My heart goes out with loving empathy to my neighbors & friends who lost their homes, and others who like me, have had to endure these tortuously bleak and dark smoke-filled days, and still displaced from the wildfire evacuation. I just found out that our house has burned down. There is nothing left. The landscape took a lashing, as did my sanity and sense of confidence in the world.
Thank you again all of you who had left a note on the Ten Acres & A Trailer, for those notes were a reminder that life was still happening during the numbest time of my whole life. In closing, I never really talked much here about the house, but it is so very special because Jeff and I built it ourselves, and it took us nearly six years to do it, working every weekend, every holiday & summer vacation.
But I am healthy, and so am facing forward with gratitude the size of Mt Veeder itself that I still have the ones I love near me, friends who have not lost their home, and a future, even if unknown.
ps. I will look forward to answering all of your comments soon, thank you so much for them, they are giving me a lot of strength ~~ xx Jen
Oh Sweet Pea. I can’t stop crying. Your beautiful home was such a haven of quiet elegance, and light filled comfort. I felt wrapped in welcoming hugs every time I came to visit, but remember that your home was the expression of YOU, and YOU are still standing. I love you bushels and bushels. The most important part is that you and your beautiful quiet elegance is still here for us to hug and adore………… LOVE YOU!
I don’t want to leave, we still have the fire-lashed landscape, and the neighbors (like you!) still there! I will be hovering near, and Jeff promised me that trailer to park up there soon so I can be on the land, regardless of temporary homes, and all that mess while the house (eventually) gets rebuilt. You give me a lot of strength, LOVE BACK ~~ xx
Oh no! Your beautiful, beautiful home! We so hoped for a different ending for you! My heart goes out to you, Jen. (It would be a kindness to your readers if you answered the questions about things we might be able help you replace — it’s awful to watch helplessly from afar.)
Laine, thank you so much. Yes, I myself went back and forth between thinking it could still be standing, if only I could see the satellite image differently, or with positive thinking, make it come true. But, fresh new beginnings are imminent and with a lot fewer possessions. I don’t know what to ask for from all my lovely generous friends here, but forthcoming is a design I was working on just before the fire, and perhaps the sale of that little pattern will be some way to raise some dollars so that I can restock my knitting studio of what I need, just the basics. Thank you again, xx
Jen, I’m so, so sorry.
I wish our unique & separate sorrows could nullify each other …
I am so sorry words can’t begin to convey.
My world was always a better place knowing my sister from another mother was safe and living in her beautiful home on Mt Veeder.
My heart breaks for you. I do hope you decide
To rebuild I would love to visit you again this time I’ll bring my carpenters belt and tools.
Please tell Jeff I appreciate him for all he’s doing to support you in this terrible time. This will soon become a memory. And once again peaceful winds and beautiful evenings looking out over the valley will be the norm.
All my Love,
Thank you Lance, and well, at least you got to see the place a couple of times!! I long for those peaceful winds and the valley feeling small and quaint again, and the story about The Big Fire becoming old news. I will let Jeff know your appreciation, and I will most definitely keep you posted of our temporary whereabouts. xx
My heart goes out to you. ❤️ I’m so very, very sorry…. I’m glad you are safe. There are no words, really. I have been waiting for this post and hoping for the best.
Thanks Kieran! You said the words that make all the difference ~~ xx
Jen, how devastating for you and your husband to find out and to have to face. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you had built your beautiful home. I send you hugs and strength for the road ahead of you. XO
Thank you Stefanie, right now everything is pretty surreal, but soon will find a new rhythm. Thanks for your sweet presence here too! xx
I’m heartbroken to hear about your loss. Anyone who follows your blog could see how much you loved your house by how it featured so beautifully as the backdrop for your lovely knitting and spinning work. Wishing both of you the very best for the future and the strength to work through the moment. ❤
Bonnie, I am glad you noticed, but yes, the knitting and the house were somehow interdependent. I will keep the news coming on Yarnings; you saw the blog when it was brand new, and I was designing simple little ditties, and then dove into the design splashingly, and now… maybe it will have a new dimension, one with much reflection.
Thank you ~~ xx
I don’t have words equal to the task of restoration. If you could ever settle on a sum of the sorrow, you could send out invoices to all of your friends, and we would gladly remit, a.s.a.p. If wishes were horses…
Well, there was always a book in you, waiting to get out, and if anyone has the spirit and courage to construct a new future, it’s you. So for now, what frivolous and necessary things can we send to you…and where?
Prayers, love and hugs-from-afar from a very little and not-so-very-helpful Terry.
Terry my dear cheerer… how can I not give special thanks to you who has been such an enthusiastic presence, soon to becoming a key-stone in the comments section. I have no idea what inventory I need to recover, but am thinking, thinking, and thinking more, how I might make that post, and ask for those things. I dont’ want to think about things just yet, but I so appreciate your wanting to give them, and round them all up. Stay near, you’ve become a part of this place ~~ xx
Love and tears…
Michele, yes, tears indeed. I am so glad though, that you and Barry got to spend a couple of days here! I will post that great photo of you and me in the canyon when I come across it. You & Barry stay tuned, there might just be another hermitage to come visit again in a year or two down the road. Thank you ~~ xx
We look forward to that!! We have very fond memories of your beautiful spot, but what was most beautiful you still possess, your spirit!!! We send love and more love your way!!!
