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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The smoke lingers

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My ambition in life is to someday be the person my dog thinks I am. Emily Maughan


The last few nights have been rough.  Or more correctly, it’s the mornings that stink.  I seem to be harkening back to the early days and my pattern of waking up at 4am to get an early start on worrying.  My mind races with all that has to be done, isn’t being done, should be done.  All the things I keep forgetting.  The clock is ticking on the insurance paperwork and we are barely making any headway.  We do it in fits and starts and between David’s crazy travel schedule, relocating yet again, and general life busyness, it continues to fall to the wayside.  And, we have initiated the exciting (yes) and daunting (certainly) process of rebuilding.   

We need a home.  It is time to turn burgeoning thoughts into reality and break ground.  We need to have a future to live in to.  We have hired an architect and a builder and are beginning to get bids on our plans.  We hope this can be moving forward while we take our break from Colorado for the month of August.  Planning on being vagabonds through July, away for August, counting on cooler living in September and October when we return to Flame.  Then we will pack up again and go who knows where when the snow starts falling for real until our home is complete.  Read More

Rolling with it

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There is a lot to roll with these days. Panic fills the air as the smoke rises. 911 operators in neighboring counties throughout the state are inundated with midnight calls about the smell of smoke; fire departments are closing rank to protect their own backyards; rumors are flying; tourists are canceling their summer visits to our great state and the governor is attempting to calm the anxiety. Colorado is on fire and not in a good way.

Yes, it is re-traumatizing to those of us who have lost homes and loved ones. Yes, we wince at the latest headlines and cry at yet another tale of woe. Yes, we wonder if it could happen again to us in our rental homes or trailers. Yes, we gather together and look knowingly into each others eyes. Yes, we wish there was more we could do for all those who suffer as we struggle to keep our own heads above water. Yes, we lose sleep and question just what is happening out there in this crazy world. It is rampant. It is impacting thousands of people everywhere. It seems almost everyone knows someone who has lost a home or is evacuated. And, there seems to be no end in site. The weather continues to not cooperate, the soil is drying up, the grass withering. Storms roll through and flash their lightning strikes starting even more fires and leaving no measurable moisture. Read More

Why does the bird sing?

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A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Lou Holtz

I woke up worrying. Or did I start worrying once I woke up. In those early moments before getting out of bed and way before coffee, it’s hard to tell. What I can tell is how my 60 minutes of worrying between eye flutter and first sip of caffeine made me feel. Like poop.

To escape the blistering heat at our lovely trailer, we stayed the last two nights at the Highland Haven in downtown Evergreen. A lovely respite from reality, the Highland Haven is a high-end B&B built around an 1884 homestead. A small river runs along the property, towering spruce provide ample shade, the gardens are tended but not over manicured. Our room is lovely and dark and one might have thought I could have slept in – but oh no, I need to get up early enough to begin my worrying. Well-worn grooves of worry were my focus. Challenging relationships, the heat, fires burning across Colorado our future, where to do the laundry… It wasn’t until I walked back to my room with coffee in hand that it occurred to me that I might choose something else and start the day over. Some of us are slow learners. Read More

A Touch of Grey

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Fires are raging all over Colorado and the West. Smoke clouds fill the sky. With record breaking heat and winds blowing like stink, more and more people across Colorado are being evacuated from various fires and the High Park fire, still growing, is far from contained. Mother Nature is not cooperating one bit.

It might be easy to get discouraged about the state of the State, or the state of the world. It might be easy to slip into the darkness and the funk. Well, yes, I have to say, it is.

