Through the Ashes


Gratitude can take form in surprising ways: Aside from the gratitude that dwells in places of happiness and blessings, darker frontiers of gratitude are ‘illuminated’ amid sorrow and disappointment.

The photo above was taken in the middle of the night on January 2, illuminated by our sow farrowing/ dairy barn engulfed in flames.

Gratitude. It was the only building lost, it wasn’t our home, and it was just a building.

Gratitude. Neighbors came from everywhere in the valley, Fort Shaw, Sun River and Simms, volunteering to get up in the middle of a frigid night, don a heavy suit, and rush toward our fire.

Gratitude. Todd of Simms, MT- who didn’t just drive by, but drove toward the glow. We had been comfortably sleeping through a silent, raging inferno until this stranger pounded on our door hard enough to wake us.


So now, we move forward. We take our lumps, and we start making plans. It’s not the situation we would have chosen, but in every challenge lies opportunity, so we’re looking for the opportunities.

It still smells like charred earth and burned metal, but the smoldering will cease, the black will fade, and good things will come.

16 thoughts on “Through the Ashes

  1. Eric and Audra, very, very sorry to hear about the fire. ugh. Are you insured? Let us know. Ellen and Bob Knight, Missoula

    1. Hi Ellen. Thanks for the note. Fortunately, we are insured which will help us get going on building something — planning something of our own design that will better meet our needs and values.

  2. Sorry for your losses, hope you didn’t lose to many or any animals. There is hope in gratitude. Keep your chins up.

  3. The shock of such a loss! We were really sad to hear about this, but also know that true blessings do come from the big challenges, and we are surely thinking about you. I wish we were closer so we could help in practical ways. Wow. I am so thankful you are safe.

  4. Amid sorrow for your loss, what you wrote was simply beautiful and a lesson to us all in the midst of trouble and challenges. If we can help in any way, let us know. A barn-raising, perhaps? A fund raiser? We’re all out here to support you, so truly, let us know.

    MJ and Mike

  5. So sorry for your loss but so glad you are ok! Thoughts heading your way from one farm to another.

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