Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Surprises

First, I promise I will get photos up. We have been having weird technology voodoo around here, and computers are down, and I am reluctant to delete any photos off my memory card for fear that we will lose the photos if the computers crash again.

The first surprise of the week has to do with cameras. Last night, Tabby (the miracle cat) was sleeping in my flower pot, and I really wanted to get a picture. I grabbed the first memory card I could find, and turned the camera on. The card was full, so I looked through the photos to see what I could delete. On the card were pictures from the day after the fire. We had gone to Best Buy to get a camera because we needed documentation of the house for insurance. We also wanted to get photos of those first minutes. I was torn about keeping them. They weren't high quality images, and I have much better pictures. But there is something raw about them that captures the emotion of those first few hours. Dark, black, bleak. I decided to erase a couple and was able to get Tabby in the flower pot. (I will upload as soon as my laptop is fixed because the card reader on my desktop doesn't work- and yes, we have a lot of computers.)

The second surprise came this morning. We have been trying to organize the house, really get things into places that are functional as well as decorative. (I will post later about how hard it is to "decorate" without kitschy things.) I was putting some of my "old" things into a box. I love having newspapers from high school that I edited and wrote for. I love my grade school pictures and report cards. But I also don't need them on the floor, so they are in the garage. I found a book my mom had sent. It wasn't a book I really had much of an attachment to, and I've laughed often at how the things that I didn't really want (and therefore left at my mom's house) have become the things that I now cherish from my past. This book probably would have been in a giveaway pile a mere eighteen months ago. But Kellen was playing with it this morning (he likes to "read" to himself), and inside the front cover was a note from my grandfather. If you remember this post, when we were going through the remnants of the house, we found a torn letter from him. He died a few years ago, and I miss him. A love of books was something we shared, and his handwriting is beautiful.

The note reads:
"Dear Brooke,
I'm very proud of you for being an avid reader! Yes, reading provides food and pleasure for the mind - Don't ever let your brain starve!
Love,
Grandpa
Christmas '96"

Speaking of books, I just started the book, Life is a Verb. The premise is that the author's stepfather was given a cancer diagnosis and died 37 days later. What if you had 37 days to live? I know it is kind of morbid, but really, the one thing the fire has left me with is the fragility of life. How would you live your last 37 days? And since none of us can know when the end is, why not start living your life like that now? I'm hoping to share with you more of this book as I go along.

And to end on a really good note, I have started scrapbooking again. It's been a challenge because I was devastated to lose Kellen's baby book I started. I have gotten several pages into his book, and more photos should be here today. I am also starting my house scrapbook. And hopefully I will start my fire shadow box that is going to go in the living room soon. I can't wait to share that project.

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