Fire Update

This is an update of what’s going on with the fire and my family’s situation.

First of all, the response from people out there has been amazing. Many friends have called me up and almost everyone from town has stopped by offering help or bringing toddler toys for Kennedy, my niece. Added to this are the great people that I know from the blogs who are emailing and telling me their thoughts. More on them later though.

Yesterday we talked to our contractor and architect and they are probably going to tear down the rest of the structure, down to the foundation maybe, and start over again. In the meantime my parents are deciding between renting a house in the area or getting a trailer put on the property. They decided that it would be best for me to take over my grandparent’s old house which has not been used since last year. This requires a great deal of running around as it is completely empty.

After a day I feel very much the same as I did before. I am always thinking about how I’d like to streamline or how I shouldn’t really feel like I need the things that I do own. So I am seeing this more as an opportunity to do things right the next time around and focus more on that which enriches my life and mind, as opposed to just providing some convenience and minute satisfaction at purchase time. This seems to be the consensus amongst my parents as well, but of course it is a very unfortunate way to go about doing it.

I’m not worried at all about getting by however. Our insurance policy is very good and we have hired a insurance claim lawyer to make sure things work smoothly and to our benefit. We have so much family in the area that we’ll get by just fine. And on top of this, I have all these great friends who care. So, don’t feel like you should put money in Lisa’s PayPal fund–although it’s a great thought.

Blogospheric Response

One person emailed and told me about what I wrote made their day much brighter. You see, they had a big problem at work and it seems as though they suggested that they had been fired or something to that effect. They told that reading my story made them realize what they should really be happy for and care about–what can be gone and replaced in an instant and what really lasts. This remark was made be many who thought it would be “trite”, “annoying”, or “cliché” to say though. I think that this sort of thing only becomes “trite” when a true feeling becomes repeated ad nauseum in bad movies and terrible books. People really are what counts.

Dan was reminded about how he should prepare for a fire. As did Jacob Martin.

Bob Stepno was a bit weirded out that Google put advertisements for smoke alarms and fire extinguishers on the bottom of the page.

Boston Common tried to push out the story. As did Dave Winer. And Cory Doctorow.

Grant Henninger remarked on how strange it is that we feel close to those that we interact with on the Internet. I feel the same. It’s very nice though. Some of the best introductions I’ve had in my entire life have been made as a result of blogging.

Doug Miller points out a spooky coincidence:

I’m glad to hear that everyone is alright. Jay is sounding philosophical about his lost stuff, but this still has to suck.

In a spooky coincidence, we had a severe storm here yesterday, as well. At one point, there was a lightning strike so close that we actually heard the sizzle of the electricity prior to hearing the boom of the thunder. We scrambled around, checking things, trying to make sure nothing had been shorted out or was on fire. Not more than a minute afterwards, I opened up Net News Wire and there was Jay’s post about his home being struck by lightning.

Counting Sheeps remarked on the sound of the thunderstorm that same night.

Last night for the first time in my life I now know what they meant when the used to tell children that the angels were bowling when a thunderstorm passed through.

It literally sounded like a ball hitting a wooden floor and rolling for a distance and then a final crack at the end like the pins had been hit by a perfect strike and scattered down the hole.

For a girl who *loves* thunderstorms it was spectacular. It went around and around for about a half an hour. They seemed to call back and forth from west to east and then one from the north and then around again.

Julie Leung relates her experience of a fire and I join her in saying, Thank God I have all these great friends who are alive and well.

The closest I’ve come to something like this happened when our van caught fire last summer. I remember calling Ted from my cell phone to tell him “The van is on fire.” Yes, I tried to say it as calm as I could. I did feel mostly calm. But it was strange. Strange to stand there on the sidewalk with Abigail and watch our van burn. Strange to wonder what would have happened if I had kept my head turned a few moments more or decided to keep driving despite the smoke. Strange to think how easily our lives could have ended in an ordinary way, while driving the van to the grocery store with my little girl. Abigail still talks about it. For a while she and her sister would point to pictures in the newspaper saying “This is what we’re going to buy when our new van catches on fire…”

Later, Julie also wrote about friendship:

A commercial for AAA came on the air. It was supposed to be funny. It was supposed to be about friendship. In the ad, one friend offers to another that if his car breaks down, he’ll pick him up. But then, this friend makes multiple excuses why he isn’t available…most of the time. AAA then emphasizes that friends aren’t reliable. Friends are flaky. So buy AAA for those tough times.

In the mood I was feeling, this commercial made me mad. What is friendship if you can’t call me in the middle of the night and ask me to pick you up when your car breaks down? What is friendship if it isn’t during the tough times? What are friends for? Is it money that makes a relationship?

Richard Tallent remarked about how a fire was his worst nightmare as a kid.

I couldn’t help but smile just a little when he recounted how he grabbed two things on his way out the door: his pants and his computers. I know I would have done the same thing. Fire insurance could replace almost everything except my “bits” (I’m talking about the computers, not the pants, though both I suppose apply). Family photos, financial records, personal correspondance: we certainly have a lot more of these than 100 years ago. Of course, back then, “fire insurance” meant getting a fire truck to come by rather than being able to replace a house.

Other Linkers

Thanks so much everyone.