California was a lovely break from reality. I realize reality lives there too, but for me over the three days, reality was suspended. Someone cooked for me, I slept in a real bed, showered standing up, flushed the toilet at whim, hung my clothes in a spacious closet – and the best moments were wandering in and out of shops in the California breeze. The weather was perfect; the respite refreshing; the trip worth the trip.Since arriving “home” the past few days have been a bit bumpy – and yes, I have had a relapse and am adding quotation marks again. Yesterday began well. I attended a 6:30am 12-step meeting. The crowd was small and we all had a chance to share. I acknowledged my fragile state of mind coupled with my desire to not be as ‘thrown’ by things as much as I have been. I have to admit, I have been gathering some compelling evidence for things not going exactly my way. Besides the obvious, not much has seemed to “flow”. Last week I drowned my Mac; the troubles continue on the trailer (leaking water pipes, leaking sewage, mouse infestation); then I left my new precious journal on the airplane. And much much more but right now it feels like blah blah blah to write it – and to say it. Read More

A Summer solstice – and sojourn

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The longest day of the year. I think I have had others that have felt longer. But the sun promises to shine longer today than any other day. Maybe I will rise to the challenge and join it. Maybe not. Two sips of coffee in without enough cream to make it just right, I say, it’s too soon to tell. I will certainly enjoy the last few flushes of a modern toilet as I return to Flame whose toilet is, once again, on the fritz. Thank God for Shirley Septic and my now semi-permanent portapotty. I don’t mind it so much during the day (when no workmen are milling around) but those middle of the night pee times that have become status quo of my mid 40’s, well, that’s another story. Pledging to keep the leaking tank empty for our next professional opinion, I will stumble through the dark to my plastic throne – or I may just squat along the way. It’s hard to imagine all of that as I sit on my plush hotel bed a mere eight feet from a fabulous flush. And, yes, one more standup shower for this girl before I return to the seated bird bath. How different tomorrow will be from today. Did you just say ‘at least you are writing regularly again’? I think I heard you say that… Read More

Blogging through Fire

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Day 4 no Mac. Adjustments. Thinking I would waltz into Apple on Monday on my way to the airport and drop off my Mac and purchase the Mac air that I have coveted, instead I was thwarted when the girl with the clip board said, “no appointment, no service”. After a day of record breaking heat in Colorado – and in Flame – and attempting to pack for a trip where the packing instructions were “dress up, dress to shine” all the while wondering why the hell I was leaving, this was a show stopping moment. I crumbled. I couldn’t even bring myself to beg for mercy. I simply turned on a dime and slouched out of the store. David and I had a whamdinger of a fight the evening before on our way back from our lovely reprieve of camping in southern Colorado. Who knows what starts these things. Two tired and stubborn individuals both anticipating traveling the next day, add in a normal case of Sunday blues but ‘on crack’ in our case. He said something, I said something, we began to do the familiar dance. He was sure he was right – and I was convinced I was. Unfortunately neither of us had the perspective to pull out of our nose dive and instead steamed for the rest of the ride home. My steam turned quickly to spiral. A house doesn’t make a marriage but it creates a sanctuary where marriage resides. You already know that our house was a sanctuary to us. Without it, we feel a bit unplugged to say the least. In this particular moment, I felt a cavernous hole where once was our life. Without the house as glue, would we stick? Could we stick? Read More

Mourning my Mac

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Please say a prayer with me this morning for I may have drowned my Mac.  I am attempting not to panic or to think of the hefty price-tag that accompanies such a drowning.  I am attempting not to add it to my list of “one more thing” that isn’t exactly turning in my favor.  I am attempting not to think of the few things that I didn’t save to dropbox but were hanging out on my desktop.  Like the vaporous list of items lost in the fire, I can’t quite recall what was there.  It happened in a foggy moment, I was stumbling to get some airflow in the Airstream, opening a curtain, knocked something with my elbow and it didn’t register quickly enough just what had happened.  It didn’t seem like a lot of water, it coated the bottom of my Mac and I wiped it dry.  But then I opened the lid and a little water was on the inside too.  Again, I really thought it was fine – and my additional early morning errors continued.  I began to attempt to boot it up.  Thinking that the battery was dead, I plugged it in and hit the power button.  Thinking it was in a loop due to a lack of charge, I gave it a few minutes then tried again.  Apparently, that’s the wrong thing to do if your computer gets wet as David told me much too late.  For the first couple attempts, it sounded like a fan was running, then some sort of screen image flashed a few times, then nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.  I should have let it dry out first, perhaps even broken out the hairdryer.  Starting it wet can short the whole system.  Apparently that’s what I have done.  Read More

