First, an update on Jenny and Joe (last blog post). They've come "full circle," Joe tells me. They're moving into their own apartment--with family nearby--in the same town in which they met and married over 60 years ago.
"We met in the fifties," he says, "and we're back here now in the teens." Such a clever, sweet man. Our oldest married couple to survive the Paradise Camp Fire: doing great and moving forward.
I tried to explain about my blog and all. Joe's response was "It was great to hear from you. Thanks for the call." (I so love them!)
With her permission, here's my friend Tara sorting through the remains of what was her family's warm loving home. [Note: they had to wear protective gear -- potentially high levels of toxins in the rubble and ash. She told me I should've worn her outfit; it was too small.] Deep gratitude to my friend for allowing us a glimpse into this most intimate experience.
I'd been in their home several times. I can't even believe this is that place wherein we shared stories, music, berry pie, and amusement in watching the cat scuffle about.
Although Tara found nothing worth salvaging, she finally slept through the night. The process afforded a sense of closure.
Other friends have retrieved a few pieces of precious jewelry, porcelain doll parts, a clay teapot made in high school, a Christmas Nativity scene. One couple uncovered a 25 year wedding anniversary ring. It's all very bittersweet, chilling and heartwarming. Surreal.
Or maybe I'm appreciating it more. Or maybe it's the holiday spirit. Perhaps, then again, I didn't appreciate it as much before. Whatever the case, we're more readily looking out for each other.
Upon returning to my car after a grocery run on Sunday, I found this note.
As luck would have it, with note in hand, I saw Les Schwab only yards away.
But they close at 5p. It was 4:42p.
"Okay, give me the keys. We'll take a look," the friendly employee said.
They had plenty of work to do, and they were closing, but a few minutes later Andy greeted me. "Let me show you why I can't fix the tire." Andy walked me through the shop and pointed out a 3-inch long gash in the tire. Not to worry, he'd replace it.
And then he'd say "You don't owe anything."
"You're wonderful, Andy."
I was home by 5p.
I know, compared to what my local loved ones are going through--a ruptured tire on a car that didn't burn, and that I'm able to get fixed immediately--piddly stuff. How lucky I am!
Kindness abounds and makes everything easier. That's the point I'm trying to underscore. I know you know this. It's worth remembering, and reminding each other, as much as possible.
Have a safe, warm week that overflows with kindness.