We lived for 8 months in a FEMA trailer on the slab where our house used to be. We fought gnats, mosquitoes, mud, depression and insurance companies. Yes, we had insurance but the companies were in no rush to pay off. Finally, we contacted an attorney and our Homeowners insurance decided to settle. We made plans to rebuild. Plans were drawn up, lumber prices doubled, labor costs doubled and our contractor never showed up. We tried to find another contractor but none were available. Hurricane season was approaching and we lived in a flood zone with 100' of water front.

The first minor storm of the season brought the water level up to the FEMA trailer wheels...and Maria freaked.

The living area of our FEMA trailer, Dave and Jim, the dog.

We sat at the table in our FEMA trailer and talked about what to do next. We enjoyed our jobs at the Chamber of Commerce. But over a bottle of wine, we came to the realization that we had been given a gift.

All of that stuff that we had accumulated over the years was gone. The new furniture, the knick knacks, the artwork on the walls, the rugs, dresses, sweaters, shoes and memorablia from our travels....all gone. If we paid the mortgage off, we would be left with 2 vacant lots and what possessions we had gathered since the storm. We were free.

The decision was made. We ordered a Montana 5th wheel from Bretz RV and a new Dodge truck from Lithia Dodge, both in Missoula, Montana (Montana has no sales tax). We gave back the FEMA trailer with sincere thanks for the assistance. It was time to start our personal recovery.