Thursday, January 20, 2011
So. We had a fire on Frenchboro. I don't know if you've had this experience. It's around 9 at night. You're relaxing at home, getting ready for bed. The phone rings. You think, "That's weird. Who'd be calling at 9?" (Yeah, my college days of all nighters are LONG over.) You answer the phone. The words hit you. "There's a fire." You feel everything at once...the dread, the shock of fear that borders on panic, the urgent rush of adrenaline that makes it difficult to think straight. The fact that it was an uninhabited house and that there was no wind (yes, I did say that...a night on Frenchboro with NO wind) saved us from a much worse fate.
This is what's left. Mr. Finn took the kids over to talk to them. One of his questions was, "Where did the house GO?" Always the scientist. But it is so hard to believe that this charred rubble was a gorgeous old cedar shaked two story house. What takes us weeks, months, sometimes years to build, and a lifetime of stories and memories, can be demolished in a couple hours.
As a kid, I remember my friend lost her house to a fire. I grew up in a small coastal town a couple hours north from here. Just like on Frenchboro, we all turned up. It's not even that you can do much, but just being there I think is comforting. You look around and think, "If this were my house, all these people would be here trying to help."
When the kids grow up, they'll remember this, just like I remember watching my friend's house. It is not just memorable, it can be a defining moment.