Thursday, June 16

Smoke gets in your eyes

Clementine and I have spent most of the last week-and-a-half sunbathing in Momma's brother's back yard. 

Momma scrubbed us down ("Don't forget to wash behind your ears!") and carefully hand-washed the Doctor Who outfits we wore to Phoenix Comicon 16 on Saturday before the fire. Other than one or two minor soot stains on our cloth bodies and Tardis bag, we're practically good as new!

Momma says I need to be restrung, but that can wait until she assembles the necessary materials again. 

Meanwhile, Clementine and I plan to write a Strongly Worded letter of praise to the manufacturer of our Tardis backpack. I hate to think what our appearance would be without it. 

Saturday, June 11

No strings attached

In three hours it will be one week since our nightmare began. One week since my parents' home of nearly 41 years went up in flames. It was the single most terrifying moment of my life - and one that I would not wish on anyone.

Despite losing our home, one car, generations of possessions, and two dearly loved cats we have gained much: love, compassion, generosity.

We have been astounded by the outpouring of donations and acts of kindness. A car. Monetary donations. Gift cards, Hugs. Raffles. Water. Shade. More hugs. Someone to cry with. Free services. The list goes on and on and on.

We have discovered we are not alone. 

That no man (or woman) is an island.

We are family.

And we thank you.

"Here is a good stick for your house. It is a gift. A free gift. No strings attached. Signed, a member of your family." from Barrington Bunny by Martin Bell

Thursday, June 9

After the fire

Hello world!

Clementine and I are still airing out but doing better!

Up in smoke

You never think it'll happen to you. 

Until it does. 

Our house went up in flames at 12:35 a.m. on Sunday, June 5. All of the people barely made it out and most of the pets. 

Momma discovered Clementine and I safe in our TARDIS backpack late Sunday afternoon. (We're sunbathing in the nude for now.) Thankfully she hadn't taken us out yet after returning from Phoenix Comicon that afternoon. 

We are smoky and wet but salvageable. The house is a complete loss and Momma, family, and friends are still salvaging items from the ruins. 

Sadly, two cats did not escape and Grandpoppa's car was totalled, too. 

Keep the people you love close. 

In the blink of an eye
Just a whisper of smoke
You could lose everything
The truth is you never know

Meghan Trainor

Saturday, May 21

If you can read this, thank a teacher

Hopefully everyone has at least one teacher who has made a difference.

At least one teacher who believed in you.

At least one teacher who thought you were everything you thought you could be - and then some.

For Momma, that teacher was Gerri B. Fiedler. And today was Mrs. Fiedler's memorial service.

Momma first met Mrs. Fiedler in the spring of 1979. Momma had a crush and started hanging around the journalism room at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The crush faded in time, but her love of writing and photography grew and was nurtured under Frau Fiedler's tender relentless tutelage.

All Momma really needed to know she learned in Gerri Fiedler's classes. 

This was "old school" journalism: Typewriters, 35mm cameras, darkrooms, carbon paper, newsprint, rubber cement, pica poles, late nights, early mornings, deadlines, pizza.

Frau Fiedler was always there, whether it was 6 a.m. or midnight.

Mrs. Fiedler was always there.

It has been 34 years since Momma graduated from high school, but Momma never forgot Frau Fiedler and Frau never forgot Momma - or any of her kids.

Momma would call her every now and then to share life events. Frau Fielder would call every now and then - especially after seeing Momma's byline.

She was always so proud of her kids.

Frau Fiedler was always there for her kids.

And now she's not. 

We'll see you again at the great newsroom in the sky.

Feb. 21, 1930 - April 29, 2016