This beautiful painting by Zoe was on the wall in our playroom.
Thank you all so much for your kind wishes, hugs, prayers, meals, gifts and really fabulous hand-me-downs (I love Montclair!). We are so grateful to the wonderful friends who gave us their comfortable third floor for the past month. We are also missing them a little bit now, as we’ve moved into a rental house that is just about two blocks away from our actual house. We feel very lucky, even though the day we moved in here some men in trucks arrived to dig a huge hole in the front lawn in preparation to clean up an oil leak (this originated from the neighbor’s tank which was removed about a year ago). I write this, by the way, to the beat of a jackhammer outside my window. No biggie; it will all be over in a week or two, the guy smoking a cigarette on my porch tells me. Besides, I have to say again, I am so grateful to be here, this close to home. It meant a lot to me that, while we’re waiting to move back (a year from now), our orientation to the town is basically the same as usual. Close to school, close to neighbors, close to the construction, which should begin sometime soon. Zoe is back on her old school bus and both kids are right around the corner from their friends.
This would be more heartbreaking, I think, had our place just burned to the ground with all our stuff inside. Instead, all our stuff is mostly intact, caked with soot, ground through with smoke-stench, but still there. In a strange way, this has given me a chance to say goodbye.
Though the air inside good old 14 Victoria is really not safe to breath, though it is a darkened horror show, full of broken glass and other hazards, every few days, I put on a mask and sneak in to see what treasures I can rescue—a drawing that’s not too charred, an old favorite stuffed animal (I was able to scrub it fairly clean in the machine, though it still smells like smoke), a bra (seriously). My clandestine game of search and rescue is coming to a close soon. The place has been picked over and inventoried and assessed by salvage and content experts one of whom eloquently declared our stuff to be “toast.” Read: not worth trying to salvage. Which we’re now ready to hear I think, ready to move on.
The next stage I think, is demolition. Or something like it. Stay tuned. A phoenix is on the horizon.
My apologies for not blogging much these days, not following much and posting the same thing on FB and WP. It’s not just a case of laziness or being overwhelmed. I am writing, though mostly my book—which is keeping me sane—and limiting the time I spend at the computer. The kids need it more. And me.