Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Here in "Blue Roof Land," formerly known as the Greater Pensacola Area before the arrival of Hurricane Ivan, the terrible, there is an unfortunate sub-class of citizens whose roofs remained uncovered.

We are in this group.

It is not that we didn't want a blue roof when the fad hit our area. But the Army Core of Engineers who installed the popular blue tarps either felt our house was not safe enough to climb on the roof, or knew that our home would never survive the 50% rule. (The 50% rule requires homes damaged more than 50% of their pre-Ivan value to be brought up to current code. If that is not possible, the house must be demolished or relocated.)

Last month we received our letter from the building department saying we were NOT allowed to repair our house because our damage was too great. We had to bring it up to code. Code required, among other things, that our house be lifted off the ground at least another 8 inches. (It is 8 feet 4 inches above sea level, but must be 9 feet above sea level.) Contractor after contractor told us our house could not be lifted from its 20 inch slab and must therefore be demolished.

Every official agreed. The contractors all agreed. Our house had to come down. So. . .

We found a licensed and available contractor.

Obtained "advance" money against the amount for our repairs from the insurance company to demolish the house.

Sat on the front bumper of the van.

While Gabrielle cried.

And Gregory made "roaring" noises pretending the demolition equipment was an evil monster devouring our home.

Meanwhile, I commiserated with a neighbor.

Who came to stand by my side for moral support.

As we watched in amazement.

While in one hour's time.

The house where in times past we had felt so safe and secure.

Came tumbling down as though it were made of paper and cardboard.

I mean I've struggled more with the plastic packaging on small electronics.

Than this little back-hoe struggled with our house.

And in what seemed like an instant.

The security of home. . .

Six years of memories. . .

And a big piece of my heart. . .

Was reduced to rubble.

And will soon be gone.

As though it never existed.

And today it was too hard to imagine.

That life, really would. . .

Go on.

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