Things will change. This we all know.
People, places, circumstances, everything, is subject to change.
Sometimes change is a good thing. Annnnnndddd, sometimes it may take a lot of work to find the “good” in a particular change. That’s what we are doing today. Trying to focus on some good things.
Hey. It’s what we do.
Early on Saturday morning, in a moment of panicked phone calls to fire departments and family, things changed for our family.
First of all-we are all ok. Everybody is fine and we are certainly very aware of how to keep this newest change in perspective. We’ve been there.
But on Saturday morning, our shop building somehow caught on fire and burned down. Like, to the ground, nothing left. Someone driving by just before 7am Saturday noticed that the shop was on fire [and this is not the shop at our house, it is the shop at my mother- and father-in-law’s house and our mill] and stopped to alert my in-laws who were still in bed.
Then came the flurry of phone calls and everybody rushing to the mill to see what could be saved. RV’s that were parked next to the shop were quickly moved, although not before some of the exterior fixtures and cords melted. The boat was also pulled out of the way. But as for the building and all it’s contents, it was a total loss.
The mission then became to save the log planer which was directly behind the mill, and the most vital piece of equipment we own. It is our livelihood, as we manufacture and build log homes. It was critical that the planer was saved. The fire truck immediately began spraying around the planer, trying to keep it from burning. At one point, they even had it unbolted from the concrete and a chain ready to tie around it to try and drag it out away from the engulfed shop building.
Both my boys had went out just after their dad (with strict instructions NOT to drive as fast as I know Jack did), and Katie and I got out to the mill as soon as we called the fire department and got dressed. It was the most surreal scene in the world to watch as our shop, our gathering place, our family’s hangout for the past 26 years, and the center of our homestead and business burn. I felt so helpless.
There were so many people helping at the mill yard. People just kept stopping by and asking what they could do to help and were pitching in, doing whatever was needed. Our heavy equipment was used to move debris and burning materials away from the back of the shop. People were grabbing expensive and irreplaceable machine heads and planer knives and running with them to get them away from the fire. I cannot even tell you what this scene was like to watch. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for our friends and family who helped us yesterday. We are truly blessed.
Their mission to save the planer paid off, and without even having to move it, too. The fire was under control and was put out by two different fire departments. My husband’s face in this picture says it all…
And this one breaks my heart…
Jack and his dad (who is in his pj pants and bathrobe because he had been in bed when they were alerted of the fire), surveying the damage. This shop contained 25+ YEARS of tools, equipment, materials, and odds and ends that they won’t even miss until they go to look for them this week. My father-in-law has worked his whole life for the “things” that that shop held. It was their gathering place every morning, and most evenings; it was THE place to go several times a week for a fish fry after gigging; it was the first building that my father-in-law built on this piece of property when they bought it over 25 years ago [even though he says my mother-in-law threatened to divorce him if he didn’t get a house built first ]. It was THE go-to place. It held countless memories and good times, so many impromptu jam sessions I can’t even begin to count, and Christmas parties with dancing and some of the best people you would care to ever meet.
We will miss it. In fact, we already do.
I know that Jack and his dad both felt a little lost when they got up this morning, not having the shop to go to. Not being able to go up and build a fire in the wood stove and sip hot coffee while talking about the plans for the day.
And about that wood stove…check this out.
Pulled from the ashes. Cool right?! The wood stove was built by my father-in-law. It was the centerpiece of the shop and the door was a piece collected by my FIL some years ago from a smokestack job he had done. [He is a “retired” chimney man and a superintendent that still contracts with his company occasionally.] I’m not exactly sure of the location or the circumstances, but I know that the door to the wood stove is very special to him, and the last thing Jack said before hopping on the lift was, “I’m saving my Dad’s stove.” I am so proud of him.
And our planer, safe and sound…
We are certainly keeping all this in perspective. We are SO thankful that nobody was hurt. We are SO thankful that they were able to save our planer. We are SO thankful for our family and friends who came running to help us when we needed it. I cannot express enough gratitude in words.
What also adds to this being a little more emotional is that this comes on the heels of my FIL just having found out that he has had a recurrence of his kidney cancer. He has been doing great, and they did catch it early with his routine scans, but there has been a recurrence back on the kidney, the stomach lining where the initial surgery was done, and there is a spot on his liver. Everything is small, and his amazing doctors at Siteman are treating him with a pill-form of treatment. They expect him to have a great response to the medicine and are very optimistic that this will either halt the growth or, as his oncologist said, “go for the bonus and shrink it.” We’ll take it. Just like everything else, we are very positive and optimistic.
We’ve.got.this. And thankfully, God’s got us. Sweet Hallelujah.
Love you guys.