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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Wagging my tail

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On the road again.  We have taken another generous friend up on the offer of a cool basement in which to unpack our bags and rest our weary heads.  We have officially (and temporarily) moved out of Flame.  Turns out the septic issue was bigger than we hoped and she must go to the shop.  Coupled with the extreme heat that sends the dogs into the wrong kind of tailspin, it was just too much.  So here we are at Jessie and Jairo’s where the dogs have been coming for years.  We met this lovely couple many moons ago when they were recommended as the perfect people to watch our house when we travelled – even more importantly, they would treat our dogs as their own and take care of them better than any 4-star doggy daycare ever would. 
Last night over dinner, we reminisced.  Jessie and Jairo have known all our animals, beginning with Jaxson, then Darby and now Roscoe and Tigger – and of course our cats too.  The dogs have stayed here many times and have their routine with the two canine residents.  Now, we have interrupted the routine a bit as they sleep in the basement with us – and we don’t rise quite as early as our hosts who wake before the dawn and are out and about taking dogs to the dog park or on strolls along one of the many fabulous trails that wind through these neighborhoods.  How is it that in the heart of the suburbs there are more trail options than we have in the boonies?  We took second shift dog walking and our two showed us around.  See that tree mama-papa?  We have peed there many times before.  See that squirrel?  He is my nemesis – I must eat him.  Now they lounge in this cool basement as we begin our workday. 
Jessie and Jairo loaned us a wire drawer unit that I am officially in love with.  Unpacking in Flame was such a relief, so moving yet again and living out of bags makes me a bit grumpy to say the least.  This drawer system is amazing.  A garage sale find, it now holds all my pj’s, underwear, bras, shorts and t-shirts.  I had to force myself to share it with David.  I believe it to be the answer to all my problems.  How will I ever say goodbye to it?  We will have this lovely resting place as a home base for the rest of July until we head south, and the dogs will stay here until we return at the end of August.  They have a good life here.  Built in playmates, loving stepparents, room to roam, couches to lie upon, toys to play with – and they can escape the scorching heat.  Again at Flame yesterday, Tigger was not happy.  I soaked him with water a few times but each time he would dry he would obsessively pant and try to locate any patch of shade to no avail.  Again, he took refuge in the car, this time mountain climbing over a pile of stuff to access the back of David’s truck.  We simply cannot do this to our dogs.  When the heat breaks, we can try again.
Flame will go to the doctors sometime this week and they will hopefully fix her up good as new.  I keep my mind from wandering down the path of “we f-d up majorly…” or of lamenting the blind faith I had in the lovely couple from whom we bought her.  As two separate repair people have said, it is highly unlikely they did not know about this very large problem. Evidence of years of leaking in the underbelly with corrosion and gross stains – as well as the unmistakable odor once the tank has anything in it, especially noticeable on the road.  Maybe they were unknowingly handed a can of worms and merely passed it along.  Who knows?  We know that the buck stops here and she will have a new tank and a new underbelly. 
I pause for a moment to consider my day.  A meeting with a new client then a large block of time to write and settle before my author group tonight.  Tomorrow, no plans except to celebrate the 4thof July sans fireworks with most of the rest of our parched state.  I plan to enjoy “city life” for as long as we have it.   The proximity to retail heaven is a nice change.  Whole Foods, Costco, TJ Maxx, Home Depot and even IKEA are all within 15 minutes.  Nothing is within 15 minutes where we used to live.  I can pop out to a store and come back and pop back out again.  Us mountain people just don’t do that.  There is no “popping” anywhere.  If we forget something at the store, it stays forgotten until the next trip “to town”. 
We will make trips back up the hill to visit our friends, do more work at the property, meet our builder, tend to Flame before her trip to the doc.  And, down here, we will visit the enormous Farmer’s market on Sunday; we will explore the trail system as our dogs become urbanized – and who knows what other pleasures of civilization we will find.  I feel safe from any forest fires here.  Even though the Waldo Canyon fire proved to all of us that even a city might not be safe, I am fairly certain we are out of forest fire danger this far into the ‘burbs.  We can breathe a sigh of relief on a deep level that hopefully will penetrate our over-tired, ragged souls.  Friends have given up the niceties and now just tell us we look exhausted.  Circles have formed under the circles under our eyes.  We desperately need to unplug and have the mantra “one more month, one more month” and then we will be on a plane to Florida to begin some seriously needed R&R time.  We will temporally turn our back on all the reminders here.  We will revel in the sun, wind and sea.  We will sail into the horizon and possibly fall off.  Interestingly, we still have not booked any return flights.  If it weren’t for those dogs… hmmm. 
In the meantime, we will have moments of escape like joining in Jessie’s guilty pleasure of watching the Bachelorette.  Yes, I was sucked in.  Who will she choose?  What will she do?  Are they in love?  Never having watched this show before as we don’t own a TV, it was a great end to our hectic day.  I wish I could say that dreams of sugarplums danced in our heads after but alas that is not the case.  My worrywart mind took over again and I tossed and turned for a while. 
As I watch my dogs snooze soundly after their morning walk, I attempt to glean some wisdom.  Snooze on a cool floor whenever I can, take every opportunity to chase a squirrel, fart at whim, and most importantly, always wag my tail.   

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2 Responses

  1. Ellen Moore says:

    I am so looking forward to seeing the circles under the circles under your eyes. I miss your sweet face and can’t believe that I haven’t seen it since all this began! Well, I do believe it, because of my transportation challenges and the fact that, you know, your house burnt down. But it is still sad. However,as I read all this brilliant writing I fantasize daily about your Bestseller and how I’m going to get to brag that I Knew You When.

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