Sunday, December 28, 2014

fires cause stress... who woulda thunk...

I don't have much experience when it comes to fires and the cleanup/recovery process, but I dare say that ours has been  rather smooth and easy going compared to many who go through the experience. Even so, there are many moments or periods of stress that we have gone or are going through. Below are just a few of the stressors we have had to or are dealing with.

The whole cleanup/recovery process seems monumental and insurmountable, for weeks on end. Even though you can see progress being made, it still seems like there is so much to be done. It also seems like you are just moving the messes from one location to another.  And, that is, because you are but for good reason! Even as the mess is eventually cleaned completely up, you are still left with the aftermess. There is the mud pit where the house once stood. There is glass that keeps making its way to the top after hours of picking it up and then there is the crap in the junk heaps that the dogs find and drag all over the property.

The homestead is particularly depressing this year, though admittedly not nearly as depressing as it was two or four weeks ago.  There are mud pits n ditches everywhere, big puddles, gray skies and rain for days on end. Most of this is  perfectly normal but the pits n ditches are rather deep and more defined than usual. I am certain passing geese are going to stop by and use the front "lawn" as a camping spot. We have run over and squished garden beds, beds that haven't been put to bed, some with piles of compost never spread and some that never got seeds or plants harvested before turning to goo. We have  weeds everywhere  that  never  got weedwhacked and  of course the piles of  house remnants are laying all about. Oh we can't wait for spring so we can get busy!

Then, we remember how much we have to do in addition to the regular spring duties and on top of the ones we didn't get finished this fall like the outdoor kitchen,  laundry station, more water storage capabilities, dry storage, something to cover the tin can internet cafe, and landscaping of our new largish but empty and flat spot. Just when we think we have made great strides in the  recovery process, we come to the realization that what has to be done is or seems insurmountable. It seems like a never ending cycle of making  what we feel are big strides only to realize it was a wee baby step. 

As fairly primitive homesteaders, we are used to structure. After four years of school and working full time for the last year,  my days are pretty much filled with work, cookin and washin dishes with the occasional venture out to feed the critters or tend gardens. The manthing  also had a fairly set routine going depending on the time of year. The fire changed all that. The first few weeks were a crazy whirlwind of replacing  and tending to daily life necessities. The next few weeks were still busy  and trying to take care of business and  get some sort of structure back. Even though  we are getting closer to having it again, we don't have much yet. Almost all of our normal chores are gone and the few we have left or the ability left to do are minimized because life is so scaled down.  We have the above listed stuff to get done but December is not considered stellar weather for outdoor work so we are finding ourselves stuck in the internet world on uncomfortable chairs e while trying to remain tolerable and pleasant to the other.

I would be lying to say we don't stress about money. I don't care what type of person you think you are, your home burning is going to  cause stress that you have probably never thought of before. I assume most people are in about the same position as we were when the house burned. Working and able to save a little for old age but cannot afford to do much else except plug along and make do.  We had enough put back monetary and food wise, in the event someone was out of work or injured for an extended period of time, to live for a year or two without many worries. Our bad... We planned  for several scenarios but did not plan on having them all happen together. We didn't plan for having to replace everything we owned in one fell swoop nor the expenses that come with having to do that. Though we are not in danger of losing our land or home, we worry about losing or paying out the small cushion we had. We know how much we needed it for this emergency and were glad to have it so we didn't end up houseless but we have  now have expensive projects (water, storage, kitchen) that must be done to bring us back up to where or about where we were before, self sufficiency wise. We are faced with having to decide whether we need that cushion of savings or do we want our primitive comforts. Additionally, I have still not returned to work despite being ready to at the end of the first month.They are now promising me that tomorrow will be my return date. We shall see.

 On a happier note... we are so glad that we do not celebrate holidays in the traditional sense. We could not imagine trying to buy gifts and having to deal with all the drama jazz that most Americans surround themselves with this time of year in addition to what we already have on our plates.

1 comment:

  1. wishing you the best of luck as you move forward with rebuilding in 2015. I can't even imagine what you are dealing with - though you are doing a very good job of describing it!