Friday, June 21, 2013

Emotional exhaustion

Long day. Emotionally exhausting. Everybody is ok, but tired.
My mom Judy, brother Russ, dad Dick, me, and brother Scott after dinner last night. Can you believe I am the short one in the family? Can you believe we all smiled for this picture? Conditioning.
We went out to their property again today. Hard to call it anything else at this point. We put a few things in the big shop... a chain saw that might work again and the handle is only a little melted; sheets of copper that used to be planters; the tools we had just picked up. My parents had a beautiful tile mosaic in their entry hall. I went up to the pillars to see if maybe the tiles could be salvaged. Behind the pillars is a huge pit.
Porch pillars. Stucco houses are supposed to be fire resistant.

As I came by the garage space, I saw rivulets of shiny aluminum. I'm sure it used to be their canoe.
We found some saw horses, blackened through, but still standing. Some heavy guttering was near the scoched hulk of the tractor. On our way out, we used these to make a bit of a barricade across the driveway. Black Forest roads re-open to the public tomorrow. Sadly, looters are an issue.

Next we went to the Post Office to try to pick up their mail. I held my mom's place in line, while she found a bench to sit on. For about an hour, I listened to a line of folks who had all lost their homes, lost everything. A women just a bit of me in line talked of how her parents had built their home in Black Forest 64 years ago. She herself raised her daughter in a cabin down the road from their house. Her brothers lived along the road in houses they had built. All the houses are gone. She's not sure what she's going to do. As she and my mother exchanged news of mutual friends, they discussed where they might go from here. My mom mentioned that they were considering moving to Arkansas. Her friend was very intrigued. Perhaps she will come visit us in Mountain View.

It took two hours to get from the Post Office in Colorado Springs to my dear friend Julia's mom's house in Denver. My dad drove through horrendous traffic. The house is wonderful, comfortable and she has it all set up for my folks. After quick hugs and inadequate thank yous, as well as a quick lesson on how to give the resident cats their medicine, collapsed into the living room chairs.

Julia's mom's house. Thank you so much for loaning this wonderful place to my parents while they rest and regroup.

My parents are eating well. They've been having breakfast at the hotel. Today we stopped at R&R Cafe for lunch after picking up shovels and more gloves, air masks, water, a shovel and a rake at the disaster relief center. Some wonderful anonymous person bought our lunch. My dad and I had whole wheat, grilled vegi sandwiches and my mom had a quesadilla. All great food. Tonight we dug through what they had in the bags and cooler. My dad and I made salmon tomato sandwiches. Weird, but good. We are all tired.

Smoke from the Wolf Creek Pass and other fires shroud the mountains and turn the sun bright red.
As my dad was headed to bed, he put his hand on the fireplace mantle in Julia's mom's sun room. "I had one like this," he said, looking so tired. "It was a little wider and a bit longer. Solid black walnut. It was in the basment."

Good night.

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