From March 8th of this year I did not update my blogs. I did write, but into my nice leather, Italian crafted, journal. Old style a fountain pen and paper. Oh, the feel of paper and the slow process of writing! I cannot delete and make it look neat. It has to be crossed out, corrected and write above or under. The smear of ink on my fingers, artsy messiness and my great handwriting style! Yes, I have to confess, secretly I like my handwriting.
There were a lot of things that kept us busy. One of the reasons was our house had a fire. We bought this old house and renovated it for two years. Made it the way we like. Decorated. Not to big, not to small. Perfect for us two. A professional installed a fireplace. On that Thursday night we enjoyed our fireplace and read. I said to my wife: ” I think another two or three weeks and we have finished with renovations. Summer is coming and we will enjoy it!” Little did I know that in an hour the irony of life will strike and my wards will be a jock.
I heard some crackling in the wall. Strange, I thought, don’t think we have mice. My wife said the air is heavy, have to open doors to let fresh air in. After a wile she asked, can it be carbon monoxide? I said, sure it can. We continued reading. Then the fire alarm went of. I thought, this is a very sensitive electronic we have and switched it of. Then she gets up and opens the doors and window again to air the room, and calmly said “Why is our backyard and front lawns covered with smoke? There is also smoke coming down from our roof!” I jumped, realizing that the cracking in the walls and smoke in the backyard are not good. Call 911, I shouted.
She went and took first the laptops, cells, documents and our poodle and only then headed for the street. I grabbed the axes and opened the wall and the fireplace mantle, it was red inside. She screamed, “Why do you break it. You just made it so nice!” The small fire extinguisher and couple of buckets of water didn’t do a lot to quench the raging fires. We did not realize, but the roof, the walls and basement were on fire. So, we were literary enjoying a read surrounded by an inferno.
In minutes we had a lot of people around us. Professionals, paid by my tax dollars, executed their tasks very skillfully. Firemen rolled in their nice big red truck and calmly had a meeting, while keeping an eye on the fire. A chief fireman came over and asked us what happened. I kind of pointed to the fire and said: “It burns from the inside out”. He commanded us not to come close to our house. Then they dawned their protective gear and started methodically dismantling my newly renovated house. They began their play in such a systematic and calm way that for a moment I thought it was a film set.
The policemen asked us to get unto his SUV in the back seat behind bars. Asked us the same questions, as the fire chief, but in a more firm manner. He recorded everything on a voice recorder. I started to feel guilty that my house was on fire. He let us out, commanding not to get closer to the house as his vehicle.
Then the medics asked us if we want to get in into their Ambulance. We felt it was enough and declined.
Many neighbors came out and we had probably 3 to 4 offers for accommodation, transport, “anything you need” offers. We felt we were surrounded by good people.
Standing and watching my house burn I felt very frustrated. Then thoughts came “God gave and God has taken it away, praise be the name of the Lord”. Panic still raged in me, but these words of Job from the Bible just popped up in my memory box. I felt powerless, able to do nothing. The professionals took over and I am not allowed even to approach what I called an hour ago home. In a moment, it felt, we had lost everything.
My wife, standing beside me watching the fire, calmly said: ” God just told me that everything will be better”. I could not comment on her positive remark. In my heart, I guess, I was angry at God for allowing this to happen and at my wife for being so positive.
We called our son, wokd him and his wife, and went to their house to rest.