...and after taking us to the hospital, Sam went back, camera in hand, to survey the destruction.
Of all the photos he came back with, this one made me so happy.
You wonder why? The blue in the center on my desk caught my attention immediately. I became hopeful that this treasure had been saved. So I sent son Sam back with clear instructions to look for three specific projects I was working on. He came back with all three and more--the sets of letters and resources I am using to reconstruct life stories and the blueprints for the house!
Here they are:
1. A binder of letters I wrote to my friend Mirtha in Argentina starting at age 10. They were hand carried to the USA by my brother and SIL and are to be returned in November.
2. Letters written to my parents on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary--from family and friends (American and Argentine), also borrowed!
3. A box (under blue treasure, see # 1), containing writings by and years of correspondence with a Uruguayan friend that recently resurfaced and is suffering from cancer.
4. One very special find: the blueprints to the house and the book Mike followed to build it! We determined that very first day to rebuild. This time he will not be doing all the work himself over a period of three+ years like the first time!
All the above I laid out to dry that night in the hospital room or over the handrails in the hallway.
Then I remembered that as I was watching the blaze (that is, after I stopped running around and yelling "Our house is on fire!"), I thought: "God, you can save what is important." And He did! Now I am all the more encouraged and motivated knowing that these pursuits matter to Him also.
The difference with Daniel's three friends who survived the furnace in Bible times--they came out smelling good. The smoke smell was strong in the night. I got up at 4 a.m. and gathered all the dry papers in plastic bags to continue deodorizing later.
Saturday, June 11th
By mid morning we were finally on our way to the house to begin the rescue and clean up of whatever could be salvaged. Our friends Dane and Laurie were already there with boxes and paper for wrapping, and appropriate footwear for entering the muck. They willingly agreed to take all incoming calls and coordinate community efforts on our behalf; the church office could not handle the volume.
|Laurie and Rita packing pottery|
|Tenderloin sandwich and strawberry shortcake|
|Digging in the muck|
Here are a couple Facebook comments on that day:
That house isn't just any house...it has been a source of pleasure, comfort, hospitality, tranquility, and artistry since our dad built it so it is extra saddening...I found myself wanting everything to be able to be salvaged...my parents seem to be a bit more sensible in that respect realizing that it is, after all, just stuff.
Leah's FB status:
Coolest moment of the day... Standing in the middle of my parents burnt house ,all covered in black soot, sweaty and tired realizing there we stood the original crew of family Koch and there the original crew that lived in the house from the very beginning ! It was my very favorite moment because in all the destruction and ugliness around us all I felt was amazing Love !Sunday, June 12th
In no time we had so many offers of places to stay, one kid begging us to put them at the top of the list.
However, a dear friend's house, empty for over a year and furnished, was the logical choice. It is in a lovely community. I had always said I would not live in that part of town where all is so perfect. Now I am loving getting to know the wonderful neighborhood. God has a great sense of humor!
Here are a few photos of that day. Leah prepared a wonderful meal for us all and we had a precious time as a family--food, fellowship, fun, and more work.
|Mother (me) and sons|
|Family members eating indoors|
Monday, June 13th
...another day of work and family . its amazing how much cleaning and retrieving there is to do. Proud of how hard my daughter is working. when its about love it does not even feel like work !
Seems like so long but it was but mere days ago my parents home burnt. It puts many things into a different light, what is important and what is not as important. But what has not wavered or been burned, what is not smoke and ash, is the Love and as always God Is With Us.In the evening, as is our custom every Monday, we took a break and went to Chef-son's for dinner.
As planned, Ivan (brother) and Kim were there. Only one change of plans--Stephan and Karen gladly hosted them overnight. The house we are staying in is big, but there is only one bed at the moment.
More recovery, every day we think of things to look for under the rubble. However, rebuilding plans have begun in earnest. We have a contractor friend and son Sam will build all the cabinetry and some furniture.
|Considering various designs|
Next to the destruction and ugliness there is life--our first garden out back is thriving despite the nearby destruction!
|Variety of greens from our garden|
What was left of my car was removed from what was left of the garage.
|'Henry' hauled away.|
A friend stopped by to share some of her fresh veggies from Victory Acres, the local CSA.
Have you ever heard of garlic scapes? Kohlrabi reminded me of our time in Europe.
Saturday, June 18th
We are eating in style and drinking out of these lovely glasses my mother gave me just a few weeks ago. We saved our dishes and silverware and much more.
If I am weary of writing, you certainly must be tired of reading. I will save Week 26 for tomorrow.
P.S.: We found Brutus, the cat, the second day! He was scared.