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.

On the 2nd floor, daylight instead of a 3rd floor

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

A souvenir swatch from the grand foyer

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.


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22 Responses to “Ravaged”

  1. Nanci S Says:

    I cannot believe what I just read. I am devastated for you.

  2. Nancy Says:

    I am heartsick for you all. The house was glorious and beautiful and such a hope for you. At this moment I can only offer a 1000 hugs and shared tears.

  3. nittinmama Says:

    This is still beyond comprehension. Big hugs to you, Mr. Owl and Darling Bebe.

  4. luann Says:

    Been thinking of you constantly. We are holding your hands.

  5. Noallatin Says:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. Many hugs.

  6. Kris Says:

    I’ve been thinking of you since I saw the news yesterday. I’m so sorry this happened but so incredibly grateful that none of you were in the house. Hugs to all 3 of you.

  7. Martha Says:

    Awful. Awful. Hang in there. You’ll figure out what to do next. I’m so sorry.

  8. Amy Says:

    Oh Owl! How terrible! Lots of hugs for the road ahead…

  9. frieda Says:

    Oh, dear Owl! Many hugs & even more prayers.

    You say no one was injured, but that’s physically. The pain in your spirit will take a long time to heal.

    Take _some_ comfort in the love we are all sending you.

    – frieda

  10. Sydney Says:

    I only know you through your projects on Ravelry, yet I have a huge lump in my throat after reading this. Grief, gut-wrentching grief. I understand. I know that grief. My wish for you is that you cry when you need. Tears cleanse the spirit. And then, you get back on that horse and ride. Breath by breath, step by step. Soon the minutes that you could barely get through will become hours. You will be able to look back and see how far you’ve come. God Speed.

  11. Dawn Says:

    I am so sorry! Sending you hugs, hugs, and more hugs.

  12. Debbie Says:

    This is so shocking to read. I am so sorry for your loss. Of course it’s a blessing your family wasn’t there. I’m so sorry…

  13. kim Says:

    There are no words of consolation that can make this ugliness go away. Go with the grief and then rebuild your big, beautiful manor just as you like it. Many hugs and good thoughts your way….

  14. Tracey Says:

    what a terrible loss. i’m so sorry. also very relieved to find out that you had yet to move in!

  15. Marfa Says:

    Oh sweetheart. I am speechless, I am w/out speech. Our cats, who are nearby, kept staring at me as I kept saying “Oh no, oh no.” Please know we are all holding you & your dear dear family in our hearts. Much xoxo

  16. Deb in PA Says:

    I’m so sorry. It looked like a beautiful house.

    It will be again, but I know it’s hard to believe that right now.

    Good thoughts are being sent your way.

  17. Amarula Says:

    I’m so sorry – what a terrible loss.. But such relief that you hadn’t moved in yet..

  18. Jacie Says:

    There are no words…you all have been in my thoughts since I saw the news. Glad you all are ok.

  19. Sandy Says:

    Heartbreaking. So, so sorry.

  20. ADetailedHouse Says:

    I’m so sorry – what a relief no personal belongings were there, but still a tragedy :-(((

  21. Remnants « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] Owl’s little disaster struck and every subsequent piece of knitting I picked up went to hell for […]

  22. Reset « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] talked about “losing their knitting mojo” until it happened to me after Owl Manor went up in flames.  For weeks, I just could not take up needles without wrecking what I touched.  Every bit of […]

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