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Fiery Challenge

on April 1, 2012

Several months ago, our wonderful beach cottage on St. Simons Island burned.  The cause of the fire remains a mystery, but there is a train of thought that the air conditioner condenser (the thing that makes a lot of noise and that is outside) overheated.  And it didn’t help that there was a gale blowing on the night of the fire.

My son, his wife, and their two little girls (ages 6 and 2) were taking a much-needed vacation at the cottage when the fire exploded at the back of the house.  They had just arrived that very day, and they had been to the beach and had a nice time playing in the little waves and running around in the sand.  The parents were just getting their kiddies all settled in for a restful night when the fire started.  So much for getting away from it all.

My son grabbed the oldest girl, and my daughter-in-law grabbed the baby and ran out the front door just in time to see the flames blow up under the house.  From that point, there was not a chance to save the structure, even though the fire department arrived in less than 5 minutes.  Thank goodness everyone was safe and that no other cottages were damaged.

We are rebuilding, redecorating , and reassessing.  Much of my time these days revolves around looking for new furniture and accessories, sheets, towels, lamps, rugs, kitchen stuff, etc.  (I love doing this, really, but it would be nicer not to have to do this under duress).  I have found Pinterest to be an enormous help in keeping up with what I find on the Internet.   My basement here at home is filling up fast with purchases, and we also have a storage building that is loaded with some of the things we hope to save from the fire.  I am not sure if we will be able to get the smoky smell out, so we may end up trashing it all.

I’ve never been involved in a house fire except for the kind you build in a fireplace.  I would not wish this on anyone, and I completely understand how awful it must be to lose everything in one fell swoop (even though it was not our primary residence).  Whenever I hear of a family in our community whose house has burned, I make a donation of money, clothing, or both.  It is so easy to take things for granted until you go through something yourself.

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