On September 4, 2011 our lives were forever changed when we lost our home, guest cabin, and art workshop in the largest wildfire in Texas history. Our home was situated among the legendary Lost Pines of Bastrop County, an area rich in beauty, pioneer history and small town charms. Thousands of people were evacuated as a result of the 2011 Labor Day wildfires which ultimately grew to destroy over 34,000 acres, nearly 1700 homes, millions of trees and claimed two lives. The road to recovery after such a cataclysmic natural disaster is a difficult one...but the amazing resilience and spirit of this small community is beyond inspirational and we are proud to be a part of it.
For us, the most positive and productive way to recover from such a life changing event was to somehow utilize our 7 acres of hundreds of dead standing pine trees we lost as a result. Our determination in undertaking the harvest, transport and milling of these trees has not been an easy task, but we remain steadfast in our efforts to now build a new home from the forestland we loved so much. We plan to utilize as much of our timber resources as possible to rebuild. So, the home - framing, exterior, walls, floors, ceilings, and cabinets- will be made from the very trees from our property. Blessed by the relationship with a local sawmill, we have now milled a good portion of the lumber and began construction in November 2012.
With this situation thrust upon us, we didn't know quite what we were getting into in order to utilize the trees, but we keep moving forward in faith- crossing bridges as we get to them. Our passion to utilize our timber has been a hopeful journey of heartache, problem-solving and tenacity. The amount of timber loss in Bastrop County is heartbreaking and most will sadly go to waste. We wish to be public about our endeavors in order to emphasize the philosophy of utilizing the trees- it is an arduous process that, understandably, many aren't in a position to attempt...however, we're artists, so we happen to be daring enough to give it a whirl!
We are rebuilding the home on weekends, mainly by ourselves with some help from kind friends who guide us in the process. Our attempts to rebuild by these means at times is overwhelming, however we can not think of any better way to honor our family, our forest and the pioneer spirit of this area. We anticipate, that on the backside of this process, we will have a fantastic craftsman-style home we can be proud of, while creating a legacy for our children.
We wanted to share with you our story in hopes that we can inspire others who are faced with picking up the pieces after losing so much, so quickly, to a natural disaster. We hope our hard efforts are an example of perseverance and finding the silver lining after a devastating loss...for our home will be built literally from the ashes.
This blog is a collection of highlight posts, articles, interviews, pictures/video complied since our lives changed with the Bastrop Complex Fire.