House Fire & Resulting Changes
* Please accept my apologies for the length of this post. I beg your forgiveness, but there is a lot I need to share.
1. Impactful Events = Unintended Consequences that Need to be Addressed
There were a couple events recently that have had unintended but nonetheless impactful consequences. As a result, I want to take responsibility for being unresponsive to this community and I hold myself accountable.
There were some significant personal family events thatoccured through the winter that required my attention, but more recently I had a house fire that started from an electrical pet warming bed. No one was home and all our animals were outside of the house and thus were unharmed. However, by the time neighbors knew what was happening the house was fully engulfed in flames. The first level burned and the basement was destroyed due to the water damage from putting the fire out, in addition to freezing temperatures and additional snow that came before the roof was boarded over. The entire house needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.
I expected things to settle down after this event faster than they have. In fact, the opposite has been true – more attention each day seems to be needed to re-home our animals, document all that was lost including both personal and Permie Kids materials, redesign and rebuild the house, take care of a dog that now has high anxiety and is destructive if left alone even for short periods of time, find a new place to rent for 6-12 months while the old home is rebuilt, revise my children’s schedules as I struggle to balance being pulled to deal with these other things while still meeting my kids’ needs for attention and learning especially since where we are renting is almost an hour away from where we used to live, etc.
The fire has resulted in putting my life into a tailspin that I’m struggling with daily to get under control while trying to hold much of this burden upon myself because my children do not need to carry this load. However, the extra weight unsurprisingly impacts my ability to function at my bestat all areas of my life. My children’s lives have been upended already and they have been tremendously resilient, understanding, and open to creatively embracing the changes that have come as a result in positives ways. I only hope I can live with even an ounce of the grace and love they are showing me at this time.
2. Shifting Not Stopping Work
Before sharing more details for those who desire to know, please know that I intend to carry on the overarching goal for Permie Kids which is to help people learn and put into practice the art and wisdom ofdesiging beautiful relationships that nourish life and honor the inherent worth, dignity, and curiosities of our young people in the context of nature and supportive community. How this happens though is going to shift from one that requires my daily attention and/or has inflexible deadlines (related to both the online and in-person activities I have done) to an approach that allows me to work and produce for the community as/when able.
For example, I wrote a new online course on how to start an edible garden with kids. This was intended as a new product for members to go out mid-March, but due to the circumstances I didn’t get it set up for automated email distribution and I didn’t have a new spring product for members. It isn’t fair to ask for ongoing membership support from you when I am inconsistent in what you receive in return.
Between now and the summer I am going to cease all revenue-generating activities until I can evaluate each one. Until my review of what I have done vs. what I can do moving forward is clearly laid out on the website, I have stopped 1) accepting payments for memberships (note: current memberships will be honored – you will receive the agreed upon benefits for the duration of this current membership period, but I am not taking new or renewed annual payments at this time) and 2) offering items for sale (all Seller Members paying for membership will be refunded for any unused portion of their yearly membership while the store is offline).
3. Moving Forward
As a result of all that has happened and the changes to come, I expect some of you to continue to connect with the goals and support this work and for others to want to reinvest your time and resources into other good works. All decisions are valid and I respect whatever you choose to do. I am grateful for your interest and support to date and for those who do want to continue to support Permie Kids (even in this nebuloustime) there is a link on the website to give a gift of the heart. Please do not feel obligated, but any and all levels of gift are very much appreciated.
Details about what happened
Losing our house has been hard, but everyone (including our animals) are fine which is, of course, the most important thing. I have been thankful for the overwhelming local community support received and, ultimately, it’s just a house and a place on this earth. It is a huge inconvenience, but nothing “important” was lost.
To answer a few questions many of you may have… No one was home when the fire started which is fortunate and perhaps unfortunate because the fire was out of control before it was seen and 911 was called. Luckily our animals were outside and our neighbors got our dog and took him in through the event. The current thinking, though it can’t be verified due to structural damage, is that a heated dog bed (like an electric blanket) shorted out and started an electrical fire. Finally, the house is considered a total loss and will need to be rebuilt. It’s estimated to take 6-12 months. In the meantime, we have rented a house about an hour away and are trying to create a new “normal” for ourselves in this time of great change.
With that said, please know me and my family are all okay and are just, as a friend says, bending our knees and riding out this wave.