Thursday, March 24, 2011

Perspective on loss

I wrote last week about the people of Japan. The situation continuous to be precarious with no “fix” insight and the well being of many lives on the line. This was an eventful week for my family and I, however, the plight of the people of Japan and those in Libya, among others, remind me of how important it is to keep one’s life events in perspective.

We lost our family hobby farm house in Mankato on Tuesday morning to a fire. We are so VERY fortunate that no one was home. The fire was very hot and the house filled quickly with smoke. We are grateful to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office and the Saint Clair volunteer fireman and women from three units that came to our farm to put the fire out. Because I am on sabbatical, I spend more of my days in Minneapolis than I do at our farm. Normally I would have been there on Monday night… Thanks to the work of the fire crew we were able to save my grandparent’s dishes and some of the pictures. Everything else was a total loss. It is hard to lose a place like this with so many, many memories for so many and varied people that visited over the years. We made a video of the house right after the fire that also tells some of the story of the many events this lovely rural property hosted. The video is more personal, which is more than I usually like to share on a weight loss blog, but then again, this was not a normal week and I thought you would like to know.

Today (Thursday) we went back to the farm to pick up a few more things and just take it all in. The house had dried out and was no longer seeping water everywhere. Now there were some ice crystals formed in the debris hanging from the ceiling. So weird that the house is still standing but is such a wreck. I also think the enormity of all the “what ifs” are weighing in on me. We were really lucky that no one was there. If you see the melted clocks and TVS, you understand how hot the house was. The firemen estimated that it smoldered for hours before it really started. If we had been there, we would have been asleep in those wee hours when it was smoking. Would our smoke alarms have worked? We will never know. Sobering. At this point it looks like the origin of the fire was in the furnace. We should know by next week.

We are doing okay. We will be okay. We are lucky. I wish the folks in Japan were as fortunate as we are; property lost, but no lives.

Finally, check your own smoke alarms, teach your kids what to do in case of fire and make sure you know what to do, too. You never know when a fire will break out.

Over the next couple of weeks, I expect that I will be taking care of many post-fire details so my presence on blogger will not be as consistent. Stay strong my friends. TTFN, Michele

23 comments:

  1. Michele,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your hobby farm. We never expect anything like that to happen. It is such a blessing that no one was in the house. It puts things into perspective, in terms of what is important in life. You seem to be handling this very well. Bless you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Michele, I am so sorry. I haven't watched the video yet (it's loading, it takes time here). If there is anything I can do, you do not live that far away from me, please holler and I'll come down and help. I am so glad you guys weren't at the farm. Thank God for great memories and the things you could save.
    Write when you can Michele. Life holds so many challenges. Take care and God Bless!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My heart goes out to you, Michele. When I was 10, we had a lake house that burned to the ground. Like you, we were fortunate that no one was there. But I still can picture the remains and see the items in the char, twisted, that had been family heirlooms or had other meaning. You are right - perspective. But it is okay to feel for the loss. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I shared this today with my readers. Take care Michele. God Bless!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so sorry, Michele. But also thankful that no one was there at the time. You still have your memories, and thankfully, some pictures. You are a person who can count your blessings and keep things in perspective. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I came here from Julie's. So sorry for your loss. I'm glad to hear that you all are safe. (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, Michele - I'm sorry. Thank heaven for memories and that you and your loved ones weren't there. Still, there is loss and grieving for what was. You do make an excellent point about perspective...no matter how we look at it, though, loss is loss and I'm sorry for yours.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am so so sorry. But like everyone else said, thank god no was home or hurt. ((((HUGS)))

    ReplyDelete
  9. WOw. Sorry about the loss of your farm home, but I am so glad you are all okay. Your video is amazing.... sending you the best thoughts for recovery!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I will never, ever forget, sifting through the debris that had been my brother's house before a tornado took it three years ago. We treasured every muddy picture and marveled at the loss of it all and how the structure and possesions were merely "things" but it hurt so bad still. I am so sorry for your loss. I think I understand how deep it goes. I too am thankful no one was injured or killed. God speed in the clean up and the healing.

    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  11. So sorry to hear about your fire! Great warning about smoke detectors! When I was 12, our house burned down at about 1 am, we were all asleep. With NO smoke detectors. Lucky for us, a neighbor girl was getting dropped off for babysitting at the right time, he saw the flames in the basement window. Another 10 minutes of smoke inhalation and we all would have been dead. I am SO glad you weren't there and everyone is alright. That is what is important. Stay positive!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my goodness Michele, I am SOOOO sorry to hear about the fire. As you said, thank heavens nobody was there, but still, its a tremendous loss for you and your family and you will all be in my thoughts!!! Take care of yourself and each other!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. I am so, so sorry! This is when one realizes so vividly that BlogWorld really isn't "real." I so want to help in a tangible way, but can't. How helpless that makes me feel. Know my thoughts and those of Mr. B are with you frequently. Please convey that to your husband as well.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Michele, very sorry to hear about this. Good of you to keep it in perspective. My best to you. Don't forget to keep some time for fitness as you deal with everything. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so sorry for your loss my friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers!!

    Take care of yourself!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Michelle:

    So sorry for your loss. Thank goodness no one was there!

    Take care and hang in there!

    PIP

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm so sorry. Scary stuff, but at least you are all ok.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just catching up here - and wow!
    So glad you are ok....
    Be strong, too!
    Words are enough....they sound cliche-
    So sorry for your loss!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey Michelle, No surprise that you haven't posted. Many things on your mind and perhaps, just no words are flowing right now. Wanted you to know I'm thinking of you so often and wondering what you are having to do and wishing I could do something tangible to help. Take care, my friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, wow, Michele! I'll keep you in my thoughts and wish you the best. My grandmother's home exploded (gas leak). Thank goodness she wasn't home, but she lost everything including any memorabilia. The video sounds like a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thinking of you and praying for you my friend. Hope you are going OK!

    Take good care of yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Missing your postings! Hope to hear from you soon with an update on the home front and you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Michele, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I can't begin to imagine the emotional loss that this has been for you and your family. I am so thankful that no one was hurt. I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers.

    ReplyDelete