It’s been six weeks since wildfire claimed our home. Then, to add injury to insult, I was diagnosed with covid three weeks ago and am now on the road to recovery. To say that the Fall of 2020 has been less than kind is an understatement.
I am trying to keep a positive attitude, and for the most part, I succeed. I do have my days, though, when I have little to no motivation, and I find myself doom-scrolling and trying to find ways to fill the time. Mostly, I’m trying to re-create some of the characters whose journals now lay at the bottom of the ash heap that was once my writing den.
Yesterday, we traveled up the mountain to view the remains and look with an eye to clean up and rebuild. First Reader and her grandson picked through the rubble and found a collection of tools, hitch parts, and tire chains that will soon adorn the walls of the first outbuilding we plan to erect. One of the more exciting finds was what used to be a bucket of nails—sans the bucket.
We make it a point to collect all of the recognizable objects we find as we pick through the ashes. Someday, that detritus will be a reminder of what was.
I have a million ideas about rebuilding our dream. That’s not to say that any of them will come to fruition, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
However, before we can rebuild, we have the chore of lifting the roof and removing the remains of our possessions. Unfortunately, we are hampered by the weather and the snow. In some respects, the snow is a small blessing. It keeps the dust down and means that we won’t be inhaling as much toxic air as we might otherwise.
We also have the remnants of four outbuildings to search and remove. So far, we’ve only found the rusted remains of metal frames from folding chairs, card tables, air conditioners, storage racks, and antique tools. The generators and water pumps are now husks, as are the chainsaws and one of our ATVs.
My mind whirls with the amount of work we need to do just to clean up the mess left behind. That does not include cutting down the trees that won’t survive and might become unstable in the dead landscape. I have ideas for using some of that material, too.
For now, though, we take life one day at a time while I also recover from a mild covid infection. As for how this virus entered my life, I have no idea. I wear a mask when I leave the house, and use copious amounts of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, so your guess is as good as mine.
I feel that I’ve been among the lucky so far. My most serious symptom was the loss of smell, and it’s still not the same as it was at the beginning of the month. (At least it came back enough that I could taste Thanksgiving dinner. Bonus points, me.) I had a little gastro-intestinal distress for a couple of days, but not enough to cause issues, just some discomfort and annoyance. My tinnitus is louder, I fatigue quicker, and I still feel a little headache, but nothing so bad that I need a doctor or even medication.
Plans are beginning to form in my head. It won’t be long before I break out my sketch pad and draw a rough concept of how I would envision our new homestead to look. First Reader undoubtedly has an entirely different idea of what the new place will look like, but I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement. So, watch this space as we rebuild the dream.