the house. Red Cross volunteers and paramedics stopped to ask if we needed masks, water or chapstick. It was quite strange standing in the backyard looking into my kitchen with the lovely pass-through window. The twisty tree in the front yard I always called “the twisty love tree” to my husband is burned and injured beyond saving. It was easier and harder than I thought it would be. Surreal, I guess. I want to take them all homemade cookies.

I am guessing I am going to be doing a lot of baking in the next week.

Last night when I went to sleep, it was clear and cold. I was so relieved. I slept hard and actually woke up in the middle of a dream about the sky being bright blue and taking pictures for my 365 Project. As I walked out of the bedroom, I instantly knew it was all a dream. My place smelled of a thick, heavy woodsmoke worse than the day we were evacuated. Mr. Vixen was in the kitchen getting coffee and I said WTH? He said, don’t go outside. I did anyway. The smoke was thicker than at any time during this entire ordeal. Cousin It went to town to get a mask for his daughter, Krackers. All day the helicoptors passed back and forth above our house with full buckets of water. I called Nannygoat to tell her we could not carve pumpkins here tonight because the air quality was too bad for the babies.

Then God smiled on me. He sent some gray clouds my way from the ocean. This blew some smoke away. Nannygoat came up with the babies and Ladybug got on the trampoline. And it started raining. RAIN. Not hard, not a lot. But RAIN.

I think its going to be ok. I think I might have some kind of post traumatic stress disorder because I couldn’t force myself to leave the property today to go to the store for food (we had none), but I feel so hopeful right now. Never in my life has rain smelled so good.

Those of you who have been reading know that we just moved a few months ago from a house we lived in for 10 years. I did a post about it here where I talked about our times and memories there. My son, Macdougal, did a lovely video montage using only pictures taken in that house at the same time. In the video are a few of the kids friends who also live in that neighborhood. Thanks and praise to God, that their homes were all saved, unlike the other 24 on our street. I want to share with you all the lovely video. Also Nannygoat, Bear, Macdougal, Mr.Vixen, Lloyd and Fishboy went over to the old house yesterday to see for themselves and to hug our friends. I wanted to see, but I did not want to do it in person yet. I know we are very lucky that we had moved and all our stuff was not on there. We did not lose everything like so many hundreds did. But I am moved and saddened. During the fires four years ago, we also evacuated and we did not get anything out but the house stood and sheltered us for another four years (in fact four years ago today those fires started-or yesterday, I am not sure what day it is yet). I pray for all the victims of this tragedy and my heart goes out to them. Please click The Good Times Are Killing Me link below and see what a great time that home gave us. (Thanks to Nannygoat for the picture work and to Macdougal for having made the video)

The Good Times Are Killing Me

All the pictures in that video were taken in our home (or in the backyard/front)
Here is it before:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And after:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

where the fish pond used to be out back

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

oven

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railing into dining room

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We are home at our house. We got here about 7:30pm last evening. I was exhausted. We are spending the morning unpacking and cleaning up the mess while giant water carrying helicopters launch from a nearby staging area. Still battling the blazes.

I had thought I would sleep better, but ever fews hours my brain starting screaming in my head that my nose was smelling smoke. Then I had to get up and verify that everything just smells like smoke in the house and that it is not new smoke.

I will start working on the epic that was our journey, complete with many, many pictures.  After I do 700 loads of laundry and vacuum and sweep and rake and…..