Ashes

Sometimes "stuff" just happens.

This is the farmhouse where my Dad grew up. It was his "home-place." My Uncle lived there for years, then his son..my cousin. Monday afternoon a fire erupted upstairs..the fire department got it contained. My cousin, his wife, their daughter and their grandson had taken refuge with family members just down the road. During the night the fire rekindled and the house was destroyed. Luckily no lives were lost..that is a blessing.

Yesterday Far Guy and I went over to see what it all looked like. It was sad..my cousin was there..the house was still smouldering. I asked "What can we do for you?" My cousin said.."OH..not much that I know of right now." The insurance adjuster had been there..and a check was in the works. The Local Lions Club had brought them out a check to help take care of their immediate needs. He said "We will rebuild in the spring, kinda cold to do anything right now."

The Fire Marshall was out to take a look..he believes the fire started near the chimney. There was a wood burning stove in the basement. From what I understand some of the fireman had carried out some firearms and some black powder earlier in the day and put them in a truck outside..they were the only thing saved from the fire.

There were lots of memories for me in this house.. it was where we gathered before and after sauna on Saturday nights, playing checkers with my Grandfather, hearing him spit and hit the inside of the spittoon, sipping coffee out of a saucer, butter on fresh bread, a long table with lots of chairs, huge black leather chairs in the front room..stiff, cold and unyielding leather against a small child’s legs..welcoming coolness on a warm summer night…but chilly in the winter. My Grandmother lay on the satin covered pillow of death in the front room when I was just a little girl, it was the custom years ago to have deceased family members all laid out in the front room at home before Funeral Homes took over that part of the ceremony. I remember the night of my Uncles Wedding..we waited til dark and drove over there with cakes and cookies and pots and pans to clang together and "Shiveried " them on their wedding night. One night years later my Uncle died of a heart attack on the floor in the bedroom. Yesterday as we drove away through the grove of trees that I remember as small seedlings.. I thought of all the births and deaths, all the happiness and sadness that house had seen.. all reduced to ashes that will blow away in the winter wind:(

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4 Responses to Ashes

  1. TechnoBabe says:

    This is one of the most real posts ever. It isn’t sentimental so much as tender and nostalgic. The pictures say it clearly but the words describe the families and memories.

  2. Avatar of abra la mente says:

    I am sorry for the loss for your cousin, his family, and your family. Of course, the fact that everyone is safe is the biggest gift one can ask for!! Your memories will always be with you, and those can not be taken, and will live beyond your last breath in the words you write down for your children & grandchildren.

  3. buffalo gal says:

    Yes what a lot of memories lying now in ashes. Life is full of trials and tribulations but this one is particularly hard for your family. Deep sympathy to all of you! So thankful that nobody was hurt or died in the fire. How wonderful that you take pictures and save pictures of Everything! Iknow they will be special in the future to the entire family.
    I too, remember my great grandparents being laid out in the living room of their home before the funeral at the church. It was a sweet custom and it is too bad that the cold funeral homes have taken over for a long period..I should not say “cold” but the home is a warmer emotional place.

  4. Sarah says:

    When my Dad died a few years ago, we kept him at home waiting first for my husband, a funeral director to come from Sauk Centre. Dad stayed in his bedroom with family members coming and going (it always seemed like there was someone with him) before having a prayer service that evening. It was a wonderful way to get through something so difficult.