We’re having a bit of Nor’Easter today. My area isn’t getting snow but driving cold rain. It’s certainly no weather to be without shelter in. Yet, somehow, it feels as though the storm has arrived just in time to blow out the bad and usher in some truly good things.
All week the phone and emails, people coming, going, us picking things up and trying to sort it all out (at this point it’s like shoveling against the tide with a broom) has been non-stop. Truly amazing and truly exhausting. In between that, we’ve done the best we can to be physically present for them but that hasn’t been easy. Hubby had appointments on unrelated matters….he finally settled the first worker’s comp case! Woot! Only took two years and the deal is crap but at this point…who cares? ONE is finally DONE now we have to tackle the other knee. For which he had an all-day doctor appointment for his last rating and we only have one car. While I work in Groton and have been able to stop by quickly to pick up/drop off laundry on my way to/from work it’s been a challenge. We were able to take our oldest granddaughter, Laylah
Overnight one night, we hope to do more now that……
They’re in a nicer motel in New London, where the family happens to be! Thanks to just the checks that were donated, I was able to get them into a local motel for two weeks! It’s a little bigger, it even has a chair and microwave, so there’s some room for this family of 5 to at least not completely trip over each other 24/7. From the looks of the pictures there may even be enough to get a small dresser in there which will considerably help organized otherwise greatly disheveled conditions.
I looked online for a local motel and found one that I knew to be clean, fairly new, and friendly to people in my daughter’s situation. I found one. I liked the online price. I almost booked it right off but, well, I’m getting the room but someone else is staying in it and I didn’t know how that was going to work out. The next day…the next day…keep that in mind, please…with time running a bit short and me getting a bit braver about booking online (something I am completely unfamiliar with because I never go anywhere) I checked it out again….it was nearly $200 more! In one day.
That day happened to be her step-son’s birthday. What a way to spent your 8th birthday, huh? Totally crappy. I went to BigY and got a cake in the suggested flavor with matching candles. We had a Christmas present for him (I just started ordering Christmas presents about 5 hours before the fire broke out!) so I gave him that, ran next to door to Odd Job and picked up a few small gifts suitable for a hotel. Not an easy task. I dropped all of that off at the hotel. Then went to the bank to cash the checks. I was given 11 100-dollar bills.
On the way home, I steeled my nerves so I could do something I find a bit gauche when others do it.I really do find it extremely off putting so I never do it. I walked into the motel, introduced myself, pulled the cash from my wallet (disgusting I know! So bad!) as I explained the situation. He happily gave me the room for the price I saw the day before online instantly saving $200 so I was able to take that $1100 and secure the room for two weeks. PHEW! That’s a load off. Not a permanent one but a load just the same and I hope it takes some of the stress off my daughter’s shoulders. They have a place through Christmas. I was assured they could keep that room at the same rate for as long as they needed to stay.
For some reason or another, their landlord gave them $2000.00 in cash as like “sorry” money or something. It’s odd, let me just that. The investigation isn’t complete and they’re handing out money. Ok. Whatever. They have that cash in-hand. I firmly begged them to take the whole wad and pay for the place through January. This way they won’t have to worry about a thing as the snow begins to blow.
My daughter, understandably was quite upset after seeing this and the rest of the aftermath of the fire. She was able to go through some of it and recover some very sentimental family items along with some clothes. We were also ale to rescue Sonic, Laylah’s cat, a few days ago. He’s been hanging out at my house. Laylah was happy to see him when she stayed over. It was the first night he ventured out of the basement. We found him settled next to her in her bed, both of them sound of asleep. We’re hoping to rescue the other cat, Vaughn at some point but right now she’s too skittish to come near anyone.
Here’s a bit of kismet for you. The day I got the room, within two hours, her partner secured a job! Best part; it’s within extremely easy walking distance of the new motel. In fact, they almost share a parking lot. How perfect is that? Now there’s a stream of income so hopefully that will make it much easier to sign a lease on a permanent place whenever one is found. Granted, it’s not a lot income for a family of 5 but it’s a start and in a field he likes.
Oh, yes, did I mention, a reporter fro Channel 30 News reached out to me on FB? I was shocked and scared to death when they interviewed me so thankfully they didn’t use much of me in it. You can watch it here.
Today is Move In Day for them. They’re packing up and getting the hell out of that shitty Super 8!!! Leaving my daughter and granddaughters there always made my stomach turn. I just wanted to grab them, throw them in the car, and take off with them. As many times I offered to do just that I was refused. That’s ok, I understand.
Tonight they’ll be in a cleaner cheerier place and that makes me feel better. It’s certainly the best I could do for them under the circumstances. Best off all, we have yet to touch a dime of the GoFundMe Money. I’m thrilled to be able to say we’ve collected $4,585.00 so far. I’m sad to say I had to raise the goal to 10k given I have no idea how long their motel stay in actually going to be.
I keep doing my best to post updates over there to keep the campaign “alive” and sending out the link to it with the updates–well, it won’t let me just post a link to the update anyway. I put the app on my phone so I can quickly get those Thank You notes out to people. That’s been quite something.
Anyway as we’re coming to a lull with physical donations and the family is safe for now, it’s time to turn our attention back to Christmas and try to make it the best we can for the kids. I have plans to get them a small artificial tree, someone donated a ceramic Christmas Village, if there’s room I’ll give them a couple of those buildings, a few strings of lights, and I do have very nice Christmas Stockings for each child. I’ve roped a friend of mine who’s staying at the motel into being a Christmas Elf. She so kindly agreed to let us drop by on Christmas Eve and to store presents for a few hours. After the kids go to sleep, my daughter or her partner will run over there, grab them, put them around the tree and when they wake up….voila! Santa Claus found them! They were not forgotten!
I suppose that sounds silly and incidental to some folks out there at a time like this but, you know, I grew up on all those old Christmas Shows, “Charlie Brown”, “The Grinch”, “Rudolph”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, in fact I still watch them every single year and I still cry when “The Grinch’s” heart grows. So, a little Christmas Magick never hurt anyone. In fact, due to all of this, this year will be the first in decades that there’s a real live big Christmas tree in my house. I want to spread the magick as far and wide as I can for them.
For you nice folks, I want to say Thank You to you too! So I made a video. I hated the first one, even when I put it up I hated the music but it was free. I have since updated it with something so much better! I hope you enjoy and if I don’t come back before hand….Happy Holiday and a very Merry Christmas!