The first day we got registered with FEMA, applied for a low interest SBA loan which supplements the FEMA grant, checked in with the Office of Emergency Services, cancelled SDG&E and learned they waive your last bill, registered with the county for whatever services they offer. Everything has been thought of and covered, things you haven’t remotely considered – like damaged vehicle towing, and your septic system. Actually, all of it is stuff I hadn’t thought of, except filing the insurance claim. We even got temporary food stamps, which I thought we wouldn’t qualify for, but in that situation you do. And unlike the man who said he wouldn’t take them because someone else needed them more, though I agreed with him, I knew if I didn’t take it that other person wasn’t going to get my share anyway. Since we lost every grain of rice we had I was glad for the $298 in food stamps, mostly because it was the first thing that reversed the flow, from loss to gain, and it gave me a happy feeling and allowed me to know what I had to aspire to, and set my vision on. That was more important then the $298, which I kept referring to as $300 and Richard, ever the literalist kept correcting me, until I threatened him with death and even after I had. I have not yet gotten around to killing him, but it’s on my list, at least the mental one.
We left that day with a starter check from the insurance company and I was reminded – I should have remembered but hadn’t that we got to have comparable housing for the next two years, which is a comfort since we have to continue paying the mortgage on our ash pile.