Tonight I am just plainly sad. Some days are better than others on this journey since the flood, but tonight one word sums it up…sad. I came across some pictures on my computer of L’s bedroom. I had taken them when we bought new (to us) dressers. His room was really starting to come together just like he wanted it and I had snapped a few pics. When I saw those pictures tonight, sadness struck. It has been 2 1/2 months since we last truly lived in our house. I really believed that it was going to be a short evacuation and then we would be home for good. This is just not the case.
The truth of the matter is that Forest House (as L called it) is now just a part of our past. I remember the day we went on a tour of the house when it first came on the market (in August 2008). I had driven down the road several days earlier and fell in the love with the neighborhood. There was a feeling of serenity that just drew me in. When I found out there was a house for sale on that street, I had to see it. For us, it was love at first sight. The yard was amazing, truly a forest of your own. The previous owners had painstakingly mapped out the gardens and have spent much time tending them to make a beautiful place. We loved the house itself as well. Lots of room, a beautiful stone fireplace, more than one bathroom (that was new to me) and a 2 stall garage (also new to me). We felt like it was just the perfect place for our family to lay down some roots.
When we moved in on September 19, 2008, we were elated. Friends and family helped us work into the night preparing the home for our little family. It was just what we wanted and we believed we would spend many, many happy years in our forest house. Little did we know what was on the horizon for us. Many of these same friends and family helped to move us out of our house on evacuation day just 2 1/2 years later.
It is hard to think of the many hours I spent experimenting in the kitchen trying to come up with new gluten free recipes for L. It became a huge part of my life and now in the last several months, I have basically not baked at all. I loved the space in my kitchen. It was perfect for me and I thought it was where I was going to spend many years baking treats and cooking healthy meals for my family.
I was also in the process of making a space in the house as a home business. What I had found so exciting about the house was a separate entrance to a nice sized room with its own bathroom. I had big plans of turning the space into a small salon and mineral makeup studio. I was working on the decorating and had already bought a lot of the equipment necessary to start the business. But, when the flood waters came, these dreams went down the river.
Many people have asked us if we plan to rebuild and as hard as it is to say, there is just no possible way to do so. The money it would involve is too great, the uncertainty of the river makes us too uneasy, it is almost impossible to get rid of all the mold (which I have found out I am likely allergic to), and we are unsure of the future of our neighborhood if the city starts working on the dikes to build them higher. As of right now, the preliminary map shows our house as a likely candidate for a buy out. This means, the house would be purchased by the city and would be torn down. This could be a long time in the future, but we don’t feel it is worth it for us to stick a bunch of money into a house that will likely not be in existence in the future.
I know that it is time to take my eyes off what I have lost and look to the future for better things, but some days it is harder than others. On days of uncertainty, it is hard to see what is coming up ahead for us. I know deep down in my heart that there is better, but some times my head wants to go back to the past. And I guess considering that this past is only 2 1/1 months ago, I guess I just need to give myself some time to process and grieve. Like I said, some days are much better than others, but tonight I guess I am just still sad.