An Ode to the Fathers

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Life can change in an instant.We know this.And, yet when it happens and we lose someone we love, we know it deeply.Lately, I have watched many people lose their loved ones.I hear their words, read their tales and feel their tears mixed with my own.   When we lose a loved one, we never wish we had said I love you less.We always wish we had said more, listened more, and loved bigger.This Father’s day, let’s acknowledge the dad’s we know – whether they are ours or simply those we observe.Today, go find a dad to love.They are everywhere.Grab one if you have to.Tell him what he needs to hear.Appreciate the heck out of him.And, of course, love your own if you are willing.  
Some of us are lucky and have the best fathers in the world.Others may not consider themselves so lucky.How about for this Father’s day, we celebrate the perfect – as well as the imperfect fathers.Let’s celebrate those that strive to do better as well as those who believe they can never measure up.And, let’s cheer the spirit of what it means to be a father.At it’s core, and whether or not it is “done well”, fatherhood is a miraculous mission.  Read More

Calling all Grapplers!

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Ahhhh.That first cup of coffee.There is nothing like it.Actually, the perfection is in the first sip of the first cup.Yum.I could not, would not, live life without coffee. Today we head south – to southern Colorado, that is.We pack up Flame for her maiden voyage with us – she was born in 1967 so has been on many trips with many people over the years.We only know some about the trips with her previous owners.They shared photos of Flame in front of mesas and great vistas around the desert.Their love apparent through the multitude of shots. I would love to know of all her jaunts around the country.What sights has she seen?Who have been her passengers?What were they like?What were their hopes and dreams as they took to the open road?

Yet instead of packing up, I am sitting here.David knows that I need to write before anything, so he will begin packing and I will join him after.After how long, I don’t usually know.Typically, I sit for about an hour.Settling back in bed, hair in a pony tail, pillows propped up behind me, coffee cup to my side, I position my laptop opening the lid with anticipation of what’s to come, never quite knowing what I will say or who I will be.I have tales to tell and they seem to keep coming.I am going with it.  Read More

It’s the little things. And, sometimes it’s like herding cats

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Like herding cats.  That’s what it feels like as I attempt to sort my thoughts today.  I was given a writing assignment which I gladly said yes to!  Then as I sit down at the keyboard, the anticipation builds…  What will I say?  What will be the words that I knowwill come as they reliably have for the past 58 blog entries.  And what happens?  Nothing.  Nada.  Niente.  Nilch.  And, more of that.

Then I can’t even switch gears and write my blog cause my head has suddenly become filled with crap.  I have to say, I awoke with some crap in my head.  Thank God, I talked with another “home-loser”, the lovely Sharon, and she and I laughed at the ‘murphy’s law’ that seems to be following us around.  Just as she was calling me, she opened the microwave in her rental and the glass plate randomly broke.  My tale?  I picked up my new dress from my trusted tailor to discover that absolutely none of what we talked about had been done.  A relatively simple project, or so it seemed, he was to move the ties around so the dress fit better.  What I ended up with was not that at all – and get this – one of the ties had been removed from the waist area and literally was re-attached to the bottom of the skirt hem, hanging down.  Seriously.  Ummmmm.  I can’t even begin to understand this logic.  In telling my beloved neighbor, she laughed harder than I have ever heard her laugh before which in turn made me laugh instead of continuing down the grumpy path where I was headed all morning.  Then, Sharon proclaimed, “it’s a tail”.  She must be right.  My leopard print dress required a tail.  No other explanation needed.  Hear that, Murphy? Read More