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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As the World Turns…

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As we settle in to our “new” (c. 1937) house in Evergreen the cracks in our foundation become more evident. Relief is here, all our stuff is finally in one place, and we are breathing some sighs of relief. Almost 7 months of living out of trailers and basements and bags left hairline fractures in our souls. Now here we are with a place we can call “home” without any twitches or jolts. Now we have an address for all of those casual or careless who require this delicate information for their various purposes. The countless times I froze when asked, “Address? I don’t have an address!!!!!!!” the scream creeping up from down deep. Even our old “Rocky Top Trail” address was no longer after the county demanded a street name change for safety purposes. So how to answer that question? The P.O. box? The current basement? The pile that was accumulating at our local post office? Just where was this phantom address that was absolutely necessary for whatever business to continue in that moment?

We have an address now. We have a front door and a kitchen and drawers and a dining room table and a roof and four walls. We are grateful. How long will we have this address? We don’t know. Will we rebuild? We don’t know. We have decided to put all major decisions on hold about our beloved property.

So how have we been in the last week in our new home? Good, happy and more content than in months. Does it mean we are through and out the other side of this process? On some level, I had hoped so, but alas no.

It’s new, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful, it has so many cool things – and it is very different. Due to a crew of our beloveds nary a box remains and our possessions are carefully placed throughout. The truck from Rhode Island arrived without a hitch and unloaded what once belonged to that dear house into this dear one. Magically, things found their new places and spaces and these familiar items created home where there wasn’t one before. I glance around and truly marvel. I am filled with gratitude for this space and the people in my life and the timing of things. Selling Rhode Island when we did couldn’t have been better for our creating a future. Having to start over (as most of my neighbors must do) by buying all new things although it may sound fantastic is a great pain. We were spared the numerous and sundry trips to retail heaven that my neighbors still have to face. I look around at things that mean something as they have belonged to my family for many moons.

I can say I love this space, this place, and this home. And, like any place, there are things I don’t like. As former boonies dweller, the proximity to neighbors is at times beyond disturbing. Waking to their heated conversations outside my door, seeing in their windows as I know they can see in mine, dogs barking all around, the politics of parking spaces… and yet the novel notion of our proximity to a cute mountain town evens that out. My new obsession is going to the dump now 5 minutes away. Yes, we have trash service but I want to get rid of things immediately. Some deep cleansing drive demands daily trips to empty us of detritus. Moving boxes, packing paper, boxes holding our newest trinkets in the way of office chairs, a printer, a computer monitor and more, I must get rid of it all right a way. The movers suggested we keep the oh-so valuable moving boxes that we paid a pretty penny for as one day in the near future we might need them again. Dreading the notion of holding on to boxes, I asked David what he thought. With our future still uncertain of when or if we might move back to our land, did we want to keep them? To my relief he said, “no” and he knew what that no meant. We need to be here. Right here. Right now.

So, I purge boxes and anything else I have accumulated that is now irrelevant or less than desirable. Even some items of clothing that weren’t just right went to Goodwill. We are throwing out the old, bringing in the new.

Who knows what the future will hold. I certainly hope that we may have smooth waters for a bit. But we all know that there are no guarantees. Just because this happened, doesn’t mean that won’t. We need to buckle our seatbelts for this wild ride called life. I can choose to let go of my white-knuckled grip on the armrests and actually look out the window. My world rocked on March 26th, life, as I knew it altered, and everything changed. I am not who I was on that day, and I still don’t quite know who I will be. I can let that be ok. There are things I don’t need to know, and I practice letting go of what might happen and what changes might be just over the horizon – or even later on today.

It’s just life. It’s just what happens and how we react. The ground will continue to move under our feet. We count on the sun rising each morning and the day going similarly to the day before. We have to count on that otherwise we would lose our center, yet down deep we know we can’t count on anything. It’s all up for grabs as we spin through space in a Universe we can barely grasp in a world that might not ever make sense, until it does.

 

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3 Responses

  1. Kathy Oberle says:

    thank you once again Kristen for the latest compelling accounting of your journey, it speaks to me especially now that that you have arrived “home” for a while. I lost my “home” in a much different way than you and in the healing months that followed discovered that home is truly “where the heart is” and my favorite…”home is where you live”! That all being said and feeling that’s a little bit trite just in the telling of it, I recognize that it is so much beyond that! We are human creatures, some of us blessed or plagued more with the nesting instinct than others, mine being honed to a fine polished quality over years of providing a home for my little bird family. In letting this go over a period of some agonizing transformations, I came to find a contentment assembling new little twigs and bits of flotsam and jetsam to rebuild a nest, not with new things, but with used and rejected items from different owners. I now have what I call my goodwill house…and people love it, think it’s great. I can look around and say, this is home for as long as it serves that purpose. I am not attaching myself to this address for I sense that it is probably not long term, but it is where I am right now…for this moment. I appreciate you sharing your heart, your life…your story!

  2. Diane Sobelman says:

    So glad you now have a home! I’ve missed your writings, maybe I have not been on as often, but I,love reading what you write, wish I could write as well as you and David! Again Welcome to your new home!

  3. Sandy says:

    Like the spirit of clearing your space and being in the moment. A good reminder for me. Sending you and David sweet ohana! xx aloha from Kauai.

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