We have only just begun…

My new morning routine seems to be getting up before the sun (even though I REALLY want to sleep more), making my coffee (finally bought a new French press – and it’s red), sipping it in the one favorite mug I carried out with me, and writing my experience.  I wonder if I will run out of words to describe the various twists and turns in this uninvited adventure.  And, I beg your forgiveness in advance if I repeat myself.  Not only am I sleep deprived, but my memory capability is seriously diminished.  “CRS” they say (Can’t Remember Shit J).  And, I know, it’s to be expected.
Besides missing the big thing (my house), I miss the little things.  My little creature comforts or even just basic essentials.  Thank God I have a cuticle trimmer as I am seeming to bite my cuticles more than ever…  But where is my clear nail polish, my sunscreen, my small strainer to drain the coffee grinds, the silver spoons that fit just the right amount of agave for my coffee? Where is my favorite chapstick, my paddle brush, my supply of gold hair elastics?  Where are my delicate laundry bags to wash my bras, my favorite pair of socks, my other slipper?  Where is my purple hat my dad gave me, my wooly scarf I wore even in the summer?  Where is my purple down throw I snuggled with in my living room?  Where is my body shop lotion that they stopped making, my leopard flower vase, my angel cards?  Where is the soap stone box that David gave me, the puppy picture of Jaxson, my hiking boots?  Where is my Blendtec blender with which I kept up with my necessary vegetable consumption, my new green protein powder from Whole Foods, my huge supply of almond butter, my mint tea?  Where are my sweatpants, my leopard gloves (hear a theme?), my Bose sound dock?   
In the early morning hours, my mind runs through all these questions.  I worry I won’t remember an item that we have to include on our “inventory list”.  I carry notebooks (new ones) everywhere; I use my voice recorder on my iPhone (which of course made it out with me!).  We are beginning to fill out the spreadsheet with the “What/How much/When” descriptions…  It is a daunting task.
Things pop in my mind at crazy times.  In the vegetable aisle during my first trip to Safeway after the fire, I thought of my blue plastic q-tip holder (probably from Target a long long long time ago), and I completely lost it.   Hysterically sobbing, bent over at the waist, David simply pet my head.  I recovered, then lost it again one aisle over.  After telling this story to a few friends, my goddess friend Dusty bought me q-tip holder filled with q-tips.  I treasure it.  She said she wandered the store for an hour trying to think of what to get me, all the while carrying this simple plastic holder.  She thought, towels, pillows, something, what, what what should she get me… She left with only the q-tip holder.  I love my new q-tip holder.  I don’t want towels, or anything bigger.  We have no place to put anything.  We don’t want to accumulate anything right now.  We don’t know where we are going to live, where we will be, if we will re-build.  We don’t know anything.  I can carry my q-tip holder with me.  I can get out fast with it if I need to.
Will I ever want more than can fit in the back of my car with my 2 big dogs and cat?  Not right now, I don’t.  I do miss my brand spanking new leather couch – and my previously mentioned leopard chaise.  I miss my sleep number bed, as does my back, which continues to go out even after massages, and chiropractic visits.   Yes, I know, lower back issues symbolize lack of support…  Yet, we are not lacking support right now, fer shure.  We are supported, held, loved and adored by our community.
So many people have offered places to stay.  We could probably house hop for a year – yet putting down even a small root will be an important part of our healing process.
People from my past have been coming out of the woodwork and offering things.  Tanya Buck, whom I haven’t seen in years, found us a gate to secure our property – and left me the book “The Art of Racing in the Rain” after reading my blog post saying I missed that book.  Jodi and Jesse King sent us a small office supply kit and gift certificates to REI and Target.  Hans and Dania Guth sent us more gift certificates.
