Sunday, October 28, 2018

Dear Kids,
         John has nicknamed his cats “the fire kittens,” (after Pickles, the fire cat in the book) and he’s been telling people the story of how I rescued them from the cabin.  In the meantime, I got a black eye by sliding off our bed (one night when I was seeing double) and hitting my eye on the corner of the windowsill.  My face is also bruised, because it hit the wall going down.  So I look terrible.  John told the story of the kittens to Cora, the cook at the Wasatch senior center, and she came in to the music room on Thursday to talk to me about it.  When she saw my bruised face, she gasped, because she thought I got that in the fire.  So I realized I could really be embellishing the story, maybe telling how a burning beam fell down and hit me on the head as I was running out with the kittens.  Heck, I could really be making a great story out of it!
         But our cabin fire was already dramatic enough.  Now, this week, we’re starting to deal with inspectors and assessors and the insurance company.  The inspector came first, probably to make sure it wasn’t arson.  The pieces of triple wall pipe from the chimney were on the ground, and she noticed that on one piece, there was creosote between the inner pipe and the next layer out.  She said that meant that the pipe had probably failed, and was letting heat and smoke up the second ring of pipe.  So there wasn’t enough protection  between the heat and the outer wooden chimney.  It had probably failed a long time ago, so it wasn’t “if,” but “when.”  I’m glad it didn’t happen at night, while people were in the cabin.  It could have been really bad.  We were lucky.  Another thing that saved our cabin was that it has three layers of siding, put on by different people who lived there.  It was taking longer than usual to burn through all of them, and gave the fire department time to get there. The inspector said the last two cabin fires in our area left nothing but piles of rubble, so there again, we were lucky.
          People have been asking when the cabin will be rebuilt, and we don’t know. The restoration company, Disaster Master (or Service Master is probably their real name) will start cleaning out the damage later this week.  Then an engineer will evaluate the rafters and see if any of them need to be rebuilt.  Then the rest of the work can start.  But it might all take a really long time. Maybe spring?  But eventually, the cabin will be its old self again.  We’ll have many more fun times there!
         Thanksgiving is coming up!  If you want to come to our house, you’re welcome!  I’ll call each of you when it gets closer.
         And tonight will be our last Sunday night otter pops and gummi bears party for a while, because Messiah practices start next week.  The Messiah itself will be December 8 and 9, at Tom’s church.  I’ll have more details later.
         So much going on, like always!  Love, Mom