Day 18 / Day 49: I Got Mail

Last week when Mike went to the post office and waited in line for hours like we were told to do when he got to the desk they told him we couldn’t get our mail because it was already on a truck and going to be delivered to us. Ok, great. Five or so days later it arrived, which is good. I was happy to see Ax’s National Geographic Junior and Highlights Magazine subscriptions and happy to see this catalogue for home furnishings I won’t buy. I wasn’t happy to see our credit card bills, which are due in two days. And they are quite heavy from evac one housing and food and travel expenses.

And of course there’s the regular mortgage payment and car payment and gas, water, garbage, Internet, all the usual stuff at the end/beginning of the month, that bite a bit harder given that we haven’t had use of our home for most of December/Jan and we’ve incurred additional evac two housing expense for this month, plus a bit more dining out than usual, a sports bra here a new shampoo there which doesn’t seem like that much, it’s not like a weeklong vacation in Bali, but I’ll feel that extra spend when the bills come in next month.

That’s all fear talking. We are absolutely fine. We have savings. We are fine. We have insurance, though when I called them for evac one to file my claim they were pretty unfriendly and frankly I haven’t been eager to call again to find out what documentation they will need for what. But it’s all adding up and it’s time to get back on the administrative horse and push through:

No, our house wasn’t destroyed. No, our house isn’t filled with mud (though it was filled with ash). No my family is not injured or worse. We’ve been displaced, we’ve been evacuated for our safety and the safety of others. Yes we’ve paid into this insurance for a long time and now I would like to be insured.

So that’s what I’m going to say, if they ask. I’m … Just. Not. Quite. Ready. I’m not ready to deal. I’m not ready to interact with bureaucrats. I’m raw, I’m fragile. The main street is open and I went to drive down it yesterday and got stopped for about ten minutes to make way for a grim parade of street sweeper trucks followed by men in masks on foot scraping the street with little scrapers on poles to get the dried toxic mud loosened for the cleaning trucks that followed behind them.

I honked and waved and gave thumbs up to them as they passed, my eyes filling with tears behind designer sunglasses, breathing heavy, double checking to make sure my windows were all the way closed and my car filter thingy was on recirculate, not bring in air from the outside. It’s not ash. It’s toxic mud dust. I don’t want to breathe it.

My friend was up puking all night, another friend had what she called a “stomach bug,” my mom has the flu now, Mike has some kind of scary cough, and this morning I woke up a little runny-nosed, a little depleted. I’m Not Going to get Sick Again. I was sick. For a long time. I got better. I just can’t be sick again. I will not.

The stress levels and crap-in-the-air levels are high. And they’ll come down. It’s Friday, we have a safe place to stay this weekend where we can relax. I’m gonna keep going.