Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fire! Fire! Fire!

My pretty little Jotul stove, missing its stove lid and the little cast iron teapot that always sat on it.
The dollshouse with its cast of characters, Singing Teacher, Little Landlady, and Horse, of course.

The old shop burned on November 24. It was a still, moony night. Tall, tall white plumes of smoke rose like giant pines from each peak of the building, as we watched in horrible fascination, listening and listening for the beautiful sound of sirens coming up the valley. It was only quiet, not a dog barked, not even a breeze stirred the giant white pine in the yard. There were dull explosions inside the building, paint cans? Finally the volunteer firemen were here, just as flames broke through the wall, and set off a supply of fireworks stored on a shelf in my husband's shop. Bottle rockets and firecrackers shot out with the flames while the firemen rolled out the flat white hoses. We watched anxiously waiting for something to fill the hose and come out the end, and put out the fire. Three hours later they had put the fire out, but by then the building was burned out.

The old shop, built by us in 1980, was a wonderful place where we lived and worked, and spent time together. I had my first studio there, set up my first loom, and learned to weave. My first customers remind me that there wasn't even a stair, just a 16 ft ladder that I expected them to climb, through a hatch to my studio. The kids were babies, first one, then two, then three! They played while I wove and worked. We had a good bed, for nappers and overnight guests, and toys, books, a yellow string hammock, my barn loom, and the Kessenich. My sewing machine, work table and fabrics nearly filled the big upstairs room that felt cozy and bright. There were four big windows looking out on the hay field. In the winter the kids would sled down the hayfield, right in front of the shop. We even had a cat who loved to ride down in a sled with them.

In 2000 we built a new building across the creek for my workshop and store. I moved out, and left the old shop to my husband. He lost nearly everything, tools, select lumber, business papers, library, music, too much. The old shop is gone now, but it served us well for all of these years, and we are so sad.

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