A New Year

Well… As you can see, I have been MIA for quite some time now. Since November to be exact. I apologize! But with a new year and a fresh start, things are certain to stay on track now!

2014 started off in a way I would have never imagined. As many of you may know (if you follow me on Facebook), tragedy struck for my family January 15th, right after school started for the Spring semester. We experienced our first (and hopefully our last) house fire. This is one reason I haven’t been active on the blog. We lost our garage, garage apartment, and everything inside including my family’s two pet cats, Shady and Boots. It’s been a slow process but things are gradually starting to get better. The fire started inside our garage and it’s origin is still unknown. My mom woke up to a popping sound and the smell of smoke around 2:30 am. When my dad opened the garage to try to save our cats it was already too late. Once the door was let open, so much outside air was let in and the flames just engulfed up the walls. Thankfully, it only took the fire department four minutes to arrive. They saved our house first then turned their focus to the fire in the garage, which wasn’t put out until around 7:00 that morning. I found out about the fire when my dad called me in a panic at 4:30 that morning telling me we lost the garage and everything upstairs. I knew there was no way I could go back to sleep so I immediately jumped out of bed, packed a bag and headed for Baytown.

I spent that Wednesday in shock… trying to answer an abundance of texts, calls, and Facebook messages which at the time seemed impossible due to the amount of love and support  my family and I had. I just couldn’t believe it. The place my parents built as their first home was gone. A lifetime of memories had been shared upstairs in our garage apartment. If you ever got the chance to hang out up there, you know what I’m talking about. The upstairs, or “Man Cave” (as my dad named it) was full of sentimental treasures including my great grandfather’s acoustic guitar, as well as many other electric guitars, my dad’s drum set, my parents’ letterman jackets from when they were in high school, model airplanes, a wooden doll house my dad built my sister and I when we were little, a music recording system, and thousands of memories shared with great friends. The “Man Cave” was my dad’s space. He kept everything up there. When he needed to escape or just go for some quiet time, this is where he went. As far as the garage, it also included many sentimental values such as my dad’s classic 1976 Stingray Corvette, and Honda CBR motorcycle. Shady and Boots were in the garage at the time it started. We believe they passed away early from smoke inhalation. We later found their bodies together under the frame of the Corvette once the debris from the garage was cleared. When something scared them, under the car is where they would run and hide.

There is no way to prepare for a tragedy like this until it actually happens. If theres any advice I have to give, it’s to install smoke detectors in your garage if you don’t have them already. My family and I will also never keep our pets in the garage again to sleep at night. Despite all that’s been lost, there has been some good come from this experience. One thing is for sure, it has brought my family a whole lot closer than we were before. I just thank God every day that my mom woke up in time to get her and my dad out safely before the fire got worse in the house. God was with my parents that morning. Below are pictures I took of the aftermath for a photography project as well as a picture of Shady and Boots.

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