When I began this blog, I had 2 college-aged kids and  2 middle-aged dogs. I was on the verge of an empty nest, but I wasn’t dreading it as society seems to think mothers should. I’m a bit of a loner, at least I spend a lot of time on my own, and I’m fine with that. I was looking forward to beginning a new phase in my life by selling my large suburban house and finding a smaller one closer in to the city.  A fire at my house just two days before it was to go on the market postponed those plans.
This blog is a journal about a challenging time in my life due to a house fire, my son’s experience with depression, and the beginning  of my empty-nester life. The fire at my house occurred in May 2011, exactly 6 weeks before my first entry, and reliving it through writing was both difficult and helpful. It’s been half a dozen years now since the fire, but I do look back now to reflect and get some perspective on that time. I wish I had known someone going through similar problems who could, if not advise, then at least listen to me. If you’re going through these issues in your life now, I hope this journal will help.
Start here:   Ready, set, fire!

13 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: Matthew, An Unwelcome Visitor (36) | My Life in the Middle Lane

  2. shoshwrites3 says:

    Thanks for your kind words. I decided to write just about the year of the house fire with a few follow-ups. I am contemplating turning it into a book.

  3. Jm says:

    Just suffered a fire thanks for the read hope your doing well i see you stopped posting blogs you should write a book i couldnt stop reading ur old post thanks again

  4. shoshwrites3 says:

    Thank you for your comments, Jenn. That was one of my primary motivations for sharing my experience! I doubt I’ll ever be completely back to my pre-fire self. Even when I smell BBQ or some other wood-burning restaurant, my first thought is that smell from the fire that lingers for so long. Good luck settling into your new house. Just take it day by day!

  5. Jenn says:

    I just found your blog, it came just in time. My husband and i lost our house to a wildfire in Colorado and are 4 weeks shy of completion of our rebuild. It has taken us just under 2 years to get here. While I should be so excited about moving to our new house, I am terribly sad and scared. You nailed it when you mentioned the rollercoaster of rebuilding, there is still so much worry and anxiety. Thanks for putting up your blog, it made me feel like I am not going crazy.

  6. Amy Brown says:

    We were told the repairs would take 60 to 90 days, so thanks for warning me that it might be more days. That helps. Yes, I had thought that with all the repairs that it might be worth more, but most people that we tell this story to will say they wouldn’t buy the house. I feel sorry for the owners at this time and that is why I didn’t want to be unkind or unfair to them at this time. This is really a tough one. You insight really helps. I know you had mentioned that your home was worth more, did the buyer who purchased your home feel the same way? Would it have been a comfort to know that you had a buyer during the 5 months of waiting? Are we a blessing in that way or does it really not matter when someone goes through something like this? Basically, you are saying that safety is not so much of a issue as compared to anything other house. It has to pass codes like any other house. I think my biggest issue is I wouldn’t want to buy a house that is unsafe for our family and I don’t want to buy a house that is overpriced. When I look at the house now, it just looks terrible compared to it’s original state. Thank you for all your insight. It’s nice to talk to someone who has been through this situation. That’s what is so great about the internet!

  7. shoshwrites says:

    Since I don’t know the details of insurance and damage or the real estate issues in your area, etc., I don’t want to advise you on specifics. Your realtor is still probably the best person. If the insurance is paying for all damage to be repaired, it could still be a good deal for you. My house is actually worth more now because the entire interior is new, updated, upgraded, and up-to-code. It was on the market 6 days and I got a contract on it. Do take into consideration that the work usually takes longer than an estimated time [just like all house renovations!] because the work only begins after a detailed report by the contractor is submitted to the insurance appraiser and accepted. It took 5 weeks for that to finish up before the work could begin. The estimated time for work was about 90 days/3 months, but it took 5 months. Sometimes issues come up during the repairs that weren’t known originally, which means the contractor has to get approval from the insurance, etc. As far as being worried about safety, it depends how the fire started, but even then, the repaired house will have to pass city inspections for safety and the house inspector will look at those issues, too. Hope that helps a bit.

  8. Amy Brown says:

    Hey! I found your blog while searching on the internet for information regarding buying a house that had a house fire. My husband and I had a contract on a home for 4 days when their/our (same person) Realtor called us to tell us the owners had experienced a house fire. We were in shock and in fact most people we tell this story to just can’t believe it. I thought I could get your advice on some things. I noticed that you were just getting ready to sell,. Also, you home suffered more damage than this home we were going to buy. We don’t have the details of what caused the fire yet. We are still waiting on that info. , but in the the mean time our Realtor is encouraging us to still buy the house. We loved the house and would like to buy, but we are both scared at the same time. We want to buy the house and it has to look just like it did before the fire for us to feel happy about it. We also worry about safety. We were told that it would take 60-90 days to complete the house. Here’s some of my questions: Do you think the owners are worried about finding a buyer if we don’t buy? Also, do you think we should give them less for the house? We thought that they would be getting expenses, etc… paid for through insurance that they might not might taking the price of our rent for the 60-90 days of the purchase price to help us. We pay $750 for rent. So, we would ask for around $1,500 to $2,000 less than our contract states. Is this wrong of us? We don’t want to cause them any more pain, but wonder if we are being fair to feel that they should work with us on that issues? Our Realtor thinks no that they can’t afford anymore, but does the fire change the deal. If you had a buyer immediately after the repairs would that be a plus for you? We felt that it would help. The buyers want to build another house in another area. The home was on the market for 70 days before we put the contract on it. Thank you for any advice that you can give…

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  10. shoshwrites says:

    Thanks, Joleen. It’ll be 7 weeks on Thursday, but it sure feels like months and months. Writing this journal-blog is helping.

  11. Joleen says:

    Way to go, Shosh. Hope this helps with the healing process and is a fun, healthy outlet for you! I know it has been a rough few months for you. –Joleen

  12. shoshwrites says:

    Thanks for your comments. I don’t want to reveal too much about my blog because part of the purpose is to keep people reading. I’ll keep it in mind, though, since I’m just beginning this journey.

  13. You should edit your about page so people know what your blog is about. My blog shares similar thoughts.

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