Chapter 2: May 2011
Speaking of tarps again, I had one over my futon, just in case there were shards embedded, until I had a chance to replace the cover. I did not want any glass to get stuck in my dog’s fur, because she would lick it off and that would be bad.
The Friday night after the tornado, I heard on the news (maybe facebook, I don’t remember exactly) that a house was on fire in Forest Lake neighborhood. My cats were still down there, and I was so high-strung about this fire that I drove back to the neighborhood, it was around 11 PM. I was calmly freaking out. The checkpoint would not let us in, but they told me where the fire was and it was not my house. This only made me feel a little better, and I tried to persuade the guard to let me in, but he refused. If I thought I could have gotten away with it, I might have tried to sneak in. (20 years ago, I guarantee I would have tried to.) It turned out that the fire was almost exactly one block south of my house, which was a lot closer than the checkpoint dude made it sound. The woman who lived there had been there her entire life. She told me some stories about it, like the playhouse in the backyard where she had played as a child. Can you imagine surviving the tornado, only to have your house burn down? Talk about adding insult to injury. If I remember correctly, the fire started in a car in the garage. Later, I met her niece, who helped rescue some animals. Good people. She let me take some photos.
Right before the tornado, Forest Lake was petitioning to become a historic district. That was tabled shortly after the storm.
Just another day in the rubble.
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About Tanya Mikulas, photographer