One woman’s quest to make sense of a nonsensical world after losing her dream home and all her worldly possessions to a raging and sudden wildfire. Exploring the existence of God, our cultural discomfort with grief, what it means to be human as well as life in a 1967 Airstream trailer, Kristen Moeller shares her humanity, her spirit and her dark edge openly for herself as well as for the countless others who beg to be heard in their wild journey through this wacky world.
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A little grubby here, go sell sparkle somewhere else…

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In the last few days, my shitter overflowed, then clogged, then clogged again.  I ran out of propane while cooking a burger, ran out of gas in the generator which then kills the internet, spilled gas everywhere trying to re-fill the tank.  The dogs are filthy, there is dirt everywhere and I discovered that a very large rodent is living with us.  And, then last night, just as I was ready take a hot birdbath and finally get clean, the water ran out….  and I still say I LOVE living in Flame.
Flame is my home.  I may be an adventurer, but I seek the comfort of home.  Last night I stayed at Jessica’s and woke this morning to the faces (and noises) of her sweet girls.  I played kiss the chubby hands with Chloe something I was inspired to do, then the commands came sharply from her, “do it again, do it again, do it again.”  I obey an obligatory order when I hear it and salute her demanding Aries nature.  Cassidy loves Roscoe and giggles as he leans his weight against her in her Snow White dress.  I am doing my heaps of laundry here today, taking a stand up shower (that’s right!) and after my therapy session in downtown Evergreen, I will return to host my radio show on Jessica’s reliable Internet. 
Yesterday, I did what I said I would do and wrote my “Introduction” then sent it to Ellen.  It wasn’t as painful as I anticipated.  Yes, not much is… it’s the sitting through the discomfort that is painful.  This re-write is a monumental task, but with partnership and support, I am getting excited about it.  And, I need to keep working on it as it will certainly not write itself as I rest on my laurels.  This I know to be true.  The sun is out again today after yesterday’s drizzle.  Colorado can’t quite make up her mind.  It’s bloody hot one day, then rainy, then cool and crisp.  Each day brings a new surprise.  Just like life in Flame.  I texted David periodically about the unfolding of events and he kept inquiring, “you still like camping?”  I texted him how happy I was to drink a cup of peppermint tea with cream, how unhappy I was to have a handiwipe bath, how happy I was to write in the quiet of the morning, how unhappy I was to see the sap stuck to Tigger’s fur…  The answer to the question, yes, I still like camping.
I love my cozy little home that’s perfect for one person, pushes it with two and is over the top with two big dogs.  I still love it.  I like having less.  I bought 3 bowls yesterday and David now concerned said, “don’t start accumulating stuff…”  It’s funny.  Three bowls and that seems like accumulation.  I never ever want as much stuff as we had before.  Never, ever, ever, ever.  You hear me?  With my now limited (previously abundant) wardrobe, I stall when the weather pulls its tricks like last night.  Going to a concert, it is raining and cold, whatever do I wear?  Most of my wardrobe is from consignment and I have a pretty decent rotation – but the cold, rainy attire stumps me.  I layered in things that didn’t match at all, put my greasy hair in a pony tail (no shower, remember?), washed the front of my bangs with a bottle of water, took a handiwipe and astringent “bath”, put on my muddy flip flops and headed out the door.  I have to admit; I made a quick stop at the mall and bought a brick red sweater shawl at Saks discount store which was already half off and another half off due to a sale.  $30 bucks later, I felt a little more presentable and threw on some overly clumping mascara before getting out of the car.
When Jessica and I attended the 4-Mile Canyon fire survivor meeting the first week after our fire, we “met” a bearded man who had what appeared to be ash all over his face.  Puzzled, I inquired to another attendee.  “Is that ash? Or does he have some sort of birth mark on his face?”  “He has questionable hygiene…”, was the response.  It simply occurred as odd at the time, but I have to tell you that I now understand.  Somewhat anyway.  I feel like wearing my dirt around.  I care less about my blackened soles and greasy hair.  My jeans have greasy soot spots and I don’t let it get to me.  I do preserve some of my princess heels, I must say.  Don’t want to track through the dirt in my one pair of Jimmy Choos for sure.  They are packed safely away from the grime.  Yet, feeling a little grubby feels a little normal.  I actually forgot to brush all my teeth before heading out too.  Jessica called as I was beginning to brush and I simply forgot to return to the task.
Even dirty, I had fun with Marny seeing our favorite band EVER the all-vocal rock band Face.  Nothing can bring a cheer to my heart than hearing these cute boys sing.  I have my all-time favorites and then wage an internal battle of “now, this one’s my favorite, no, that one is…”  Last night they played some Face classics like “Calling All Angels” (major swoon) and newer in the Face repertoire, Forest singing “Standing Outside the Fire”.  I think I have expressed my deep adoration of Garth Brooks and of course I dig the fire metaphor so this takes last nights experience over the top.  Unfortunately, I was fumbling for my video on my phone so was distracted for much of the beginning of the song.  They finished with “The River Runs Slow” a gorgeous song that showcases each of the 6 of them in all their glory.  David and I saw Face for his birthday almost 2 months ago and a mere 5 days before the fire.  Last night, I kept checking in with myself to see if this felt weird.  A familiar experience, Face at Nissi’s playing many of the same songs at a time when our lives were moving along on their projected track – and a mere two months later, me oily and dirty at the same venue with my life looking nothing the same.  I couldn’t generate any weirdness, just a nice evening with Marny, good food, and me, a little sleepier than I normally am at a Face convert.
I may not want to stay dirty forever.  I am certainly going to enjoy the stand up shower I am about to take.  I am happy to hear my 2nd load of laundry clumping around in Jessica’s machine.  When I put my clean bedspreads back tonight, I am most likely not gonna want the dogs to lie there immediately.  Probably by tomorrow morning, I will soften.  I will sweep out Flame for David’s arrival tonight.  I will wipe down the counters as I don’t like dirt to accumulate there.  Tomorrow, we will kindly ask the rodent to move out in the form of a steel snap around his little furry neck (sorry).  If you are a rodent in Flame, it is war.
We are mountain people.  We are living on the land and with the land.  We are dirty.  We are raw.  We are moody, like the Colorado weather.  We stink sometimes.  We could use a good scrub both externally and in the dark chambers of our souls.  We often forget to brush our teeth, although I never forget to scrub behind my ears.  I do draw the line at clean underwear.  This is of extreme importance.  Other things I can let slide.  We don’t aspire to sparkly clean right now.  That would feel false.  We are in a newly added stage of the grief process called “Grubby”.  So, to butcher one of my favorite lines from “As Good as it Gets” with Jack Nicholson, “go sell sparkle somewhere else, we are all stocked up here”.
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4 Responses

  1. Tanya Buck says:

    Kristin, this post made me smile; it’s so perfect! Thanks for sharing, you rock, girl! Want to go for a ride someday? Need those grass seeds yet? Anything I can offer you and David, and the dogs? We have a pond nearby–your sooty canines could become pond puppies and you could add the special pleasure of THAT aroma to Flame’s interior. Ha! Thanks for sharing all of this, it’s inspiring!

    • Yes ride!!!! Will you come drag me by the hair if we don’t do it in the next month? Please???? Grass seeds, not quite. Pond puppies!!! Excellent plan. I love your darkness too 😉

  2. Lauren Byrne says:

    Glitter girl with a tutu, smudged nose, holding a pair of Jimmy Choos in one hand and a couple of dog leashes in the other:)

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