Picture from John MacKay’s property burnt over by fire

During the aftermath of the Cold Springs Wildfire from this past summer, I wrote about some friends who had lost their home, one of the first to burn down during the fire.  What was particularly heartbreaking was they had just purchased their home the previous October, and had not even fully moved in full time from their previous home in Florida.  I found it difficult to find words to comfort them during such a terrible time.

During our interminable wait during the evacuation, my husband and I pondered what we would do if our home was lost.  For people who have never experienced mountain living, it may seem ludicrous that after losing your home to a wildfire, you would even consider rebuilding.  But for those of who have made our homes here, and fallen in love with the mountains, and the peace and serenity this environment gives us, it’s not so preposterous.

Taken in by gracious friends down on the plains made it even more crystal clear for us.  This was not our place, our place where we were destined to be.  My heart and soul were in the mountains, and this would have taken my mountain spirit away from me.  So yes, if we had lost everything, we would have rebuilt our home.

John MacKay, owner of spectacular property and what was a beautiful home in our neighborhood sent me this piece and I wanted to publish it for all to read, who may have suffered losses in previous wildfires as well.  To John and his beautiful wife, Lorena, I am so happy you have decided to rebuild here in Nederland.  Welcome home!


It’s been tough, losing our house, our vehicles, and most of our material things to a wildfire that didn’t have to happen. All before we made the final move out here. Digging through the cinders, hoping to find a memory; hauling off burnt remains of things long cherished; dealing with the post-fire, recovery tasks that have to be confronted.

A good friend here once asked me where I find hope. I find it in the bureaucrats who look beyond their rules to get us through the maze. Hope is in all the people who have helped, even though they don’t know us that well. It’s in the elk, who stand guard from a distance while I toil in the ash. And, most of all, I find hope in the land, in signs like the one above.

I get it now, everything’s going to be okay. Of course we’ll rebuild. Thank you, Ned.