As I child, I remember learning about fires in school. You know, “stop, drop, and roll” and all that. I remember some nights, wondering about how I could get out of my second-story (well, actually 1.5 stories — it was a split-level) window should fire break out at night. Looking back, it seems that fire was overemphasized a bit, because really, how many people’s houses actually do burn down?
But in my childhood, there were memories and talk of a house that burned.
In January 1969, my grandparents’ farmhouse did burn down. Here, you can see just a bit of their house in the background. That’s my grandparents with my sister.
Me (age 4) and my sister posing by “the ruins.” Since I was so young when their original house burned, I don’t remember much about it. I’m guessing it burned so thoroughly because it was out in the country and it probably took the firemen a while to arrive. Still, pretty much everything was gone. My mom still saves almost everything, and perhaps that’s because she experienced such a devastating fire.
And here my sister and I are the next day, posing with Grandma and Grandpa in their new house. This one I do remember, since it was their house throughout my childhood. I remember curved doorways (see one on the right), and of course the beads curtain over the bathroom window. I spent lots of time imagining various stories based on the curves in the marble-like design of the bathroom floor, and I can’t imagine how many old magazines I read while sitting on the couch. The upstairs had a single large room, rather dark. The basement was unfinished, except for a fully-finished extra kitchen. And there was a neat “breezeway” connecting the house with the garage.
Has there ever been a house fire in your childhood memories? What do you remember about your grandparents’ house?