I Now Have Clean Underwear

You’ll have to trust me that the significance of this is much greater to myself and my family than I expect it to be anyone reading. (Well, maybe for my friend Josh, who hosted my family last night. He’s heard way more than a dude should hear about another dude’s lack of clean underwear.)

Silliness aside, I managed to tether my Droid to my work netbook and attain enough signal to click “send” successfully. Or, I think I will. I managed to get this page to load anyway. πŸ™‚ Here’s a quick update on what your donations have done. I’ll do my best to get some photos and possibly video tomorrow. I’m just hoping for text success today!

* Donna went to the store and purchased our family all new coats. We decided coats, snow pants, gloves, hats, etc. were things that made sense to purchase new. While we have been given a few coats for the kids to wear in the short term, they suffered from varying degrees of not-quite-fitting. They also were significantly different in actual insulating abilities. Again, it’s not that we weren’t grateful to cover the kid’s bodies — it’s just that purchasing such things made sense to us. (I only elaborate because while you haven’t asked for a play by play, it seems you all have some vested interest in such things. Pun shamelessly intended)

* Many people have asked if we have insurance. In fact, we do, and we’re so thankful. Since we have insurance, I honestly felt bad accepting such gracious gifts from people. As it turns out, the insurance wheels turn amazingly slow, however. While everyone has been wonderful, agent wise, the truth is these things take TIME. More so than I ever imagined. So you have all provided us with flexibility and comfort in a very rough time. Again, my gratitude is indescribable.

* I’m not good at asking for help. Those of you that know me personally probably know that. Thank you so much for not giving me an option. My family deserves the attention, and my inability to “make it all better” is humbling. You are helping in more ways than cash and gifts might seem. You’re showing my family you care about them — and that is huge.

* I’ve been asked vi email, IM, SMS, Yammer, Facebook, Twitter, Phone, Voicemail, (I’d say smoke signals, but that seems in poor taste), etc. about a few specific things:

1) Our girl’s sizes. I don’t know. I know that’s lame, but I don’t. I could say “uh, girl” — but that doesn’t actually help as much as I’d like it to. Fortunately, there are many people in our immediate vicinity that do know their sizes. Our girls were inundated with clothes, which we are very thankful for, and quite honestly we don’t have room for anything else right now. That’s not to say we won’t have that particular need in the near future, but right now we’re doing well clothing-wise. Once Donna gets online she will probably have more details.

2) Stuff for the family. This one is the hardest for me. I’m not saying that to be falsely humble, it’s just that since we’re alive, together, and warm — the rest seems selfish or arrogant to hope for. However, I see my children suffering emotionally. I can’t fix it. I desperately feel the need to fix it, but I can’t. So I will share things that I think will make a difference in their happiness. No, “stuff” won’t fix it, but I think there may be a value in pleasant distractions. I assure you my children (as Donna and myself) are treating everyone’s grace with as much humility as is possible. I have a few small things in mind, but as there is a huge coordinated effort in play already, I’ll try to make it so that we don’t end up with 374 sock monkeys from ThinkGeek. (That’s actually one of the Christmas presents our youngest misses the most. She’s such a geek in training!)

3) Stuff for Donna. You’d like my wife. Really. She’s an incredibly cool person. While there are a few things I’m trying to get set up for her, (Kindle & Laptop were destroyed), apart from reading materials and her Bible — she has few desires. Donna is the queen of “cool pen” collecting, so if you happen to have or know of some really cool pens, know that her collection is gone. (It’s not really a collection, but I tease her about it because she had so many pens)

4) Stuff for Me. I know I come across as the guy with a million toys, but honestly, there’s not much I need. I will probably spend some of the donated money to purchase some specialty equipment for creating videos. My Wacom tablet was destroyed, along with my desktop machine I used for doing such things. I’ve also accepted the offer of a laptop after much debate. See, I do have the use of a netbook, but it turns out the little beastie is rather hard to use as a main machine. Maybe I’m getting old. πŸ™‚

* My address is currently in flux. I fully expect we’ll be at our current location for the next 2-6 months, but the address is a bit of a sticky wicket. The rental house itself is too close to the post office in town, so it can’t have mail delivered directly to it. However, today was Martin Luther King Jr. day, so the post office was closed. Basically we have no mailing address. The street address (for UPS/FedEx) has changed over the past few years, and no one is quite sure what the name of the street is. I know this first hand, as I was on the phone for over an hour with the cable company trying to figure out how I could get Internet service installed. If you have a desire to send my family something, there are a couple surefire ways to get them to us. Carlie, my boss over at Linux Journal, has offered to be a clearinghouse for such things. Just drop her an email at carlie@linuxjournal.com for more details. I will post my PO Box as soon as I get it, but right now it just doesn’t exist yet.

