3f4c44193b91721b7f592494a230fbe1We experienced a house fire last week. Wow. I am still numb. There is significant damage and we will be living in Duluth until our rebuild is finished…at least September. There are SO many details to take care of in the interim. It is going to be crazy. It is crazy. We are both quite overwhelmed right now, but wanted to send a note of thanks to our friends and community. St. Scholastica is our family and we are full of gratitude. Between this site, the replacement clothing, daily hugs and everything else you can imagine, we are beside ourselves. We turn in tearful every evening when we (try to) sleep.

Last night Michael wrote a note to our friends and supporters, and I want to share it with you. You are going to be hearing a lot from me over the course of the next several months while we rebuild. I’m already craving anything normal.

Thank you friends. Love to you from the city…I guess. It’s sure bittersweet.

xo dina

But for love this would be a very inhospitable and lonely place. 

Dina and I have been very humbled by the outpouring of support from the Scholastica community and beyond. The support that everyone has shown has left us without words.

On Wednesday evening we went to a movie at Zinema called Rising from Ashes. It was about the birth of a Rwandan Cycling team after the genocide. It was a beautiful film of love, friendship, athleticism and hope. The promoter, named Garry, a friend of a friend, was in town and needed a place to stay. We invited him to stay with us in the guest room. 

That evening the outside light was left on and at around 3:00 a.m. Dina woke me up and said there was a fire. After moments of disbelief we went downstairs and at the peak of the roof was a flame that was growing in size. We awakened our guest and found our cat, Sola, and ran outside only to see the fire double in size. Not knowing what to do I started throwing snowballs and Garry joined in while Dina called 911. Once the flames were inside, I grabbed a ladder from the garage and ran it inside with Garry and tried to douse it with a coffee pot of water…absurd desperation. Seeing it growing outside we ran out and returned to throwing snowballs. 

After what felt like an eternity we heard the first fire truck coming down the driveway. Expecting a team of firefighters and a Dalmatian the first hero was a twenty-four year old woman. She was the first responder and had set out on her own with a truck. The only catch was that she had never ran the hoses and so was unsure of what to do. Eventually there was an entire team and when we were finally pulled away by the EMT, there was an entire city of rescue personnel with sundry vehicles. There were even giant make-shift swimming pools of water. Later both Dina and I said to each other that it was a scene out of the movie ET. 

After the fire had been extinguished, the hoses collected and the last personnel to drive away, the Red Cross arrived to help us with our next move, not having anything in the house to call our own at that time. The generosity has been overwhelming. Sitting in Starbucks at 6:30 a.m., while everyone who could formally help us was still sleeping, two city employees who overheard us offered us–complete strangers–monetary help. Friends and our St. Scholastica family began to offer help immediately and are continuing in ways that are incomprehensible to us.

As we sit here in bed tonight, with everything up in the air, I can still look over and say to the love of my life, “I am so glad that you fell in love with me,” and she the same, with the same enthusiasm and optimism we have had since first falling in love. And part of that hope and optimism is because of the love you all have given us. We shall forever be grateful and will forever be at loss for words that capture the generosity. Thank you from the depth of our hearts.

God bless,

Mike and Dina

{Image courtesy of Modern Hepburn.}


8 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Dina, if I could hug this all away for you I would. So sorry about the loss of your home. So happy you are all safe.

  2. Thinking about you, Mike and Sola all the time. This is beautifully written by you and Mike… and I know you’ll make it through with the same grace and positivity that shines through both of you everyday. Hoping to come home soon and want to just squeeze you both.

  3. Beaming you both good, positive vibes. I know you’ll get through it! I am definitely here for you if you need anything and it sounds like you have a solid crew of love and support around you.

  4. Beaming you both good positive vibes. I know you’ll get through it! I am definitely here for you and it sounds like you have a solid crew of love and support around you.

  5. Hugs to you Dina. My heart just dropped when Julie shared the news with our office last week about your house fire. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do…even if it’s just wander around Yarn Harbor or get a cup coffee. Speaking of knitting, if you need any supplies let me know. I have plenty of needles and whatnot that you could use until you can rebuild your own stash.

  6. Oh, dear Dina & Mike. We love you and continue to be here for you in the days and months ahead. Holding you both close to my heart.

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