Saturday, July 28, 2012

On some level, one could call the last couple weeks a sort of vacation.  I did end up playing more video games than usual.  As a matter of fact, aside from a game of minesweeper or similar games, I'd mostly stopped playing before then.  I'm not complaining, but the impending deadlines that I set for myself became somewhat of an obsession with me.

But, with all the extra people around, and dogs, things just got too wild to do more complicated stuff.  I can't read with other people around.  Really.  I gave up on the hard stuff early on - I know better.  So, I took a look at the incredibly long list of books I had and picked an easy one - When the Tripods Came, by John Christopher.  I'd read it a couple times before, but this is MY copy now.  So, I figured I'd read it. 

Yeah no.  Even that's too complicated with everyone around.

Well, it's been a long couple weeks.  Most of the kids have gotten sick of hanging around here because we (mostly I) are "too boring".  In their defense, the kids have very little in the way of personal possessions.  They're tired of staying in a hotel during the nights and tired of being here during the days. The dogs on the other hand, are in here all the time.  I don't read with allergy headaches either, though I've tried.  And failed.  Cleaning might help, but it's hard to tell.  First, there's no way to clean faster than they shed.  Second, cleaning kicks up about as many allergens as not cleaning does.

Well, if things work out, they'll be getting their own place as early as Monday.  It may take a day or two to get fully moved in, but things look good in the direction.  They've gotten some of their things replaced.  Others, they'll have to work at. 

High hopes.

- Jim
But there is light at the end of the tunnel.  If everything works out, they're signing papers for a place on Monday. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I've been away from my computer more lately.  It doesn't help with the things I need/want to do, but it does give the kids something else to do when they're over here.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  They shouldn't spend their whole summer playing computer games, but the point is that they lost just about everything they owned and I'm giving them as much leeway as I think is appropriate.  Besides, there've been more than a few really hot days during this period where it's unsafe to spend all day outside playing.

I don't know all the details, but they're looking at a couple houses.  Life is moving on, but slowly.  It's  probably too slow for them, but this is actually faster than I expected it to be.  Their old house is a total loss and will be torn down.  Whatever survived the fire and the burglaries was damaged by smoke, water, and the elements.  Speaking of which, there was a rather destructive little storm that passed through the area.   Granted, everything there was ruined already, but it didn't help matters any.

Okay, technically not everything, but close enough.  There's a company that came in and is attempting to clean the stuff.  Most of it is really beyond their abilities - I guess the mold is really bad.  I won't be going there any time soon.  I have enough problems with allergies now.

Um, that's about it.  I've been reading and stuff while I have time, but it's hard with kids running around demanding attention.  Apparently, though I've known this for a while, I do my best work alone.  It just amazes me how much I ever got done in the olden days when I was more social.

- Jim

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's been over a week since the fire.  Things aren't settling back to normal yet, but much of the crisis is gone.  That doesn't make things easier though - in a crisis, there's more help available.  Now the more tedious work of cataloging loss, replacing items, finding a new house, and every other major and minor detail must be attended to.  What makes it worse is that even if there were more help, the assistance that could possibly be provided is limited.  It's not the emergency kind where clothes of any style and many sizes could be used to help cover gaps, it's where specific things are needed at specific times.

Combine all that with the fact that the kids are tired of living in hotels, eating fast food, not having personal items, and so on.  The fact that everyone is cramped up in one room (or two) just makes matters worse.

Things came to a head a couple times.  Nothing real major, but it's important to handle these things early.  The problem is that the underlying causes - the loss of personal space and possession, won't be solved for some time.  They can't be.  Even if they could replace all the personal items lost right now, there'd be no place to put them.  Even if they got a house tomorrow, there'd be nothing to put in there.  The fact that neither of these two things are immediately possible means a solution will also take time.

It was probably a combination of all of this, but most of that family came over today and almost promptly fell asleep.  For hours.  I'm not complaining, it was probably good for them.