As I drive through the backroads of Glen Ellen, California, the signs of rebirth, rebuilding and reawakening are everywhere. From the buzz of saws to the roar of tractors, the scene is both chaotic and cathartic. This city is one of the affected areas of the brutal firestorm that ripped through Sonoma County in October of 2017. On this picturesque morning, I pull up to the set of one of our Blu Homes without expectations and filled with curiosity. In my short six months as an employee at Blu, this was my first time experiencing an actual home delivery. I was quite excited to see the whole process of getting our home modules from large trucks to the foundation. What I wasn’t prepared for was what an extraordinary moment this was for the clients.
As I walked up, I’m greeted by Laurie Dorman and her infectious ear to ear to ear smile that seems to take over her whole face. Her energy is contagious as her husband, Tim stands on crutches looking up at the cranes in awe that this day is finally here. Their daughter and grandson buzz quietly around the site, making sure things are ready for neighbors and family to join in on the big day. In a few hours, the Dorman’s new Blu Home will be set upon the foundation during the monumental set-day they have been long anticipating.
As the Blu crew sets up, the Dorman’s friends, neighbors, and family pour on to the site to take part in the big day. Every person there has a very personal and emotional story to share, as many have also lost their homes on the same fateful day. They have shared in the grief of being displaced and losing their belongings, but one thing is clear, the fire could not withstand the bond that now seemed unbreakable in this group.
As drones fly overhead, and the hyper-focused construction team surround each module as the crane lifts them into the air and carefully carries each part to the completed foundation, getting the corners aligned just right. By lunchtime, the visitors at the scene were able to jump up into the kitchen area and see all of the appliances and flooring intact. The Dorman’s custom interior specifications were just as she had imagined as she paced back in forth in disbelief that soon she would be cooking in her new kitchen and having friends and family over once more in a few more short weeks.
The Dormans are clients to remember, and my first set was beyond fulfilling. Hearing the stories of loss and redemption all seemed to fade into extreme joy as the new home is placed in the old home’s place and new life beamed out of the land. Foreshadowing the completion of the Dorman’s dream Breezehouse, these moments were representative of life going on and becoming new. Being a part of the Blu Homes Team and watching the commitment to serving the community in this way was a great reward and a day I will never forget.