After the fire was put out, we were allowed to go back in the house and see if there was anything that survived. The insurance company decided everything was unsalvagable, but were allowed to take anything that was sentimental. As we went through the house, we realized that all this stuff that was ruined was just stuff. Things could have been very different for us. We almost left Daxton and McKailey home alone when the fire happened. We feel very strongly that had we not made that last minute decision to take Daxton to school, we would not have him and McKailey today. We almost lost a child or two in the fire. The new couches, the shiny new kitchen remodel, my favorite running shoes, etc are just things. They can all be replaced. We really weren’t sad to see any of it go. I am so glad I have what really matters in life. I still have my family. I have another day to jump on the tramp with my wild boys and I have time to play dress up with my little girl.
It is actually very cleansing to start over. We had thrown out a lot of stuff when we did our remodel. When the insurance adjuster went through and counted our contents, he was actually amazed at how empty our rooms were. It made his job easy since I had already minimized our belongings. But losing EVERYTHING else in the fire was even more cleansing. It let us really have a new start. Stuff can crowd our brains. The more stuff we have, the more we have to mentally keep track of. It’s actually quite nice to not have to remember where my kids 100 toys are or where we store the Christmas tree. I feel lighter. We can replace the things we really need, but we plan to keep things minimal. We will not be replacing everything we lost. Our closets and storage room will be a little empty when we move back in.
Above is a picture of the kids and their friends helping me wipe down a couple items we were able to salvage. We had a stack of furniture in the front room waiting to be put into place after the painting was done on our remodel. The firefighters put tarps over it since the fire didn’t get in that room. The tarps saved it from too much water damage.
Ya, it gets kind of annoying to not have certain things. You know the things that you just always have in your house, the things you would never think to put on your shopping list. I keep running into situations when I am in a hurry and go to do a task that I don’t have the tools to do so. Like a pen. For a couple weeks I could never find a pen. I didn’t want to go the store to buy a pen just to write a note telling my kid I went to the store. The things I never thought to buy, but wished I had were scissors, gift wrap, fingernail clippers, makeup, and a cooler. For the first few months after the fire, I felt like I lived at Walmart. I was constantly running to grab an item we didn’t know we needed until we needed it. It gets annoying but atleast it can all be replaced. It has now been 3 1/2 months and I am still amazon-ing little needs. I have given up on shopping locally. There is so much to do with the rebuild and kids schedules. I am so glad the amazon app exists so I can just click and the vaseline or supplies for a class project can arrive on my doorstep.
Our pictures and memory books were in a cupboard that was covered with plastic because we were painting that room the day of the fire. Thanks to smart phones and google photos, most of our photos back up automatically. But I was so happy to have scrapbooks i had made for my babies. All the pictures from when Brett and I were young were kept safe also. I was able to find my wedding jewelry plus some jewelry that my grandmas had given me. Even McKailey and Bostons baby blankets that they still sleep with were found. The firemen actually helped me dig through 2 feet of rubble in my bedroom to find Bostons blanky. He had come in our room in the middle of the night before the fire. So we knew his blanket was on the floor somewhere. We gave up twice, but then Kyler remembered seeing it in specific spot. So after 8 men digging, we found it. The firemen took and had it professionally cleaned. Boston sleeps with it still and you’d never know it had been covered in wet ashes for days.
We were so blessed. I realize that some people are not as lucky. There are many others that have lost their most prized possessions. We still have our prized possessions…our kids and our pictures of them. The rest is just stuff!
Comment below and tell us what one item you would most like to survive a disaster (besides your family)