* The House. It’s in bad shape. I plan to get some footage tomorrow, and hopefully upload to show you all. While not official, most of the people I spoke with today expect the house will be a total loss. Since it’s completely standing, and shows no outward signs of damage — that’s odd to hear, but I’ll have more details tomorrow. I will say it’s deeply disturbing to go into the house. It’s almost like stepping into a horrid, dark, putrid alternate reality.

Ok, I didn’t mean to yammer on so long. This is just the first opportunity I’ve had to do a brain dump, and wanted to take advantage of it. More soon, and thank you all for the support you’ve given us. I’m still not sure what we did to deserve such treatment, but I’m certainly grateful we did. This has been rough couple days, and you’ve ALL smoothed over the rough parts a bit.

13 thoughts on “I Now Have Clean Underwear

  1. I’m so glad y’all are doing as well as can be expected. I’ve been pleased by all the interest shown in your situation — not just by the Linux Journal staff, but by readers, strangers… heck, even Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi! Apparently the “nice guy geek” thing pays off eventually. =)

    Please know that you, Donna and the girls are in my prayers daily. I am looking for another way to help, and you may have given it to me here. Donations and cash can’t bring back your home and your pets, but it can make this time a little less rough.

    I don’t know that I believe in karma, but I do believe that if you walk through life treating other people with love, respect, and dignity, that will come back to you when you need it most. You and your family are loved!

  2. Sorry to hear about your loss. Hopefully the insurance will start moving things along soon, but it will take time. The important thing is that your family except for your pets did not get hurt or worse.

    Best Wishes and please keep us updated.

  3. Its great to know things are already looking up and being made better for you mate.

    And why do you deserve it? Cos we all love ya πŸ™‚

    Take care dude, hugs to all.

  4. ((Hugs)) This just proves how many people’s lives you’ve touched, or how many laughs you’ve invoked. We know Donna through you and from her own posts as well. You’re both good people. I’m glad you’re taking the help that’s been offered. I’m completely amazed at how the community has come together. I’m proud (and a little humbled myself) to be a part of it. Hang in there and know we’re thinking of you!

  5. I found your website through Wil Wheaton, and am glad I did. One of the greatest things in life is being able to give help to others in time of need. I just wish you and your family the very best that can be. Sending prayers and thoughts to you and your family!!

  6. Oh Shawn….I am so touched by your sharing. Thank you so much. What a loving family you have and YES you and your family do deserve to be wrapped in the love of the church family and our community. It also wonderful that the many people that only know you online have so willingly reached out to help. I heard yesterday that the fund was up to $8000. I haven’t checked today, but Praise God! I have posted it on my FB and will probably do so again. Much love to you and your family. Will to think of some comfort things for the girls or try to get ahold of Donna and ask what would be good.

  7. Shawn,

    I can’t tell you how glad I am to see how the ‘tubes’ have circled the wagons to take care of you and your family. Glad, but not surprised. If there’s anyone I’ve met in the last few years who embodies the concept of “community”, it’s you.

    To anyone else who is following, Shawn mentions his “friend Josh”. Shawn introduced me to Josh sometime last year and to be honest, if there are two people who’d be expected to disagree on everything you can imagine…it’s me and Josh. But guess what…Josh totally walks the walk. I’m proud to kinda, sorta know him. He’s a total mensch. (Look it up.)

    Back to you Shawn… Email me when you’re ready for Pizza Night. πŸ˜€
    I already know who to call!

  8. I’m glad your family is ok Shawn. The whole situation sucks but at least the real and online community are helping. Personally I think you should find a way to blame the whole thing on Wil Wheaton but thats just me.

  9. So sorry to hear the bad news, but also pleased to hear you are all ok, which at the end of the day is the main thing. I have bee subscribing to LJ for 14 years now and have noticed he influence you have had on it, and have enjoyed your contributions, you have been doing an excellent job.

    On the bright side, you will be ale to get your house rebuilt to a new spec. with high insulation values to reduce the cost of heating/energy, maybe even a 12/24v power supplied built in, which would make it safer too.

    Best wishes from the UK

  10. Shawn & Donna,

    We are thinking of you and your family often. We are here if you need ANYTHING! I found your comment about Lizzie’s sock monkey cute. My Lindsay wanted to buy her one yesterday, because she knew it was her favorite. Please let us know if she did not get one. We would love to buy one for her.

    Jen

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