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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Turning the page

Posted on: 13 Comments

Dare I say, I have experienced some contentment as of late? Dare I say it? Well, there, I just did. Now in our final stretch of 2012, I can say I am happy that these digits will turn to the next (as long as the Mayan’s weren’t correct and we don’t blow up in a fiery plume or whatever it is they predict at the end of the year, or whatever it is that certain members of our current population say the Mayan’s predicted…). The fall has turned glorious. Beautiful clear blue skies and crisp temperatures that mark a perfect Colorado autumn. I happily missed the first snow and dreary cold of the season while I was still in Rhode Island – and I will enjoy all I can of this picture perfect weather.

With the change of seasons, comes a change of heart for us. We have chosen to settle, for now, in downtown Evergreen, a lovely mountain community where we can walk to everything we might need or want. In temporary housing until later this week, I feel the tides are turning. We have officially decided not to decide (or chosen not to chose, whatever your poison). We will let the dust settle, the season transform, our hearts mend further. We will put our now blossoming amount of stuff in one centralized place. We will also have a delivery of furniture and housewares that are coming from my family home in Rhode Island. The “stuff-less” will suddenly have stuff. So how does that feel?

Awesome, exciting – and scary. My dream in the early waking hours was of returning home and finding David tied up after thieves had robbed us of everything. Waking with dread, I shook off the concerns as best as possible. But the amount of times I have closed the door to leave the house and had the question, “will it be here when I return” is one too many to count. The trauma may continue for a bit. I probably will always have flashes of concern never present before. Right now, sitting in the sweet house, looking out at a nice view, I flash to my view and those last moments of a morning that changed everything. I like to write and then glance around finding thoughts in the green of the trees or in the vapor of the clouds. So, I glance at this view and feel myself in my old home, on my old perch, listening to the same music I am hearing now, fingers clicking on the same keyboard they did then and cozying into the same blanket that I carried out of my home. Flashbacks, imprints, memories swirl around in the air. Nothing catches in my throat right now, but also, I don’t want it too. I need to breathe instead. I will always miss our forever home that didn’t last forever. I will always cherish the time we had there and know in my soul that we soaked up what we needed to. We never took that place for granted and always felt blessed to live in such a perch with one of the most magnificent views around.

A few days before my trip to Rhode Island, I spent some time at the land. As I have described before, I can see the new and harsh beauty, but the devastation is present in every glance as well. The absence of any shade makes a once nurturing environment harsh and unrelenting. The ash that still covers all the blackened trees is daunting.

Yet, miss my home, I do. I miss it very much. I crave the sounds, smells and comfort of its nooks and crannies. For now, I close the door on my memories and settle in to this view and this perch, right here, right now.

Two weeks before the fire, we bought a new couch. After attempting many life saving maneuvers with our old couch, we called it quits and indulged in leather – a thick Italian leather, mind you, with the knowledge that our dogs would make it their own and their toe nails couldn’t puncture the tough hide. Tigger loved that couch and in the short time we owned it, I snapped quite a few of his different sleeping and resting poses while he lounged in leather. After moving to our temp housing, one of the first stops we made was to buy a carbon copy of our lost couch and Tigger hasn’t missed a beat in making it his own. That sweet boy has certainly shown the wear and tear of this time. Once playful around all dogs, he has been aggressive and even gotten in a few fist fights. Now, he is labeled ‘a problem’ when he goes to the kennel and isn’t allowed to socialize with the others. Add in, after both boys returned from their last kennel trip, they came back with kennel cough. At our “new” house, they will have their very own yard in which we can open the door and they can wander. .14 of an acre might not compare to the 37 they had before, but it will be theirs. And, we will find a nice doggy whisperer who can work with our boy and help ease his newfound angsts. Right now, uncoils himself and uses the height of the couch as a better vantage point to peer out the window at the neighborhood activities. He seems to be settling.

Settle is the name of the next game. Settle for a while until we know what to do next. We jumped from the fire into making plans for building and headed down a few frustrating dead-end roads in the process. We spent the summer in limbo and lived out of bags and basements. Now, we will have an answer to the question, “what is your address?” And, we will be able to respond without twitching or wanting to scream or strangle the person doing the asking. When we say “home”, it will no longer be a figure of speech; it will no longer be a moving target, it will no longer trigger deep angst and grief. Instead, home will be an adorable artisans bungalow in the heart of a town we have been fond of for a while. Saturday morning we will wake up there and the next chapter will begin.

I am ready to turn the page.

 

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13 Responses

  1. Dave Cochran says:

    Welcome to the neighborhood. Good choice to settle for a while. Evergreen is full of friends. And breakfast sometime at the Wildflower sounds good.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Yay! Welcome home!

  3. KC Butler says:

    I can’t wait to see you in your home. When does the truck come? I’ll help unload.

  4. Lauren says:

    Ditto what KC said! So happy to hear, would love to help unload:)

  5. Blessings on you and David and your new home. The pictures leave me excited for you (and the doggies)to be there and to settle in.

    You both have contributed enormously to our process and others. We love, honor and thank you for your huge gift to us all.

    Happy moving in….a whole new future awaits. xx

  6. Brigette says:

    Glad to hear you have found a place to have as your own. Sad to hear about your dogs problems but in a weird way relieved that my older dog isn’t the only one having issues. Sometimes when I tell people this ALL started immediately after the fire they look at me with the expression “yeah right!”. Nice to know I’m not alone with the dog-fire issues.

    • Hi Brigette! Not alone at all. It is a complicated process. I will write more about what it’s like to finally settle, experience some contentment and still have the lingering angst. Dogs definitely do seem happier though, finally. And, that is a blessing.

  7. CJ says:

    I am happy you and David have found a place to settle in and call home for awhile. Turning the page feels good.

    With Love always, CJ

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