Monday, May 16, 2011

You Won't Believe This, at Heart and Home

Hello everyone, I realize it's been a long time...
I will admit,
since my Dad passed away in September
working on Heart and Home had become
difficult for me.
I felt like I had run out of things to write about,
and lost interest in  DIY projects.
I was down in the dumps,
depressed and uninspired. 

After my trip to Austria and Hungary things started looking up.
I was feeling a little better,
ready to start working on projects again,
ready to begin fresh with new ideas.
I was getting excited to plunge in, and pull out the spray paint!

I'm still processing what happened to us near the end of March.
Daily, I remind myself
to stop and count my lucky stars.
Because, it really could have been much worse.
This has been really difficult.
We are all shook up.
And sometimes, we are still in disbelief.

During a particularly nasty rain storm,
while I was in the kitchen
 preparing my first cup of tea
(you know how I love my tea!)
determined to do nothing on that stormy day but
nurse my very sore back
and read
and relax,
and take it very easy all day,
suddenly out of nowhere
I heard a very loud crash of thunder.
Which was weird,
because we don't get thunder around here.

So, I was a bit puzzled.
Turns out, the sound I heard was the sound of
one of the trees on our property,
a 100' tall,
 5' diameter, giant Douglas fir, 
as it came crashing down into our house,
just missing me by a few teeny, tiny feet.

This is what happened to our home:

The entire thing was split in two.
Right down the middle,
all the way from end to end.

 Our outdoor patio,
which we used for entertaining and dining,
and reading and relaxing,
no longer exists.
It was smashed to smithereens.
Almost everything on it was smashed flat.

The living room, dining room, entry, hall,
guest bath, family room, office, stairs
 and the entire downstairs
where our bedrooms, sewing room and bathrooms are located
(including my "favorite spot")
were either structurally destroyed,
 or severely water damaged.

 This is a view from the side door,
looking back through the hall into the entry.

The wood planks used to be part of our cathedral ceiling.
That is the roof on the floor of my dining room.

Almost every piece of furniture,
and a great number of our books,
and the pretty decorative items,
 and many of my favorite things
were destroyed.

Projects I had worked hard on over the years,
many that I shared with you here,
(including my favorite bookcase, and the slipcovered chair)
are gone now,
thrown away in a big dumpster.

Within minutes after the tree fell,
Local firefighters and officers from the sheriff's department 
were on the scene.
They are amazing heroes,
and quickly rescued a very frightened Maggie,
who had been hiding beneath some furniture.
There was a very joyful reunion between the two of us.

The firefighters rescued all my photo albums,
and many of our cherished framed photographs,
 and the important files.
All without me uttering a word to them,
or even knowing what they were doing.
They found my purse, and my keys,
and they knew just the right things to say to me.
 Brave, calm, and kind,
they worked in the dark, in the pouring rain
to save what they could.
I will be forever grateful to them.

Immediately, three media vans descended onto our property.
Reporters and photographers
prowled the grounds,
looking for the best angle,
peering in the windows,
and interviewing the neighbors,
while I sat at the house next door,
shaking and in shocked disbelief.
The destruction of our home was big news that night, and the next day.
Photographs were in the newspaper again, just last week.

When this happened, my husband was out of town, on a business trip.
He Googled "downed tree house storm"
 and, not even ten minutes after I called him,
he saw the pictures of our mangled house on his I-pad,
on his way to the airport in Budapest.

After a few days, the weather changed dramatically,
and we began the long process of accessing the damage,
determining the losses,
and getting ready to rebuild.

Things are moving very slowly.
The tree is gone, and so are two others that scared us.
A giant tarp on a temporary frame
protects the interior from further water damage.
There is a lot of paper work to complete.
It's a lot to take in, and at times hard to comprehend.

We are thinking this through carefully,
and, after living almost a month in a hotel
we are getting settled temporarily,
into a rented house that is not our home.
But it will become one to us in time.

The Cecil Brunner roses on the front arbor
 were just starting to bloom when this happened.
They will bloom again next year around this time,
when we move back into our rebuilt house.

In the meantime,
I'm thankful to still be here,
to have celebrated another birthday with my family,
to have been given the chance to live my life the best that I can,
and to be able to see the beauty amidst the destruction,
in what was once our home,
 and will be again.

Thank you for stopping by today,
I appreciate your visit!!
I will keep you updated on any new developments.
I hope you will check back in with me now and then.
Until next time,

linked to Susan's A Southern Daydreamer, for Outdoor Wednesday,
and at the Wednesday party at A Beach Cottage. Thanks!