Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Rest of the Story

i’ve been feeling the need to tell the rest of this story.   if we are friends on facebook you probably already know that the home that we designed and built in san marcos in 1990 (truly our dream home) burned to the ground recently in the coco’s fire.  even though we no longer live there, we were shocked and saddened – not only the home and all the contents were lost but the beautiful setting (which drew us there in the first place) was entirely blackened…. not a green thing left anywhere.

it’s sobering….so many memories….as i stood in the charred piles of rubble i remembered every little piece as it had been carefully chosen and then assembled.  how from a few pieces of paper, a dream materialized, and came to life before our eyes. i still get teary-eyed thinking about it.  although fraught with many frustrations, it was an amazing process that encompassed 2 years of our lives.  we loved living there for 11+ years and sometimes wish we had never left.

i was stunned at how hard this hit me.  i got a little obsessed with old pictures of all the fun times in that house. we felt the need to go up there and say goodbye and even though we have lost nothing physically, we have been going through a grieving process. it has helped me realize how this was truly a part of my creative journey.  i was busy teaching at the time and didn’t understand that, but this was my creative outlet.  it felt a little like a piece of art and  that helps me understand why it feels so personal and why it’s been so hard. 

of course the biggest share of my grief is for the new owners, who had fallen in love with the house and just moved in the month before.  i can’t even imagine.  they were both out of the country at the time of the fires, so not even able to evacuate and grab their treasures.  my heart aches for them and we have been in touch by email. we are hoping to meet soon and share the original plans with them, should they choose to rebuild.  i can already tell that they are lovely people and we now have this very unlikely bond. 

i put this bench down there maybe 14 years ago.  somehow, in spite of a wooden seat, it survived the fire. strange.
so, yes, life is full of twists and turns, many of them not of our choosing.  we keep moving forward as best we can, with as much grace as we can, supported by those who love us and learn our lessons as we go.  thanks for listening.

here is a recap of the "creative play" retreat


  1. My Dear Patti:
    I feel your pain. I was involved in a similar situation when I was in the 7th grade. I sat on the curb with a young girl my age and her Mom, watching it go up in flames. This event has changed the way I preceive materialistic things. I have been going through many cabinets, giving things away, just to feel some relieve. I am so sorry.

  2. I saw your photo on FB but didn't know the back story...what a devastating loss...I'm so sorry. After you put so much of yourself into it and it being so gorgeous with that view, what a would be very hard to see it in that state.

  3. I am so fortunate never to have experienced the pain and loss of fire and it's extreme power. I'm so sorry, Patty. It will take you awhile to recover and allow it to fade into the background. Odd the bench survived isn't it. Very symbolic. Perhaps a place from which to remember - look forward - and plan rebuilding. Who knows. Thinking of you. xoDonna

  4. For once, I have no words. Lots of love to you and the owners of the place.


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