When I decided to go on an adventure every month this year, I had no idea that after five months I’d be walking through one of life’s biggest adventures with my parents. I mentioned in a previous post, about Being Homesick, that my parents lost nearly everything in a fire on June 1st (the day I got back from a road trip to see them). Since then I’ve returned to Alaska twice.
The first trip was very short…I arrived Friday night and went home Saturday. That weekend we were in setup mode. Mom and Dad got a refrigerator from another local resident, so we scrubbed and ready. My sister brought down a carport tent from Costco and we also setup that. At the end of the weekend, my parents had a kitchen, dining area, and sitting area. I use all of those terms loosely since they are still basically “camping”.
Even though I went back home the work didn’t stop for my parents. They worked with the insurance company to get what was left of the frame of the motorhome removed and started cleanup. It is truly amazing how much work they got done in just a couple of weeks.
The second trip was a bit longer…five days. Dad pushed over dead trees, one of my nephews and his friend cut the trees up, and then my dad hauled them off in a dump truck that someone kindly loaned to him. My mom and I straightened things up and scoured the lot with giant magnets picking up nails. There were A LOT of nails left after the buildings burnt and every day we found more.
During the process of helping my parents I’ve learned a couple of valuable lessons:
- Don’t underestimate how quickly EVERYTHING can be taken away.
- Family and community help a lot with the healing process, but time is the biggest factor.
- Instead of asking “what can I do” or saying “let me know what you need” or “I wish there was something I could do”…JUST DO. Figure out what YOU might want or need in the situation and just do it.
- There is no “right” thing to say or do in these situations. If all you can afford is a prayer those are gladly accepted.
I’m making another goal for myself this year…any time I feel compelled to say/ask something, I’m going to stop myself and just do something.
The Motorhome Frame
The (2-story) Cabin
The Burn Towards the Neighbors
Dad on the Bobcat
The Trailer (13 feet) – “Bedroom” and “Bathroom”
The “Living” and “Dining” Rooms