A little after 8:00 PM that night, an arson fire was set (allegedly) by an eighteen-year old girl who was having a domestic dispute with her mother in the basement of that family's home, which was located kitty corner to our own in the fourplex that we live(d) in.
The blaze quickly began to engulf everything in its path. My husband, Tony, and I were able to rescue our beloved dog, Annie, however, our darling cat Stella - a naturally extremely shy and skittish kitty - hid instantly and could not be found.
I searched in pitch black, chokingly acrid black smoke as thick as oatmeal for her until I could not breath, but she could be found and I had to leave the house or risk losing my own life.
The fire raged on for hours, entirely wiping out all four homes in our fourplex and everything in them.
Tony and I were incredibly fortunate to escape with our lives. We lost everything we owned in this world, save for the clothing on our backs, our phones, a small purse of mine (with my wallet), his wallet, and our car.
Gone forever, a lifetime of items. My vintage wardrobe and collection, hundreds of books, our computers and other electronics, all of my craft supplies, all of the scrapbook albums that I'd made over the years, both of our photography equipment, Tony's fishing and hiking gear, cherished heirlooms, holiday decorations, and every other item contained within the walls of our home.
Included in the mix, all of the merchandise for, and everything else pertaining to, my Etsy vintage shop. Thus, this horrific, senseless crime (the young woman was attested that evening by the police) not only destroyed our home and belongings, in one fell swoop, it obliterated my business and my livelihood.
Both Tony and I shared about fire and its impact on social media quite soon after the fact, so some of you may be aware of this situation already, but for those who are not, I wanted to let you all know here as soon as I could.
This isn't a small bump in the road or even a decent size curve ball, it is the literal definition of a life changing catastrophe.
From the very first social media post, we have had a truly incredible show of support and help from so many friends and family members online.
My sister, Katie, and my good friend Nora (from the blog Nora Finds) quickly teamed up to create a crowd funding relief donation page, which you can donate to here if you wish to do so:
Anything that you can give - prayers, good vibes, and kind messages included - are so incredibly helpful to us - as is sharing about our donation campaign link on social media and/or your blog - and mean more than we can ever put into words.
As well, in one of the most touching things I (we) have ever experienced, another dear friend of mine, Bonita (from the blog Lavender & Twill) set up a Facebook page for those who wish to help us out in a myriad of different ways (including sending care packages).
There are not words enough in the whole world to adequately express the profound gratitude, appreciation and love that I have for everyone who is helping us. I have always known and spoken highly about the fact that the vintage/pinup/rockabilly/similar community was an incredibly close knit, supportive place, but I have been nothing short of floor by the incredible outreach and care extended to us by hundreds in our midst.
Right now we are very fortunate to be temporarily staying with my mom and step-dad while we begin to pick up the pieces of our charred life. Time will tell where we land beyond then.
Our life is in pieces and putting them back together again is going to be a long, long process. But we are alive, Tony and I have each other (and Annie), and we have the astonishing support of so many wonderful people around the planet.
Right now, as we focus on rebuilding our lives, I have to put this blog on hiatus. It pains me deeply to do so, but given the circumstances, I have no other choice.
I plan to return again and resume blogging when possible, but that will likely be for quite a while down the road from now (especially since we are computer-less at present).
I appreciate your understanding on this front and will miss each of you greatly. We will reconnect again. This blog is an integral part of my life and the last thing that I would possibly want is for it to be another victim of this heartbreaking tragedy.
We are fighters and we will persevere. The journey back to normalcy will be long, but we will grow in countless ways in the process, and ultimately, we will be okay.
Your love, support, donations, and immeasurable kindness will ensure that is the case. Of that - much like life's ability to change in the blink of an eye - I am certain.
With every fiber of my being, thank you, everyone. I love you dearly and will return here as soon as I possibly can.