I hardly know where to begin. In retrospect, the title of my last post was oddly prescient. I just didn”t know it then. I cannot bear to look at its contents now.
If you live near here, you already saw the news coverage ~ it was on every station. You pretty much couldn’t escape it. (I used to be one of those news reporters camped out near the carnage. I got out of that business for many reasons. But I digress.)
The facts are rather straightforward: A bolt of lightning hit Owl Manor Sunday night while we were out-of-town picking up Darling Bebe. On our arrival home, we had a waiting voicemail from a neighbor and Mr. Owl went to check it out. He smelled something electrical inside on one end of the house … and then on the back stairs, smelled smoke. The valiant professionals from our fire department were there within minutes, but fireballs were shooting out of the roof and windows by that point. The fire had been burning in the attic and walls for hours and it was only through luck and timing that Mr. Owl was there to find and report it.
I was at home putting DB to bed. Unable to leave the house, I watched the lead story on the late news, seeing flames in the graceful arched window that overlooked the park as my 98-year-old dream home burned. And burned.
Anyone who tells you things will look better by daylight is lying. This is the door between Darling Bebe’s 2nd-floor bedroom and adjoining bath. There should be a 3rd floor above. Not trees and sky.
I could only follow the fire marshal so far. It hurt too much to look and I couldn’t see through the tears anyway.
The interior has been ruled a total loss. Most of the details you saw previously are gone.
Yes, there are many ways we are blessed and fortunate: neither firefighter nor civilian was injured; we
have not sold our home; we had no possessions there; it was insured and can be rebuilt. Wise Bullwinkle and Luann are right that perhaps the fire smote out the sadness and cleansed it of any remaining bad karma (not to mention dog smells).
All these things are true, but in all honesty, I am just not there yet.
I’m not anywhere: I cannot process this.
It is grief, to be sure. I spent more than a year of my life waiting and planning to be the next caretaker of this special historic property and within 72 hours of actually owning it ~ without ever spending a night under its roof ~ it was gone.