Monday, April 14, 2008

memories ablaze

My parents were awoken at 4:30 a.m. yesterday morning by their neighbor Jim alerting them that cabins were burning just a few down from theirs. You can listen to Jim's story and about his missing cat, a wild one that was hopefully just hunkered down somewhere safe and will again have a spring litter of calico kittens in the neighbor lady's shed. Please keep these families and the arsons in your prayers. My dad called earlier and was telling me how he left their porch light on overnight last night and sprang from bed early this morning engulfed with a foreboding feeling and swearing he saw a flickering flame only to find it was likely just his imagination. My mom told of an elderly woman a couple cabins away from a burning cabin that was taken by ambulance as propane tanks around them exploded. Mom, Dad and Jim stood out on the frozen lake feeling the helplessness of the situation...nearly a foot of fresh snow had fallen making it difficult for fire fighters to get close and they recalled watching the recent devastation of the wildfires in California with a whole new understanding of what those people were feeling. Local news story here.


Pentimento said...

wow - glad your folks are ok. very frightening and a good reminder how fragile and transitory our lives can be. I'm praying for that kitty.

Christianne said...

di, i'm sorry to hear this news. how scary! i'm glad your parents are okay.

this story reminded me of a time when i was living in a little guesthouse on my own for the first time in my adult life. i came home from work around midnight and was getting ready for bed when i thought i heard a strange noise outside my house. however, i couldn't figure out what i thought it might be, so i went to bed.

i fell asleep pretty fast and was in deep when i woke to the sound of my neighbor in the front house banging on my front door and yelling for me to get out of the house. the house next door to us had gone up in flames and was still burning. there was smoke everywhere. he and i had to run through the backyard, get through the fence that was real close to the neighbor's house, and then stand in the street in the middle of the night as the firefighters came and tried to put out the fire. neighbors were standing in the street everywhere, in their pajamas, each one sharing the story of how they came to realize the house was on fire. the poor people who lived in that house were having their first baby in, like, six weeks and had been completely renovating the inside of the house since they bought the house a year prior. it was really sad, watching them rebuild the whole house after that.

long tangent, but i hadn't thought about that memory in a really long time.

again, so glad your folks are okay but sorry this has disrupted their community. it can feel scary and make you feel really vulnerable.

Terri said...

i've been in or near three fires in my life, and it's such a helpless feeling. it's hard to comprehend. i'm with marcell and christianne...glad your parents are ok, and i'll pray for everyone involved.

Nathan said...


Love and peace to you and your parents. This is a horrendous tragedy.

All of you are in my prayers. Keep us posted.

Marcia Erickson said...

Wow horrific!!! There's nothing like the helpless feeling of a fire taking over! Blessings to all these sweet people!!

di said...

thank you all for your comments and prayers!

here's an update from my mom...

Investigations continue, no real leads except that they believe these fires are related to the ones earlier in Aitkin and St Croix counties. Marty the cat came home and Jim located all his keys that were in the cabin; keys to his boat, extra key to his truck etc.

Spring has sprung up here, the creek is open and water is flowing. The lake is still frozen but getting darker. We met with the zoning guys today and will meet with the builder, electrician and plumber on Friday. Things appear to be getting started.

My family has been going up north to Big Pine for 30 years ever since my Grandpa and Grandma bought a little mobile home on a big sand lot. I still marvel at how we all crammed in there back then. Now my aunts and uncles, sister and brothers have their own places up there having bought up several surrounding lots and cabins over the years. My heart goes out to the other family up the lake shore who lost several of their buildings and all the pictures and memories inside and I sit here wondering what good can possibly come out of this. I will be looking for how God brings beauty out of the ashes knowing he always does.

My parents are about to begin building their retirement home on an adjacent piece of land as soon as the ground thaws enough.

I join others here and there in being so grateful no lives were lost in the fires. Thank God for that!!

kirsten said...

wow, di!! that sounds terrifying. i can imagine that every bump & flicker would send my heart racing & the adrenaline pumping.

thanks for the update & i will be praying that these acts of violence are brought to an end.

di said...

so far no leads...hoping an incentive will help :( update