Starting from Scratch

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.

Lessons Learned

During the process of helping my parents I’ve learned a couple of valuable lessons:

  1. Don’t underestimate how quickly EVERYTHING can be taken away.
  2. Family and community help a lot with the healing process, but time is the biggest factor.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Aftermath

Motorhome Frame

The Motorhome Frame

The Cabin

The (2-story) Cabin

The Burn Towards the Neighbors

The Burn Towards the Neighbors

The SuzukiThe Suzuki

The Motorhome TireThe Motorhome’s Tire

The TruckThe truck only suffered minor melting of the lights.

 The Clean-up

Dad on the Bobcat

Dad on the Bobcat


 The 13 Foot Trailer

The Trailer (13 feet) – “Bedroom” and “Bathroom”

The KitchenThe “Kitchen”

 The Living and Dining

The “Living” and “Dining” Rooms

3 Replies to “Starting from Scratch”

  1. Pingback: Comparing Animal Parks in Washington | Travel, Photography, and Other Fun Adventures

    • It’s an adjustment, but I’ve never met more adaptable people than my parents. They are taking all of it with grace.