My sister's house burned down this weekend. While it wasn't their primary residence (they live here in Houston), it is the house my nieces and nephew grew up in. It was built by my brother-in-law's sister and her husband years ago (I'll have to find that out exactly) who passed away from cancer. It was sold and out of the family for a bit, then my sister & her husband bought it back when they moved home in 1986. They lived there until all the kids were out of High School and then started a business here in Houston so they bought out here, but this house was where we everyone went back to. It was completely furnished & had a lot of things stored up there from each of the kids while they were growing up as well as things like their grand-father's gun, some antiques, a piano, & many quilts hand-sewn my my grannie, mother, sister, or other family members. My niece also had her cedar chest there w/ things she wanted to keep from her childhood as well as some things of her own daughter's. It's where everyone goes home to, where they have the Stanley Cup every year & I am sure my sister had plans to move back there after they retired.
No one knows what happened yet. It burned in about 1.5 hours on Saturday around 6:00. My sister & her husband & our Aunt & Uncle had all left the house to go out to the ranch to ride around & when they came home about 1.5 hours later it was gone. It's a big house so it's hard to believe it burned so quickly.
I looked for a good picture of the house & thought I had a lot more, but this is one of the best of the front view; though there is a tent in the way. This tent was up for my niece's wedding reception.
They have a rent house down the hill from there & that's where we have our big family gathering during Christmas. Until they rebuild, and I'm sure they will, they are going to stay in that house when they go up to East Texas. It's a pretty big house, too w/ three or four big bedrooms & all have beds in them!
Actually, this is the 2nd fire this house has experienced. Years ago they had a grease fire that completely destroyed the kitchen. My sister got a great new kitchen out of it, though - it was big & nice & all they way she wanted it! Maybe that will be the same silver lining out of this tragedy. It's hard to lose things in your life & the possessions that were lost cannot be replaced, but you have to keep the memories related to them in your heart.