We are currently staying at the Extended Stay America in a city near our home, but may move to the Residence Inn in another city. The Extended Stay is okay, but the Residence Inn has a separate bedroom and living area and would be nice to be able to put babies to sleep without having to go to bed at 6:30 pm with them. We are having to adapt to babies being able to get into things that they did not previously have access to. For example, babies like toilet water! Babies like cabinets. Babies like anything they can pull out, rip apart, and put in their mouths. Ah, the joy of new discovery!
Our insurance company has also started to function. We have received money for living expenses and we have the name of our adjuster. We haven't spoken with her, but we have her name and we know where she is. I'm okay with waiting right now because there are others in much greater need than we are. We have a roof over our heads, money to handle the things we need to function, and access to our clothing. We can wait.
According to the Powers that Be, Oakridge (our mobile home park) is coming back. They don't have an exact time line, but they think they can have utilities up and functioning in just a few weeks. The insurance company thinks they can have our house livable in 2 months or so. They are planning to clean the house from top to bottom and replace anything that was damaged. They will certify that the smoke will not come out of the walls, etc. before we move in. Eddie and I have decided not to move in until they have cleared all of the debris from the destroyed homes. We don't know what kind of toxic chemicals are still around and we don't want to take Gracie and Luke there until it is safe.
So many of the residents are not returning. Many are seniors on fixed incomes. Many are people who had to make tough choices about renewing their home owner's insurance. Many simply cannot come back after having seen the devastation of their homes. We met one resident yesterday who lost her home. She was visiting family in Guadalajara and came home to the devastation. She has nothing but the clothes she took to Mexico with her. She has insurance, but won't be back to Oakridge. I don't know what our community will be like, but it will never be the same community that opened its arms to us 5 years ago when we moved in.
We are all still very tired and adapting to not being at home. Gracie and Luke have been having a hard time sleeping, but I am hoping that they will start feeling comfortable and can find their routine again. They are waking up crying several times a night and I worry that they will bother the other residents of the hotel. I don't want to be that family that bothers everyone else.
Thank you, again, to everyone for your love and support. I know many of you collected things for us and I greatly appreciate that. We are fortunate enough to have a furnished place to stay and clothes to wash. I hope you will consider donating those items, and/or money, to the Red Cross for the fire victims. I know that St. Didacus Church in Sylmar is collecting clothing and furniture. We delivered 3 bags of our clothes to them yesterday.
Gracie and Luke are off to Day Care today. We made the decision to keep them there so that they have something consistent. They love going because they get to play with Aldo (who I have never met, but gets them out the door!) and with the other kids. They are always happy to be there, but when we go to pick them up at 3:30, we can tell they are done!