Monday, January 3, 2011

Update on the Hawkins front

When I write on my blog about things that are going on in my life, I try to give as much of the story as I can for anyone who might be reading my blog for the first time, but not too many details that my regular readers already know. Hopefully I can catch everyone up on what has happened to the Hawkins family, while remaining brief at the same time.

Over the past five months I've written a lot about my sister Kristin and her family since they have been living with us while her husband Scott looked for a job. Scott finally found a job, so the Hawkins family packed up their belongings in a U-Haul trailer and left for California this past Tuesday. That night they stopped over at a hotel in Oklahoma City so that they could get some sleep. While they were sleeping someone stole the U-Haul trailer that they were towing behind their van.

They haven't lost all of their possessions, because they didn't bring everything they owned to St. Louis when they moved here from Utah, just the most important things. While all of their furniture, couches, beds and things like that are safe and sound, the things that they lost were the things that were most important to them for various reasons. Here's a list:

– Almost all of the clothing for the six family members. All of Scott's suits, shirts and ties as well as his nicer casual clothing. The boys each had a couple of outfits in their suitcases, but these were their play clothes and not the clothing/shoes that they wear to go out in public, to school and to church. It makes me sad because my sister had some really nice clothes. After I had my accident I had to get rid of the majority of my clothing because I didn't wear it anymore for various reasons. I gave Kristin lots of things, and these are things she still wears today. I always felt happy when she would come down the stairs wearing something of mine. It made me feel like the "old" me lived on through her.

– All of Kristin's jewelry. A few years ago Kristin started making jewelry, and she has quite a collection of necklaces and bracelets that she's made herself to complement her wardrobe. All of her jewelry was in the trailer, as well as all of the tools, supplies and beads that she uses to make jewelry.

– Kristin's family brought their TV, Wii console, Wii games, Wii controllers and all of the accessories that go with it. Kristin's boys love playing Wii so that's why they decided to bring it with them when they came to live here instead of leaving it in their storage unit. The cost of the TV, Wii and all of the other accessories is easily over $1000, so it's going to take a long time before they will even be able to start to think about replacing some of it.

– If you know Kristin, then you know how awesome of a cook she is. When Kristin moved here she brought a lot of her specialized cooking equipment. Her KitchenAid mixer, Cuisinart food processor, all of the things that she uses to make and decorate cakes, plus her digital food scale, her digital candy thermometer and a lot of other expensive kitchen tools that are going to be hard for her to live without. She's just glad that she didn't bring any more of her kitchen stuff like dishes, measuring cups and things like that because she's going to have a hard enough time replacing the specialty things.

– When my sisters and I were kids, my mom made stuffed dogs for all of us. Kristin had two of them, actually. Her boys thought they were really neat and liked having them on the end of the beds that they slept on while living here. So they took them with them to put on their beds in their new home. I also gave Kristin a small stuffed elephant. Of course this doesn't sound like much, but I have the exact same elephant, so it was sentimental. We thought it was a cool way to remember each other when we would see our individual elephants and know that it was part of a pair and the other one was in good hands, albeit across the country. My mom also gave Kristin a housewarming present that she was supposed to open when she got to California. It was a small, clay wizard that Kristin made my mom when she was in fifth grade. All of the things in this paragraph were of course in the trailer. These things sound silly when I see the words on my computer screen, but they meant a lot to my sister and her family.

– By far the most devastating thing that they lost was the piano that my late dad gave my mom 30 years ago. Kristin loves playing the piano and would sit down and play almost every day in the months that they were living here. My favorite was when she would play Christmas songs. My mom had a music book with all sorts of different Christmas piano music in it. My mom decided to give Kristin her piano as a housewarming gift since Kristin loves playing so much. In hindsight my mom wishes that she hadn't given it away because it would still be here waiting for Kristin. However there are no second chances when it comes to something like this, so we've all told ourselves that it's gone. I think it's easier that way so that were not sitting around hoping for it to turn up, safe and sound, when that's realisticly never going to happen.

Kristin and her family arrived in Ridgecrest, California, last Friday. They've moved in and are trying to make things as normal as possible. This would be a challenging time for them anyway, even if their things hadn't gotten stolen, because they've had to leave family and move across the country to a tiny, tiny town. I was shocked when I heard how tiny of a town Ridgecrest is. There's one grocery store, one Walmart and Kmart (neither of which are supercenters) as well as a few restaurants like Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins. Everyone Kristin's met has told her that when you want to go shopping, you basically just have to make a day of it because you have to travel a few hours in one direction to get to any decent shopping.

I just miss Kristin and her boys so much. I could start crying at any minute if I stop and think about it long enough, but I know that doesn't do any good, so I just try to not think about my sadness. On a brighter note, I know that everything happens for a reason. Even this trial of my sister's belongings getting stolen. Right now it's hard to make any rhyme or reason of why this happened, or how any good could possibly come from it, but I have a feeling that someday we just might understand.

*By the way, Kristin called sometime on Saturday and told my mom that their U-Haul trailer had been found. It was empty, of course. Even this is fortunate, though. My brother-in-law Scott took out the maximum insurance on the U-Haul, but when he called to report it stolen, they told him that they wouldn't even talk to him until the trailer was either turned in or found. Who knows what, if any, compensation they will get from the U-Haul, but at least the ball has started rolling.

For anyone who would still like to donate to my sister's cause, here's the link:


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