A month or so back, I posted this picture, of my parents' 150 year old homestead in the freak snowstorm we had:
The other night, we saw it like this:
We are devastated. My family have lived in that home for 100 years, and it contained countless Irreplaceable family heirlooms, as well as all of the simple, essential things needed to run a large sheep farm - vehicle keys, gumboots. lambing records. My sisters lost their clothes, shoes, laptops, university notes. I live over the road, so it wasn't really my everyday *stuff* that was lost. But little things like special childhood toys, books, Christmas decorations - all of those things that create and cement memories are gone. I was at a baby shower today, and teared up when I realised we've lost our baby record books. You never miss them, until they're gone.
The house was beautiful. She'd been a bit rough when Mum and Dad first moved in 11 years ago, but they had almost finished the renovation, with just 2 bedrooms, the laundry and the exterior painting left to finish. On a house of that magnitude, an incredible amount of work had been completed, mostly by Dad and relatives. This wasn't a renovation done on a shoestring, either, unlike the one Steve and I completed on our old house. We'd done a good job (if I do say so myself ;-) ) but for us, money was a big constraining factor, and to begin with, our house (though a similar age) didn't have the... grandeur, I guess, that Bankhead did. In it's day, it was a show home, and it was very close to being that again.
But through it all, the wonder of humankind comes through. Wonderful, wonderful folk who gave meals, baking, time out of their own busy lives to sit and cry with us, look after our children or sift through ashes to try and find our treasures.