Updated: Aug 28, 2019
The morning it all began
What a storm! Sunday afternoon. It seemed to appear out of know where. I heard it called a massive “rain bomb” a “hurrinado.” Whatever ever it was, to quote Mark’s Grandmother; “Lord a mercy!” We watched large branches dance and twist off of our backyard trees with ease. Debris twirled down the street with the huge sideways raindrops. Huge neighborhood trees were uprooted. After the drama and impact of the wind our backyard was crisscrossedwith downed powerlines, trees and air born trash. A mess.
Our power was out. As was most of our neighborhood. We missed the warnings or there weren’t any. Little did we know that this was just the beginning of an adventure we are calling Restoration Hardway.
Monday morning I called the fire department as so many power lines were littering our yard and the transformer on the antique electric pole was knocked sideways by the force of the wind. The fire department called Oncor and came out and blocked off our driveway until Oncor could arrive to see if the power lines were live. Oncor sent about 7 of their men out to test the lines and roll them up and out of the way. Our entire area still had no power. But the fire department said it was not safe to stay in the house due to the transformers tentative angle.
Days passed with no power.
We were informed that in order to have our power restored the weather pole on our house had to be replaced so we called an electrician to come and take care of the connection on the roof. The electric company we hired came out and did their job and it was promptly approved by the city.
We waited for our electricity to be restored.
Early Thursday morning Oncor arrived to restore our power, we were at a hotel due to the fire department explaining that the transformer was not safe plus we had no electricity for the fourth day.
We were dead to the world asleep when Mark’s phone started buzzing, then mine started buzzing. It was our neighbors; our house was in full blaze. We could not believe it as we had just left the house about 9 o’clock that night and it was about 2:30 AM the next morning. Plus when we left to go to the hotel we had no electricity. How could a fire have started? We did not realize Oncor had sent out a crew shortly after midnight to restore our electricity.
Mark, still half asleep, jumped up and put on some clothes and headed to the house so he could assess what in our world was going on.
A peaceful, cool night was suddenly thrust into a life altering nightmare. Mark called and said to come to the house. As Luke and I drove into the neighborhood the police had the main street leading to our cul-de-sac blocked off. I rolled my window down and the officer asked if I was Jane. She let me drive passed all the flashing lights, closer to the house, we saw numerous fire trucks, police cars and an ambulance. It was all for us. For our home.
Shock. Disbelief. Sadness.
Our Wonder Woman neighbor, Melinda, shared the full flame photos on her phone. I cried.
Our neighbors were amazing. Folding chairs lined the opposite side of the street and our neighbors sat with us, encouraged us; brought us blankets, retrieved breakfast and made coffee for the firemen. We were just shocked. How could this happen? We had no power, we hadn’t for days.
The firemen were stellar. Thanks to our neighbor, Melinda, they saved our little blind dog. I have held her ever since. I was sure she would be gone but thank God she was frightened and shaking but alive.
As the sun started to rise on our new normal it felt so strange. Where do you even begin to begin? Firemen were still around the house, the lights were still flashing when the investigator came to get us so he could show us how the fire began. It is so amazing how than can assess and know where and how the fires begin. This same investigator, earlier that night, took time to sit down with Luke and discuss guitars and guitar lessons. He was empathetic and professional. Again, the firemen were stellar.
After better understanding how this happened it was time for some sort of “plan”. Mark had Luke and was dealing with our insurance company. We thought most of our clothes were burned as the biggest flames were above our master bedroom and closets. I had planned to come home the next morning from the hotel to take care of the dog and get ready for the day. (translated; I just took pj’s and a toothbrush to the hotel.) SO Target seemed like the best place to begin. Just the basics, jeans, tee shirt, sandals and a sweater because it gets cold in restaurants. It appeared restaurants would be on our menu for months.
Walking around Target, smelling like smoke and exhausted by our early morning adventure, I was quite the vision. Think; Stranger Things wandering around the women’s department. I found a sales associate to help me. She was an angel. I explained my situation and her empathetic kindness radiated.
I made a mental note as God had already started sparkling in our personal darkness.