i spent my memorial day with a good friend named Rici. we celebrated by shopping and talking about sheep sweat as an ingredient in chapstick. but i digress
when i came home i was shocked to see more than 10 (probably even 11) firetrucks surrounding my apartment building, along with several police cars and ambulances. i hopped out of my truck and rushed over to see what was going on, praying that it wasn't MY apartment.
the good news is that it wasn't. the bad news: 4 apartments were completely destroyed by the fire (started by a woman who placed a cardboard box on her stove, not realizing it was on) and 2 more apartments destroyed by all the water used to extinguish the fire.
it turned into this very cliche scene: news teams were coming from everywhere...and all the residents of our complex were clumping outside, trying to piece together information and attempting to devise a way we could all help without being intrusive. the cliche part was that i met the people that live around me for the first time in the 10 months i've lived here. and, as it turns out, they are super nice people. even the russian guy below me that seems to be addicted to REALLY loud music at two in the morning...he was really nice, and quite funny. I'm so disappointed in myself for not making some sort of effort to meet with these people before now. why does it take a tragedy to bring people together? why can't we be a community in the normal times? we live in such an isolationistic society.
good news: everyone is fine...no one was hurt. Every belonging was basically destroyed, and i can't even imagine what that would be like. another cliche- learning the value of simplicity only when you've lost it all.
frustrating news: i checked in with the apartment management to see how i could contribute to helping out. all of my new neighbor friends are wanting to join together and help the families who are now without home and stuff....and the management said "we're not doing anything to help. why don't you call the Red Cross" what!?!? it's our community...why should i have to go outside the community to help?
so i've made a decision. i'm going to organize it myself. i'll reach out to the people living around me and see what we can put together. if you're in the area, and you feel compelled to help at all, let me know.
maybe we'll organize a fund raising walk (see prev. post on the Strides event). we'll walk around the management office for a few hours. maybe that will inspire them.