blithering on here.......
After finding Sandy and Caroline's album....we decided there might be more in the piles. Neighbors stopping by and offering help were hearing the story of the album at the bottom of the pile and were showing each other where I had found it. So, we embarked on an "Archaeological dig".
I didn't find any more music in that pile but I DID find a picture of my brother.
My brother was a person who, as an adult, did NOT like having his picture taken. I had a rare picture of him taken just before he went on his trip to Kentucky.
Two days digging into the pile, we found it. Not in a frame, not protected....clear and dry.in the middle of the pile. The ashes on it brushed off easily
For me, it was another small miracle, in the middle of the devastation....and I felt him.....with me.
Life took on a "normal" routine. I was back at work, going to the house on days off, going home" to the campground, cooking CREATIVE one-dish meals, and playing/hugging the borrowed autoharp to help me get to sleep.
I had already met with an Insurance Adjuster, (another nightmare in itself that lasted two years) and found out that we had to prove the losses. It didn't sound right to me...we had paid the insurance timely forever..never had a claim...AND like most...did NOT have enough coverage to cover the actual loss of the structure and its contents. I had a videotape of the inside of my home that would have shown the antiques....my books, music stuff.....BUT.....it burnt.
He waved a "settlement" check from the Insurance Co. in front of me, already written out, all I had to do was "sign here". I refused.....and two years later was glad I did. I fought for..and received...the maximum on the policy.
I did some double-checking legislatively and talked with attorneys, and found that he was right....I had to prove, somehow, the existence of things that no longer existed. I had put the video in a "safe" place....just not fireproof.
It probably doesn't sound like a "healthy" thing for me to do...but from where I sit now..looking back....I am SOOO glad we continued the "dig". It changed focus to fit the demands of the Ins. Co., but in the process, I found some more "treasures" ......seems like there was at least one surprise each day.
Another advantage of being at the campground was that I could go to the house and work,and come "home" without getting soot all over someone's carpet and I could bring back stuff I found to "clean off ".
I added another room to my campsite...called the "burn room"....and I kept the stuff I was finding there....in a small clearing in the trees.
I also discovered that the smell of burn in the house was fine..because
EVERY time I lit a campfire at the campground, and pulled the lawnchair up near it...and sat down to relax with the autoharp and play for a bit, the wind would change direction and the smoke would go right up my nose before I could move.