2 weeks later
It has been almost 2 weeks since the fires started on October 8th. We know our home is gone despite not being allowed reentry. Some of this is due to the continued search for missing persons, reminding me of how fortunate we are. The other part is due to Hazmat and the electric company needing to ensure safety for residents.
Every time I think of the missing and the now dead, I am saddened and deeply grateful. The fires started at 10pm. They spread rapidly, covering ground faster than any of us could outrun.
We are fortunate for the knock on our door at 2am…
To get out…
That all we lost was our home and earthly possessions.
The wave of emotions over the course of a week or two after such a disaster are funny.
The first 48 hours are pure adrenaline. Living the actual experience, the jump to action the following day, and the lists, lists, and more lists.
The shock continues through the week. Depending on your personality there may be tears, laughter, or quiet. I learned that I am somewhere in between laughter and quiet. I tend to make light of grave situations. It is my coping mechanism. Sometimes inappropriate. Sometimes ineffective. But mine either way.
At other times I just sit quietly. I think the exhaustion of the ordeal sits in and I become an introvert. I don’t answer calls, engage minimally, and just zone. Some might call this depression. They are probably correct.
Waves and stings
Then came Monday. One week out. I went to our new apartment and walked in. We downsized from a McMansion (3100 square feet with a killer view) to a 700 square foot 2 bedroom/1 bath. We are fortunate to have found anything as there was a housing shortage in Santa Rosa before the fire storm. Now with an additional loss of 5% of homes, the situation is much worse.
Still, even with my rational brain telling me we were lucky, my emotions got the better of me. On Monday I felt the loss of our home. It is not so much the possessions, but the community we had built and our home which was a place of many gatherings.
The things are just that, things. But throughout the week there are moments where those things halt you in your track. Like the lost birth photos or the earrings my son picked out as a mother’s day present. Those moments come, stab you, and then leave much like a bee sting.
Now it is Friday and I am exhausted but I see traces of my normal life. Each time it feels normal I take a moment and breathe. I know that in 3 months the new routines will have set in. Will we still be in our current apartment? I am not sure, but we will still be together and that is all that matters.
As for future posts, I am working on a number of ideas from being forced into minimalism to how the insurance process works. If you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know.
Other disaster stories
Finally, Liz at Chief Mom Officer started a blogging chain in support of our recent disaster. Bloggers from all over the country and the web banded together to discuss their history with evacuations and emergency plans. Please check them out below. We are now up to 19 total links.
- Anchor: DadsDollarsDebt – Tubb’s Fire – A Sudden Evacuation
- Anchor Two: Chief Mom Officer – Going Beyond The Emergency Fund-A Harrowing Escape Inspires The Personal Finance Community
- 1: OthalaFehu – Cool As A Cucumber
- 2: The Retirement Manifesto – Am I A Prepper?
- 3: Mrs. Retire to Roots – In Case Of Emergency Follow The Plan
- 4: The Lady In Black – Emergency Preparedness
- 5: The Green Swan – Preparing For The Worst
- 6: Minafi – Minimal Hurricane Preparation
- 7: A Gai Shan Life – Earthquake and disaster preparedness
- 8: The Financial Journeyman – Emergency Preparation: Be Proactive
- 9: John And Jane Doe – Thinking the Worst: Emergency Planning or Fighting the Last War?
- 10: Adventure Rich – Emergency Preparation Up North
- 11: Money Beagle – How Much Would You Replace If You Lost Everything?
- 12: Crispy Doc – Fighting Fire With FI/RE
- 13: She Picks Up Pennies – How Can A Planner Be Unprepared?
- 14: Chronicles Of A Father-Getting Ready for a Natural Disaster
- 15: Rogue Dad MD- Disrupting the Equilibrium
- 16: Unique Gifter-10 Ways To Help Disaster Victims
- 17: SomeRandomGuyOnline-Friday Blog Roundup – Emergency Preparedness Edition
Also published on Medium.