Dear Jen, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of yours and your neighbour’s homes. Words fail me. Love Tracey xx
Tracey, thank you, and I’ve appreciated your kind presence here. I hope you stay through the thick & thin of what is forthcoming… xx
Jen, I’m truly gutted to read this. Again, if you need anything, please let me know. xxx
Aww hen, what can I say? You’ve been a tremendous friend to me, and I know that everybody has rough times, mine no rougher than yours. I hope you stay and continue with your lovely presence through the changes ahead, for me, and for you as well ! I will do an inventory and think of someway I can call on my friends here to toss an extra pair of needles or other knitting supplies, but for now, I just think an empty room with a chair suits me well, ‘ Knitting In A Room ‘. Thanks so much ~~ xx
When you get a minute to yourself will you email me an address please? X
Dearest Jen, my heart cries with yours. Such a loss of dreams, a beloved house and so many dear belongings. It is hard to understand what you are going through now.
May you have the strenghth and love to cope.
So much Love to you and your family from us, the knitters and admireres of you work.
So many hugs and wishes for a future that looks so dark now.
So many thoughts of you in your sorrow
from us far away.
All my Love,
Yvonne, my dear one who is so much like myself, I feel very much your consoling presence, and thank you! The things, the antiques which were a lifetime and handed-down from our families, they’ll never be able to be replaced, but I am trying to get Jeff excited about making things ourselves, in this new minimalist & hand-made chapter of our lives.
Love bunches, stay around, I sure admire & love your company!!!
Oh my dear Jen! What an unbelievable fact! I am so very sorry! Would really love to help you, in any kind and way, but it will be only the transatlantic mentally way….. what a pity.
Thinking a lot of you, Jeff and Emma, and am relieved to hear, that there are family and friends to accompany you, in the next difficult times.
Love and hugs, Petra
My sweet dear Petra, the mental support is the most needed and your presence here worth so much to me. In future weeks & months hopefully you can witness the positive changes happening in my life, as phoenix’s do rise from ashes. Love lots! xx
I am desperately sorry to hear this news, Jen. We lost our home in the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, and I understand all too well the sorrow and pain such a loss brings. Please take heart that all your friends and acquaintances are with you in spirit, and sending every warm wish that time will soothe the aches and have you looking forward to another spring. One day at a time…
All the best from me,
Thank you so much Dianne. I very well remember that infamous Oakland Hills fire, like it was yesterday! California is a beautiful but harshly elemental place to live, isn’t it? xx
Oh, Jen my dear one. What is there to say. I am so sorry to hear this news. If there is anything we can do to help, please reach out. We are unscathed and I am grateful, but this event will change us forever. I know you will rise again little Phoenix.
Love and hugs,
Aww, Morrie, thank you my dear gorgeous friend! So glad that the fire stayed clear of you guys.
I’m glad to have hosted the two spinning meet-ups in the house (one with just you, remember the matte?) xx
I will never forget the matte day. It has never tasted as good as it did that day you taught me how to enjoy the real thing.
Oh, jenn, I so feared this would be the case. Your sweet haven there in God’s clouds was so very special. I am here for you, thinking of you, praying for you, Jeff and Emma. Words just don’t equate my compassion and empathy, and do not know what to say or offer more than this.
Love and hugs,
Debbie, I’m so glad you got to come to a spinning gathering at my house that time, what a priceless memory! Thank you for your compassionate words ~~ xx
ps. And I’m SO relieved your place did not burn! xx
Dear Jen I am so sorry to hear your sad news. I am thinking of you and Jeff and wishing you strength to carry on. Please let us know what you need.
Love, Wendy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Wen, it will be a long recovery process, and for the time being I do not know what I need beyond the notes of support from the knitting community, for a sense of community, even if by afar, is so strengthening! You are a dear, dear friend of mine, and I look forward to continuing our emails in Ravelry as soon as I come out of this fog. Presently Jeff and I are looking for a place to rent, and we are discussing the prospect of rebuilding, and how that will be. So stay tuned to Yarnings, to hear all, as you always do, plus a bunch more personal sent directly to you. Thank you for your warmth ~~ xx
Beyond words. Beyond horror.
Sending you strength and love and the ability to focus on the power of small things and the beauty of love
Deeply, deeply sorry.
Karin (AKA The Knitting Man Recommends)
Karin, thank you, most sincerely. I have found a few new friends it looks like , through this ordeal, and I really appreciate your popping in here in my fort. I am looking forward to not skipping a beat, and making a new blending board and carrying on with my Tweed Chronicles as soon as I settle. xx
Rebuilding after great loss is difficult but not impossible. I know you can do it; you, Jeff and Emma are stronger together.
Hugs, my dear. I will continue to encourage the prayers happening for you, your family, and your community from here in St. Joseph. I will be watching for a list or some suggestions of whatever you need sent to you. Please don’t forget in all the mess to provide an address to send you packages.
While I am am sure this must feel horribly devastating, you cannot give up hope. Persevere and you and Jeff will find your way. I’ll bet Emma is there trying to comfort you both. Dogs always know when thier dear two legged friends are distressed. Big big hugs!
Sheila, thank you. Yes, Emma’s dog energy helps keep me grounded for sure. Also, thank you for your prayers and offer to send things that we may need, but for now, we don’t need anything. When it is time to recover and ‘go shopping’ for a few knitting & spinning things, I will come here and promote my designs, but that can wait too. Right now we’re trying to find a place to rent and get settled in the valley, and then I can slowly tap into the friendship & generosity bestowed & taken hold here in my fort Yarnings ~~ xx
Jen I am so sorry. You and your community will be in my thoughts and prayers as you recover and rebuild. Please let me know if I can help in any way..
Your fiber friends in Sonoma Valley all love you and are heartsick over your loss. We are snatching up your patterns on Ravelry left and right, and hope that this small gesture helps in some tiny way. ❤️🙏🏼😢
I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your home. Our Girl Scout camp on Mt Veeder was also burned out. I’ve read your post on contributing by getting something form the Rav pattern store. There’s a vest pattern that looks like something my boy would like.