Kim Nilson knitted me a lovely scarf which I wore as protection during the first clean up.  Someone else gave me a bunch of Mary Kay lotion.  Sheila Kelly gave me a faux sheepskin vest of hers that I had coveted.  I know I am not remembering all the gifts (remember “CRS”!)  Please forgive me if I don’t mention you! A group of friends banded together and gave me a pedicure, manicure, some cash and something else for my birthday (did I mention my birthday was last week – happy birthday to me!).  The Meehan’s threw me a party and had cake.  The group Face recorded a video of them singing to me and sent it!  Marny Danneburg paid for some massages, Dr. Braun gave me a free adjustment, Janna Moll gave me a free (and much needed) Energy work session, Rick at TLC Automotive in Pine Junction replaced my front wheel baring for FREE (!), Sean DeGroat is getting us posts for our new gate, Megan & Charlie Cook spoiled us at IKEA.  Friends have been babysitting us, doing sleep overs and spending time during the day.  The list goes on and on and on…
And, people who know and love us as well as those that don’t have been sending us money.  That was a hard one at first.  People kept asking how they could support us financially.  During the early days, we declined.  Then we saw the pile of rubble that once was our home; and then we read our insurance policy and realized its limitations…  We said yes.  We are saying yes to support.
We received a sweet $5.00 donation from someone whose name we can’t pronounce – someone in a far off land, or here in the good old US of A.  We don’t know cause we don’t recognize the name… High school classmates whom I haven’t seen in years are donating, my Rejuvenate community (where I did my business training last year) has been rallying, David’s co-worker donated $250.  A fellow Landmark graduate donated $1000 on the second day of this ordeal.  It’s wild.
People keep reminding us that we have done the same for others, that people want to contribute somehow.  We are blown away and we keep saying yes.
The willingness to give in life also must balance with the willingness to receive.  I have always given to causes I care about, funded my non-profit myself for a few years, offered support, sponsored a child in Africa, volunteered at our local school.  We have given clothes and household items to Goodwill and other shelters.  I have given gifts to friends in need or just because.
Yet, receiving challenges everything.  Even writing about the dollar amounts received during this is challenging.  We don’t (in our oh-so polite society) like to talk about money.  It is not couth.  It is not done.  This unexpected transformation of our life is altering everything.  I am giving up being “proper”.  I refuse to be bound by my limitations.  I am allowing this fire to transform who I was – into a new, more raw, more mature, more worldly version of me.  My coach from Rejuvenate Training, the lovely and oh-so talented and generous Megan Walrod, had a dream and described me in this way:
“I am in a Rejuvenate workshop. I see Kristen standing up in front of a row of her classmates, sharing HER story of this past couple of weeks. She looks different. Her hair is light brown. Her denim jeans are scruffed. She has been through the fire and lived to tell about it. She’s more vulnerable. Turned inside out. And stronger. There is a wilder streak in her that wasn’t seen or known or present before, either. She’s animated and yet, there is a stillness, a rootedness, that is new as well.”
My response to her, “I like it all, except maybe for the brown hair…” But who knows?  When we release attachments, who really knows.  Transformation is in the air.
We have been graced and blessed with people sending love, giving their precious time, donating money, sending gift certificates, writing notes and letters.  We are brimming with gratitude.  It is impossible to feel alone in this process.   Thank you for your love.  Thank you for your words.  Thank you for the gift of your time, your money, your thoughts and words.  Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts and souls.  Because of you, we will emerge from the ashes.
4 Comments
  • Karen May
    Posted at 16:08h, 10 April Reply

    Kristen, have been following your story and getting to know you better through your words. Although we spent time together in a year-long course, I don’t remember ever having a conversation with you. So as a writer you give me the gift of knowing your insides through an “ordeal” such as this. I want to thank you for being willing to share and be vulnerable. Your courage creates that possibility for all of us.

    • Kristen Moeller
      Posted at 19:30h, 05 May Reply

      Thank you Karen. I appreciate that. I am FINALLY getting back to reading all the comments. I have them saved for encouragement in my email folders but haven’t written back on most of them until now. I am grateful that you reached out. Thank you for reading!

  • Shaya Mercer
    Posted at 17:37h, 10 April Reply

    You are so inspiring! Thank you for the gift of your blog every morning in my inbox – it’s now a part of my morning routine. It’s moving and heart opening and such a rich reminder to not take anything for granted. Not even q-tips. Love you!

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