Friday, November 30, 2018

Thankful for thoughtful friends

The place had been sitting there.... Burn marks....debris...half tasks left abandoned....

reflecting the mess I felt in the inside since this all happened. 

It almost felt as if the universe was handing me a direct message that said..."just a little warning...dreaming big in this way isn't the direction you should be going." Crazy but true..I pondered that feeling for a couple weeks until I found myself openly discussing it with myfriend Nannette. She came over to talk...but to my big and pleased surprise she brought gloves and cleaning supplies with her and said she was ready to get to work.

She was a much needed positive boost helping me to remember that this "message" from the universe wasn't a deterrent...but an opportunity. One I may get not realize right way, but one I would see eventually. In an oversight on scheduling  I was needed elsewhere and hadn't done much cleaning. Nanette held down the fort and told me she was just going to hang out and do what she could while I was gone.  By the time I came back...Nanette was gone and so was the chaos and mess inside!

Renewal is what I felt upon seeing the cleanliness and organization....
Deep Friendship is what I understood from this act....
And a new perspective is what I gained....

We build beautiful things in our lives, 
And sometimes we inadvertently damage those things...
The pain from it is always temporary...
And there is always a way to Heal it again...
With some work...
...And quite often a faithful friend by your side
Who understands, relationships aren't only about the Good times...
But in supporting each other through the bad times.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ten steps back

I debated posting this truth......
a reality that has taken me all week to absorb and see clearly. 

Had a pretty big set back on Saturday after warming up my little home with my stove and having a nice yoga and meditation session just prior to planning my day of tasks... including to make sure my place was safe as well as finally finishing off trim and odds and ends.

I left to watch my kids football game them cruised over to Home Depot to buy a fire extinguisher, a proper ash bucket, and a floor protector to secure the area around my little stove. I also wanted to get some of those logs that clean out the flue and/or a brush so I could make sure there was no build up in the flue and so I could maintain it.

Then, I get the dreaded call from the marina ...

smoke coming out of my little home! 

The firemen have arrived because the marina didn’t have a key to get in.


I scream into the phone crying instantly at the thought of all my hard work over the last year going up in flame!

How could this have happened?
I knew the door to the stove was closed when I left...I also knew the stove wasn’t completely cold either. In my haste to leave with a warm to the touch stove did I inadvertently cause this fire!?
My mind raced and I went over my morning of ashes overflowing from the door opening. I had cleaned them all up before I left. I did realize there was one ember still glowing but it was small and I pushed it back into the stove securing the door feeling it would slowly and safely simmer out without any fuel nearby.

As my mind raced to find reasons and then switched back to the task at hand ...I focused on getting back to the marina as composed as possible. The drive from Home Depot to the marina was just long enough to help me control the tears enough to be rational, and then I walked onto the marina yard with my head held low.

“Im so sorry!” 

I muttered to one of the guys as I quickly walked passed him and the other onlookers in the yard...thinking of the phone call from earlier and how I didn’t want the marina to lose their trust in me. That I was responsible and trustworthy.
But I hardly believed it myself at the moment.

As soon as I climbed my ladder and saw the men in uniform my heart sank, and the tears began to roll down as I looked where they were looking.

“You are really lucky!” Was their mantra of comfort to me.

It wasn’t what was registering to me..,

but this was so unlucky...

What are the chances of having a fire hit your structure anyway? The little home next to mine never experienced this kind of “luck”!

The first thing I noticed was my Anderson sliding glass door completely broken!

Glass everywhere!

Then the octagon kitchen window...and then the floor bubbling up and burnt in one small section a few feet away from the stove.

 Then I noticed a fixed loft window also busted apart.

Seemed like the firemen did way more damage than the fire. 
I guess that was the luck they were talking about.   

The firemen told me they felt strongly the fire was caused by a drill battery discharging too near a drop cloth that had dried paint and chemicals on it...spontaneous combustion....yeah it actually DOES happen!

Notice where the battery and the cloth are..where the fire began

I have to admit, THAT actually made me feel glad...thankful that in their assessment it wasn't due to negligence on my part. It also felt pretty good when the inspector confirmed I had installed the stove properly and it was to code. They were all very kind and very impressed with the work I had done. (The firemen told me more than once how great he thought it was and how he wished he had one!)

Hindsight and time coupled with new perspectives are everything. and I am grateful for the time I had to sit in my sadness and despair and own it....working through the feelings allowed me to let them go within a reasonable amount of time.

Greg, the owner of Amesbury industrial, told me as much when I came in Saturday after the firemen gave me the clearance to start the cleanup. As I paid for the contractor's bags and the plastic sheets to put over the gaping holes in my home the tears streamed down when he asked me how I was doing. Damned if I was gonna lie, cover up, or not express my truth, and I told him he caught me on a bad day, my little home just caught fire.

He held my hand and told me..."society only wants us to express the joy in our life... But life is filled with sorrow too. You go ahead and be sad, it's ok." With immense gratitude to find such a deep connection with a soft man in a hardware store, I went on to start my cleanup task feeling just a tad better. Somehow that brief moment of connection by sharing my life, my challenges, my truth helped me not feel so alone, and so sad. I is just a house. My soul longs for connection more than anything the little home in itself could bring me....

It wasn’t till a few days later after I had cleaned up all the glass and boarded up the place and the rains were coming down that I started to feel truly grateful and LUCKY. Realizing I was most likely spared a much worse disaster of myself or someone else getting hurt as well as my and other structures around me being spared.

And so I have yet another opportunity to rebuild.

To try again, to make better, to spiral upward instead of looping, to be grateful for what I have and what I know, and for who I am. An opportunity to lose my ego and leave it behind with the ashes on my floor to face up to the judgment coming....and rise from those very a phoenix.

On Monday, my friend Mary was there for me even when her truck wasn't and she lined up her neighbors truck for me to use (thank you Valerie and Brian!) so I could get the place boarded up before the rainstorm on Tuesday.

I am now filled with pure gratitude. And have plans to have it all cleaned up and the floatation finished before path crossed with a master Carpenter who has agreed to a working contract as well as be a mentor me for the rest of the work.

Because I know now....I just can't do this entirely on my own...

we all need each other on our journeys.

And tragedy is often the biggest and best way
 to help us 
let go 
to a better place.

Insurance at last!

I haven't given up. I just needed to walk away and take a break. So, I am walking 2,000+ miles from Georgia to Maine on the appalachian ...