We were able to get replacement drivers licenses and social security cards and debit cards and cell phones and keys for our cars.

I don’t want to post contact information here directly, but here’s some general information:

We are living with Sean’s parents. Some of you may know that address.

Our cell phone numbers are the same as they were before. If you have called me and I haven’t returned your call, I apologize. I’ve been very busy but I am trying to get back with everyone. Dawn, I’m sorry I won’t be able to call you, but thank you so much for calling. I saved your message.

We both still have access to our original email accounts. As we don’t have a computer yet, we can’t respond immediately to email, but we will respond eventually. Several friends have generously offered to let us come over and use their computers. We also both have computers at work. My email is cosleia AT QX DOT net; if you email me there I can give you the other contact info.

Sean’s employer very generously gave him the week off, paid, and didn’t remove the time from his normally allocated PTO. I took Monday and Tuesday off and right now I’m at work, which is how I’m posting this message.

My mother is sending me a new camera. It’s exactly the same as the one I used to have. She found it on eBay.

As I understand it, the Red Cross is actually going to help us in some way. AIMCO, the company that owns Springhouse, is also taking up some sort of collection to distribute among everyone who was affected. In addition, friends and family have been helping out.

We are going to live with Sean’s parents probably through the end of the year and just save, save, save. At that point we plan to buy our first house, and that’s when donations of furniture and appliances will be extremely welcome. At this point we don’t have any room for that kind of thing, although several friends have offered to store things for us if absolutely necessary. We are also considering renting storage. Ultimately, though, at this point we would prefer to not receive furnishings and similar items.

We have replaced our toiletries, and several people have given us clothes. Our wardrobes aren’t up to snuff yet but they will be eventually–clothes are still welcome, although you will have a hard time finding things for Sean. We will probably have to buy all of his stuff new. He wears a medium shirt (he prefers polo/golf shirts), and his pants size is 30″ X 34″. I’m currently wearing XL shirts and size 16-18 pants, not that I have ever wanted to advertise my sizes on the Internet. (I’m not telling you about my underwear and bra.)

I am planning on making a new Amazon list called “Things We Lost in the Fire”, which people will be welcome to buy from later–mostly it will just be a catalogue to work from when we go to replace things, and in case we sue or whatever. Sean and I both have ethical issues with suing if it was an accident (in other words, if there was negligence but it was slight), but if there was gross negligence or arson that would be fine.

Sean is ordering us some laptop computers from Dell, but there was an issue with the financing yesterday so he might not get the great deal he was going to get, so we’re not sure if we’re still getting the laptops. Either way, we don’t have room for a desktop in his parents’ house. We have to maintain as small a footprint there as possible, meaning that pretty much everything we own has to be stashed away in a closet or drawer when we’re not using it, so that it looks like we’re not there at all. If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I’m petty and can’t stop looking gift horses in the mouth.

I may go crazy, but oh well.

I have been keeping myself as busy as possible. Last night when everything I immediately needed to do was done, I had time to really think about it for the first time. Of course I’ve been seeing things and saying dryly, “I used to have one of those, but it burned up in the fire.” But I was keeping myself from really feeling it as much as I could. Last night, I had run out of distractions, and I figured that I should let out some emotions, so I cried for a long time.

Then I was having trouble stopping. Sean wasn’t there because he was at a coworker’s house buying the laptops online. It got later and later and I was already upset and I started to worry that he might be dead. I mean really worry. I was hysterical. Finally he came back and it turned out that he’d run his battery completely dead talking with Dell customer service and financing on the phone, so he wasn’t able to call me back. It took me awhile to calm down and finally be able to sleep.

My long drive to Lincolnton this morning gave me plenty of thinking time, but I reverted to trying not to think about it as much as possible. My eyes are dry and I feel like I could start crying at any moment.

And now it’s time to start working.