Coming up for air

Literally.  It seems that the stuff in a fire extinguisher, and several were used, works by sucking the oxygen out of the air.  So not only was the basement missing oxygen but every single thing was covered with fire extinguisher dust, smoke dust, and then the dust of a decade of a never cleaned law office.  The insurance company sent in three women to clean this horror show of a wreck room.  Bottles of white out, pens, envelopes, 10 years of boxes of software, 5″ floppy disks, books books books.  A nightmare.

My brother, who arrived Wednesday night, and I have been cleaning out the garage for 2 days.  Four big loads in a huge rented pickup truck later, we are still not done.  Two to the dump, don’t think for a minute that throwing things in a landfill makes me anything but miserable, and two trips to our local thrift store.  He’s not had any sleep and I seem to have caught a cold.  This afternoon we will tackle it again.  Some of the boxes I’m sorting go back to junk mail from 1997.  OMG.   I can’t even begin to illustrate the clutter and packratedness.

On the flip side, it’s super good to have my brother here.  Together we can do what alone would have done us in.

This is not us but it was the photo that closest resembled what we’re dealing with…

Add in six trunks full of everything from great art paper to coffee tins full of nails plus 2 kayak racks, 10 boxes of various poisonous chemicals, baskets galore, and perhaps one box of stuff we’re keeping and well, *sob* and yet  *woohoo!*

The fire has catalyzed some serious action.  The faux ceiling in the bathroom is down and we are hiring an electrician to take care of that fire hazard that is our lighting asap.  Also, it looks like I’m going to be able to move into the basement finished rooms and have basically my own apartment with a shared kitchen upstairs.  That won’t happen overnight but it will happen in the next couple months and I’m pretty excited about getting my stuff out of storage and having something that looks like my life back in this area.  I’ve been living in a 10×10 room that is really like living in a hotel room for a year now.  It will be a year March 7th.  I’m really done with this and hope that I get to have some say in the paint color.

We did find a box of silver coins from 1883 – 1964.  None of them appear to be of much value for their dates or their condition but I’m going to sell them for their melt value.  Tons of furniture is going to be sold and what doesn’t sell is going to the thrift store or the dump.  It has to be done, there is no choice.  And most of this has to happen before Monday at 5pm.  Bro’s flight home leaves Tuesday morning.  What a champ he’s been and thank god for his force of nature presence in this project.

My parents are a little bewildered and stressed over this whole thing as one can well imagine but they have been very, very brave and let us make most of the decisions for them.  They’ve stayed away for the most part and just let us muscle our way through and they are to be commended because they simply couldn’t do it themselves and this is painful for them.  They are embarrassed, ashamed, and relieved.

See you all later next week when the work is done, bro has flown home, and I’m working on a cool project that is mine and perhaps in a space where I can actually work on larger projects.  We are healing from the trauma of 30 years of shame and the horror that is a wild fire in your home.

P.S.  My camera stopped functioning. About 6 months ago my brother sent my dad a camera but it has never been used.  Bro saw that Dad will never be able to use it because it’s the part of dad’s brain that has left.  The figure it out part.  I have a new camera just like that.  *snap*  Thank you thank you.

I cleaned out my mom’s office, which was like the photo above all by myself and bought a new twin memory foam mattress so that Bro had a decent place to stay. He said he would have been royally pissed to have to spend $1000 to stay in a hotel for a week simply because there is so much clutter no one can move.

I’ve been working extremely hard, physically and mentally this entire week, and I am sore as hell but I’m pretty impressed at how my body is taking this.  Any one would be sore after inactivity but I was worried about my fibromyalgia and I feel pretty darned good all in all.

And I haven’t had a period in 8 weeks!  WOOHOO!   No migraines, no cramps, no pms, happy camper here.

4 thoughts on “Coming up for air

  1. Wow, sounds like things are really moving along fast in the right direction. Wonderful! Can only imagine the amount of work involved, but it must feel good to be making such huge progress.

    And getting your own downstairs digs! Congrats! Talk about the fire being a blessing in disguise. Glad your brother is there to help and support you.

  2. I’m glad to hear that you are not alone in dealing with this, and that your brother is being so very helpful and supportive. I’m sending strengthening kindly thoughts your way..((here, catch…)) and hopefully at the end of all this effort will be a safer and simpler home for all of you! And a space of your own…how very cool!

  3. Holy smokes! I haven’t checked in on your blog for a while, and I can’t believe you’ve been living an episode of hoarders on top of the scary fire! There is so much luck in what happened, you and your family are truly blessed. I know you are at a crossroads and hopefully this crazy week will lead you to something new and wonderful… and possibly a cute fireman…

    My heart and blessing go out to you and your family – may you all find the strength and will to do what must be done and prevent it from ever happening again.

    Slainte mhor,

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