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A House Burning

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“It always amazes me to think that every house on every street is full of so many stories; so many triumphs and tragedies, and all we see are yards and driveways.”

Glenn Close

“I remember, I remember, / The house where I was born, / The little window where the sun / Came peeping in at morn.”

Thomas Hood

I don’t actually know the people who owned, lived, and grew up in this house….but I know that it was a happy home by the stories people tell.  I know that the girl who grew up there, while she apparently didn’t really mind them burning the house down, she didn’t want to be in town when it happened.  I know that if someone burned my childhood home down – the house that I still visit regularly two or more times a week, the house where my parents still live 27 years later – I would most certainly not want to be in town either.  But I also know that the burning of this house served such a great purpose.  It had not been inhabited in many many years.  And the owners surely knew that the church could use it for something since they handed over the property to them years before.  I had absolutely zero attachments to this house, but somehow (while I was excited and enthralled at the process of it burning down) I was sad.  Happy and sad.  A family played there.  They had memories there.  They ate and slept there.  Somehow, I just don’t see a house as sticks and bricks.

While I was a bundle of emotions, I couldn’t help but watch this whole process of burning the house down.  The firemen prepped and trained.  The EMS stood by prepared for anything that may go wrong.  The community came to watch.  Neighbors sat on their porches for the night.  People brought cameras, food, and drinks…lawn chairs even.  Children played on the church playground not more than 25 or so feet away from the burning house and were brimming with excitement….waiting for the big flames to come.  I witnessed some serious teamwork.  I’m not sure I can really say that I’ve ever seen people work together so diligently and calmly to make sure that not only the job gets done but to ensure that it gets done safely.  Those men and women are seriously dedicated.  Most of them are volunteers, the chief even.  It was fascinating!

Thank you firemen and EMS for letting me dart around you all evening and thank you for your dedication to what can be such a risky job!

Ps.  I can honestly say I have never had as hard a time choosing pictures to post here as I did for this.  So I just posted as many as I could bear to be patient for 🙂

Blog friends and viewers, please do not copy and/or use the pictures posted on this blog for personal or public use.  If you have friends or loved ones that participated in this event, I will be making copies of the disc with all the edited images available for a nominal fee.  Please contact me via email or facebook if you wish to have one.  Thank you!


6 responses »

  1. E-this is a great post and I love your shots. The night ones are amazing!

  2. Absolutely beautiful. I have no idea the home or family, but I felt the emotions through your pictures…the happy and sad that you spoke of. Wow!!! Wonderful post and wonderful photos!!!! What a talent you have been blessed with, Elizabeth!

  3. Yeah, I don’t think I’d want to see my childhood home burning down, either, even if it was planned on everything. They did this recently with a house near where I’m moving, and it caused quite the stir.

  4. WOW these are amazing pictures! Having had a violent and turbulent childhood, I actually think I would enjoy watching my childhood home burn. I think, honestly as wacko as it sounds, it would help me seal those chapters.

    Disclaimer: I’m really not a nutjob. lol

  5. joyce eagles griffin

    I’m the child, now 68, who lived in this house which was a home in every sense of the word.
    Thank you for understanding that it had a history
    of love and not just bricks.
    Please let me know how to have access to the pictures so I can send to the grandchildren who
    spent many hours with the Eagles.
    I’m delighted that the church will have a parking
    lot, my parents would also be very pleased.
    I hope that everyone who knew my parents will
    share a story with someone who didn’t know them
    and the memories will live.
    Gratefully, Joyce Griffin

  6. Janice Joyner Fleming

    I was a friend and playmate of Jane and Joyce Eagles and spent many warm and wonderful times in their home with them and their parents, Dr. and Mrs. Dick Eagles. It was a home whose family warmly welcomed their many friends. My memories include a large group of girls having fun playing games, dancing, eating, and having pajama parties. I, too, could not bring myself to witness the burning of their house. Not too many years ago, my childhood home burned accidentally; I am glad that I was not a witness to that burning. My thoughts are with Jane and Joyce, their children, and their grandchildren; I know they have a storehouse of good memories from Middle Street.


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