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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns Green Is Where The Heart Is Green is where the Heart Is for Nov. 7th, 2012

Green is where the Heart Is for Nov. 7th, 2012

“The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it can’t flood out the memories.” ~Tom Dempsey

Contributing Writer

The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy caught all of us off guard, especially the families and businesses in New Jersey and New York where the damage took the biggest toll.   As I watch the survivors come back to their property to find what once was a home and now resembles a game of pick-up-sticks, I can only feel an overwhelming sense of sadness for their loss. 
I have endured three major floods in my life while living in Ohio. There were three lasting memories I have of those experiences.  First, was the overwhelming grief of tossing boxes of items into the trash.  Decorations, crafting and sewing supplies, stored clothes, unknown paperwork and boxes of ‘stuff’ collected through the years went up the steps and into the trash without a second thought. 
The second unforgettable memory was the smell.  EVERYTHING had to be moved, including carpet, and the odor of the wetness permeates almost instantly. Once you have that smell in your head, it can instantly be conjured with a thought.  Mold loves moisture.  Mold is a nature’s way of breaking down dead organic matters outdoors but indoors, when mold spores land on a wet or damp spot it begins to grow and this is when health issues are at risk.   According to the EPA website, “Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). 
Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common.  They can be immediate or delayed.  Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.  Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.  Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.”
My third memory was of my eventual sense of relief and realization that the loss was just material.  For us, it could be (and has been) replaced.  I am not suggesting that this liberation comes quickly or easily.  Mourning may take months and maybe years.  Life will never be the same for some of these folks. 
If you have suspected mold growth in your home, take this opportunity to inspect it and deal with it if necessary.  At the same time, say a little prayer for those less fortunate who were left without homes to repair…or are they the lucky ones who’s only choice is to live with the memories but release the memorablilia?  xo mo
Kure Beach resident Mo Linquist, Red Ribbon Professional of IFSG and allied ASID is a recognized expert on Pyramid Feng Shui. She is the “ PersonPlace” design consultant specializing in soft goods such as fabrics, window treatments, reupholstery, blinds, shutters, feng shui and green healthy living products. 
Her design studio is located in the Artful Living Group building 112 Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC.   Linquist speaks nationally and holds regular workshops and accredited trainings on this ancient form of environmental psychology. Helping clients create home and office spaces designed specifically to support their individual goals and intentions, Linquist uses cutting-edge techniques integrating science, 20 years of interior design experience and Feng Shui to balance, harmonize and create new patterns for success.
To learn more about her work or for a consultation, contact her at FaceBook at Mo Linquist Living Solutions or call 910-458-7822 office or 330-904-3636 cell.