Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting Aquainted part III- Tear Down?

So, what's with the Tear Down to Build Up posts? Well, 3 years ago- almost to the day- October 24- we were burned out of our house. We were in it when it started burning and managed to get everyone, the dogs and the Saxon Alg I math book (?!) safely out. The firemen came, along with 11 big heavy trucks that ran over a mouse, a mole (both found dead and flattened) and left deep trenches in our yard. The house was saved, but declared a total loss by the insurance company.(total loss is determined by bids and percentages- in other words, will the amount paid out by the insurance company cover the cost of the re-build within a pre-determined percentage of the value of the house).

Four days after the fire my 48 year old sister died.
A friend and KB went on a whirlwind shopping spree to get us essentials like undies, p.j.s, pants, shirts and shoes and we went to Ohio for a week to bury my sister. Upon return we lived in a hotel, Dr. Dh had a revolving affair with pneumonia and bronchitis, the kids and I cried and swam in the hotel pool for hours on end, and it was October in the Territories (read, severe weather coming soon to a partially burned house near you!).

The weather created a time crunch. If we were really going to re-build we had to get everything, I mean everything, out of the house. The danger at this point was mold. The 50,000 gallons of water on all of our earthly possessions would mold over the winter and the house would end up condemned. So we and a host of many people spent day after day and a month of week-ends hauling stuff to our very dear friends side-dumper, which then made it's way to the dump. But wait. We had to do a line-item inventory of everything we threw out if we wanted reimbursed by our insurance company. This included item, original cost, depreciation, where purchased, etc. etc. etc. ad nausea; 30 items to a page, 8 sections across.

We spent days in our dark, damp, freezing cold, nauseating house- literally, the smell was sickening, and our task was to sort through water logged, smoke infested things that we had once cared about; books and clothes and photo albums. You know, the stuff from which one creates a life. Those things. We rubber binned things worth saving and dump trucked 85-90% of the rest of the stuff we'd collected over the course of our 24 years of marriage, 5 children and 19 years of homeschooling. The inventory was important for 2 reasons. # 1- to collect content insurance, and #2 to get a tax break for everything that our content insurance did not cover (to the tune of 10's of thousands of dollars). So, as disgusting and heart breaking as it was to do, financially, it was a no-braineAfter lots of deliberation, prayer and getting bids we decided to sell the house as is and find another house. But wait! One more contractor came and gave us a very low bid. If it sounds too good to be true it is, right? But after lots of prayer, days of sleepless nights and more prayer, we decided to re-build.

Stay tuned for Part II..


Unknown said...

I am so sorry you went through this! I have to say that your story has inspired me to get off my backside and do what I've been saying for years I need to do; document everything in our home.

I know this has been a tough 3 years, I am praying that as time goes by you are able to look back and see the growth that has come out of it.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Lillian-thinking thoughts

Robin M said...

Thank you for sharing. Didn't realize 3 years had gone by since all this happened. You and your family are an inspiration for perseverance and faith. Makes the little things seem really little and inconsequential compared to what you all have been through. *hugs*