Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day Sixteen and Seventeen

Blessings for the sixteenth day include that Josh and I know how the city of Joplin wants us to proceed with our house, sort of.  We packed up our stuff in the barn to be ready to move when the time comes.  I was able to find several things that I was looking for like underwear.  It really is amazing how finding small things is sometimes all it takes to make your day better.  My iPhone came back to life!!!

It seems like it has been years since this all started.  There is so much to be done and we have come so far, but it is still impressive how much more has to be done.  Josh and I went through and organized all our stuff again.  We cleaned out everything that is in the barn that is ours and we cleaned out many of the tubs we were able to salvage.  There is still so much debris on everything.  The smell is still very pungent and everything is dirty. 

We went to the mall to find some shorts for me.  I have decided to be really picky about what I get.  I want things to fit and be something I like; not just something that I can wear for now.  I went and got some shoes from a distribution center at the mall.  I needed some shoes for later this week and all I have are strappy sandals.  I did not find any shorts, but I got to shop for a little while which was nice.

Josh and I went to the Joplin City Meeting were they were supposed to discuss the plans for Joplin and debris removal.  Josh has never been interested in attending a city meeting, but the tornado made him be more invested.  It was amazing how many people came to the meeting.  The entire building was full and people were standing in the back.  We sat through the entire meeting to hear them repeat the paperwork they handed out at the beginning.  They did not provide us with any further information and did the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas “Sidestep” on issues that were related to debris clean-up.  It was frustrating. 

There were approximately 7000 families displaced by the storm and of these it is estimated that 50% did not have insurance.  So the city has to fund 3500 families’ home demolitions.  Currently the city is only willing to address loose debris that is around homes.  The city wanted us to sign a “Right to Entry” form that absolves them of any liability of property damage.  The problem is that if Josh and I sign this paper, then we will have to also sign over any insurance money that we have for debris removal.  This is all understandable, except that we have three walls still standing and a basement.  The city will not address their plans for demolition or basement fill in.  So we will have to blindly sign over our debris removal money and there is no guarantee that the city will do all the work.  We were encouraged to hire an excavator to complete the job since we have insurance that will cover the cost of demolition. 

I have to brag about my wonderful husband.  He got up and asked questions at the meeting and was so eloquent.  We spoke with an attorney afterwards and she said that he asked the exact questions she was going to.  He is so amazing.  I cannot describe how proud I am to be his wife.

Our biggest concern is that 7000 homes were impacted and this does not include the commercial buildings.  So we will have to compete with all these other people to hire a company to complete this job.  I also want our money to stay local so that Joplin will benefit from this situation.  These are all incredibly difficult tasks to complete considering the magnitude of the situation. 

We left this meeting some what confused and frustrated and went back to the house.  After the meeting we talked for a while about how to proceed.  Josh called his boss about an excavator and posted on Facebook to find referrals.  He heard back from his boss and he will call the company in the morning.  We ultimately decided to go ahead and higher someone.  As long as they are under the amount allotted by our insurance company, we really do not care.  I just want the house gone.

The major blessing for day seventeen was that we were able to higher an excavator who wants to start working next week!  This was wonderful news since we talked with several who gave us a two month waiting period before they could give us a quote.  The company is registered with the Better Business Bureau and is fully licensed, bonded, and insured.  They are not from Joplin, but are from a nearby community that works with Joplin regularly.  It made me feel a little better to know that the money will at least stay in Missouri.  There are lots of companies from other states here now that are trying to help expedite the process, but will take the money back to their community to spend it.  This will not benefit Joplin long term.  Other blessings include that Josh and I have windows on our car and air conditioning at the house we are staying at.  It is again very hot out and car windows are very difficult to get in the area.  Had my car been at home, I am not sure that it would have survived and it definitely would not have windows if it had.  We are ready to move tomorrow to our new location.  I have sorted through all our clothes and found more summer clothing.  I have been running low on shorts, but I found two more pairs.  Yay for shorts!  I have a job interview on Thursday of this week for a position I applied for before I graduated.  I am excited about it, but at the same time I am incredibly apprehensive. 

Josh started the day by calling all the excavators he could find in the phone book.  He got a hold of two and left messages for all the others; only two others returned his call.  This is typical of the situation.  I never got any calls back regarding the rentals I called about last week.  It is very disappointing. 

We drove into town to get our mail and talk with friends.  We ate lunch out, again.  When talking with our friends, we got the name of realtor who is purchasing property to develop.  Josh and I are very interested in this since we do not want to rebuild.  We called and left a message with them.

We met with an excavator at our house and he gave us a bid that is completely acceptable.  The company said that this was do-able and that he could get to us next week.  He does not want to move his machinery very far since it is expensive and we are only two blocks from his current job.  God has watched over us so much during this process.

While at our house, I realized that I hate going back.  Every time it makes me cry.  It also really smells now.  The fridges and freezers smell awful now and there is nothing that can be done about it.  The city has started to remove all the debris that is right next to the street.  This is the first step in the process.  Hopefully, this will not take forever. 

We ate and went to a friend’s house to hang out.  We talked about our day and then watched some comedy on Netflix.  It is weird to laugh.  Things are just not the same.

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