Yesterday at about 3:45 a.m., the fire department was called out to my house. Our barn, our garage, the tackroom, and the workshop were entirely engulfed in flames, including the two stables that were full of baby and pregnant mama goats, and all of our baby chicks that we would be raising all summer. The heroes of our small town fire department were able to put out the fire before it reached our hay barn, but not before the rest of the outbuildings burned almost entirely to the ground. All the animals that were in the building died. Everything is gone. I'm so horrified and sad and I wish I could wake up and have it all be a bad dream, but unfortunately, it's very, very real.
What our barn looked like before:
We lost tens of thousands of dollars of uninsured merchandise from my family's business, all of our garden and workshop tools, boxes upon boxes upon boxes of stuff yet to be unpacked from our move to the farm last year, all of our horse tack and horse supplies, furniture, everything. And of course, the very hardest thing to lose: our babies.
I know this whole thing is much better than it could have been. We didn't lose the house. We didn't lose our hay barn, where the rest of our animals were sleeping. Aside from some smoke inhalation and trauma, my family is fine. I appreciate that and I'm so grateful it wasn't worse.
I'm at school as I write this, 80 miles away from home, unable to help with the cleanup effort, which will be extensive. My roommates drove me home for a few hours to see the damage last night, but I won't fully be able to come home and appreciate the scope of everything until Friday. I feel hollow and I don't know what else to say, except a massive thank you to the farm community of northern Minnesota that has been such an incredible blessing. People are donating tools, furniture, money, and their time to help us rebuild, and I'm so humbled by their generosity. I'm also enormously thankful to the YA Twitter community, whose outpouring of support has meant so much to me.
For those of you kind enough to ask if you can donate or help (thank you, thank you, thank you), a friend of ours was kind enough to start up a Facebook group for the fire here, which is public and will have information about what we are in need of and the best way to help us out. Our regular farm page will also have updates, which you can find here.
I probably won't be online too much this week, but as I said before, I am so grateful and awed by you all every day. I'm so lucky to call myself a YA book blogger, and my gratitude knows no bounds.
** EDIT ** There's a lot more details in a local newspaper article that ran this morning. For those asking about donations: If you want to donate, you can send money through Christine Desmond (my mother's) PayPal account through this page, using her email address email@example.com. Thank you for your generosity! I'm blown away by the kindness that has been shown today. ** /EDIT **