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Silver Lining in a Dark Ash Cloud

Well, we finally got pictures of our house.

As you can see, there’s not much left.  The picket fence was outside of the grass lawn that was around the front and side of the house.

There used to be a couple of storage sheds to this side, and my husbands truck is crispy, too.

It is sobering to look at – so little remains.  But, we are OK.  We will continue to be OK.  Our friends and families have rallied around us and we are humbled and overwhelmed with the generosity both of people we know and those that we don’t know.  There are positive parts to all of this – the opportunity to become truly “minimalist”.  The opportunity to find out who our friends really are.  The moment of clarity when having to make decisions on what material goods are truly important to us.

We are struggling with insurance right now… The county officials have yet to make it in to our neighborhood, despite it being the first evacuated on Sunday, the first burned, the first….  They say due to active fires in the area still.  Pockets of unburned fuel are igniting still and… Until the officials make it to our house and declare it officially gone and put our address on the official list … we don’t get much insurance money.  It is extremely frustrating.  We spent the day shaking and beating the government trees, calling in favors from people we hadn’t talked to in a year (who were much better connected politically) and still…

But, we have a deposit on an RV here in San Antonio where we are staying.  We have a week to get the money from insurance that we need to buy it.  We had added a rider to our policy that provides money for living expenses should we be displaced from our home – it will pay for the RV.  If you don’t have this on your policy, I highly recommend it!

Rosie is struggling with all of this.  Bedtimes are hard.  She keeps saying that she wants to sleep in her bed at home.  I finally told her that our house has an “owie” and that is why we’re staying at her aunts house.  She did not like my answer, but seems better about it today.  She has more than enough clothes right now, and we’re working on the toys.   She will be OK.  Plus, our future RV doesn’t have much storage space anyways!

As of now, 35,000 acres have burned in this fire alone.  It is, as of Friday night, still only 40% contained.   Electric utility officials told us today (when we were shaking the tree) that though right now, the destroyed home total is only 1,300 or so, it will reach at least 2,000 by the time this is all done.

And the best news of the week… the weather guys are now telling us that La Nina, who caused this horrible drought this summer, she is back for the next year.  It is so very discouraging to face another year like this after what we have been through this past week.

Please keep Bastrop, Texas in your thoughts and help out if you can.  I will be talking about emergency readiness and planning in the coming weeks, and maybe some tips on not procrastinating, too!

Thank you for all of your support… Love ya!


14 responses »

  1. Danielle Vickers

    I am so sorry for your loss. We live near Dallas, and pray the fires don’t happen here. When in the midst of difficult times, I always stop and say to myself, “And this too shall pass”. May your laundry once again flutter in calm breezes!

  2. I have a stash of fabric ready for you. It isn’t a very big box, since you won’t have much space, but sometimes being able to do a normal activity helps. I even have a couple pieces that should help your little one smile. Let me know when you are ready for it to be sent.
    Prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. God bless and keep you and your family. I have hook-ups for your new RV at my cabin in a rural mountain village 100 miles north of L.A. in CA. Hugs, Linda Shirley

  4. Jeannie,
    It is truly “mind stopping” to look at not only your property but of the area. Looking back, you begin to think about things that could have been done to prevent or minimize this. Getting a reality check on “things” is an adjustment all of us should probably experience at some point in our lives. I’ve felt this, to some degree, every time we’ve moved and down sized (which has been alot). All that being said, our hearts are with you and will help any way we can. Right now, I going to hang out my laundry, reaching into my absolutely perfect and beautiful vintage clothes pin bag and hug you with each peg I put up! Peace and grace to you during this difficult time! Cheryl

  5. My heart is breaking right now. I have kept you in my prayers since seeing your post as you were evacuating. Your attitude is amazing and that shows what a strong person you are. I will continue to pray for you and your family.
    X di

  6. Big (((((hugs))))) all around. It’s devastating how much damage has happened. I’ll keep you & your family in my prayers as you begin the process of moving forward.

  7. What a terrible time you must have had. I hope your little girl comes to terms with it quickly and you can get back to finding a ‘normal’ life again. Best wishes.

  8. Keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Hoping your little one finds more peace each day.

  9. Seeing the photos … I am so sorry! It’s such a huge loss. Wow. I got choked up about your “minimalism” comment, given our recent conversation about that, where we both admitted to being rather attached to our pretty things. But you’re right. They are just things. This is a very traumatic way to be reminded of that, but it is true. You and your family are in my thoughts. Big, big hugs, Inder.

  10. It is so inspirational to hear the ways in which you can find the silver lining in this horrible situation and start the process of moving forward! Incredibly so.

    And watch out – you’d be surprised just how much stuff you *can* fit in an RV… I’m amazed at how much my Airstream is currently holding… and camper living can be kind of fun 🙂

  11. I have no words… I am praying for you and your family… you are clearly a strong woman and you will come through this but burns do leave scars.. praying that you quickly cut through the red tape and are able to get the help you need… blessings…

  12. Hi! Found your lovely blog via Inder’s site. I am so very sorry for all you have lost, but so happy to hear that your family made it out safely. I hope things get back to normal as soon as possible! Oy vey. Prayers for you and yours and all the good folks suffering through this right now. Ug.

    I look forward to buying one of your lovely clothlespin bags when all is sane and stable again. If only I had a magic wand to make it all better. :\

  13. We spent 15 months living in our travel trailer! If you can think of anything we can do to help…little or big…even though we’re strangers!…please let me know. Clothes, travel trailer living tips, food, anything!

    Will think of you every time I’m at the clothesline….

  14. Just getting caught up on your blog and am so sorry to hear about the loss of your home. Glad that everyone is alive, how scary. Keeping your family and neighbors in my prayers.


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