Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I have a very sad story to tell. My cousin, actually, my mother's first cousin,Sondra, and her husband have become very close friends or ours. She and her husband had the dream of having a sheep ranch. They moved to South Dakota, bought a farm and started their dream.

Those animals...the sheep, the goats, the guard llama, were her babies. She even had names for them all and new them all and they new her. They'd follow her around. It was her farm that made me understand how Christ could know all his sheep. Anyway, On Feb. 26, in the middle of the night, a storm raged. They put all their animals in the barn and turned on the heater. It's lambing season for them and they had a bunch of new babies they wanted to keep warm.

Somehow, somewhere, there was an electrical short that started a fire. Their barn burned to the ground with all their animals inside it. I can't imagine the terror those poor things must have gone through, but It was discovered too late. Almost three hundred animals burned to death.

Sondra can't even talk about it. They are devastated. I bawled all day yesterday after I found out. I can't imagine what they are feeling. Thank heavens for a loving community. Their friends and neighbors have rallied around them, many sending money, holding auctions and bringing food.

Both Glen and Sondra have had to start working full time as their income is now gone. (and they are well into their 60's) Sondra was also a beautiful knitter. She kept Angora rabbits in the barn, would sheer the rabbits, llama and sheep herself, wash and card the wool, and spin it into yarn. She was wonderfully talented.

This is the farm where my son Jake would go each summer for a month. He knew these animals and is also very sad.

I wonder, why do these things happen? Why didn't a miracle happen for them? Last year, there was a terrible flood in their area and they lost over 100 sheep. When the water went down, they found their animals hanging from trees and fences. It had been over 50 years since of flood of this kind. Why? Why do these things happen? Why do they happen to good people? The only thing I can think of is that something else is coming for them. Something where they need to be free of farm maybe. Or...I don't know. I am just heartsick and trying to figure it out. Maybe there is no answer. Maybe it was what it was...a terrible accident.


Jeri said...

how terrible! I am so sorry for their lost!

Tash said...

that is just awful. and if they loved there animals that much to keep them all in the barn to keep warm you know they are devastated at the loss :(

Lisa said...

Oh Melissa. Yipes. That is horrible. I am so sorry for their loss as well as Jake's.

I don't know why these things happen. Trust me, it's a question I have asked, before.