At 09:00 this morning Greg called me to ask to pick up Parker at Jenkins School, since he had been vomiting.
I did pick him up and took him to the house for breakfast and a nappy. About 11:00 he got up and went to play the guitar in the living room. When I did not hear him anymore, I tried to call him, but got no reply. I put on my slippers and went outside in the rain, walked through the garage shouting his name and climbed the stairs to the garage apartment to see if he was there. No answer. . Once back in the house I got a call from Greg and told him I was searching for Parker. He suggested to go to the neighbor's house since at a recent party he had heard that Parker lately had been walking into their place. But then I hear Parker get into the kitchen. "Where were you?" I asked, and he answered: "In the garage playing in the fortress". Nothing more. A few minutes later I looked out of the kitchen window and saw a large fire; I quickly got my camera and took the above sequence of shots. I called 911 at 11:30, and they were here at 11:45. Later, the Police Chief and Fire Chief asked for Parker's father and interviewed the three of us. Parker admitted to having found a lighter. "Did you use it?" - "Yes" - "Did you put something on fire?" Yes, the cloth" - "Then did you run away?" - "No, I walked away.." He professed to be sorry and was signed up on the spot to take a fire safety course for the sake of prevention ;o]
That was all for now, no charges pressed since he was only five. The Chiefs thanked him for having told the truth. I called the Insurance and several other people, and the rest of the afternoon was like a giant picnic with neighbors, friends and firemen in the drizzle on the lawn. The smoke kept up pretty well to the evening, and in the meantime I wrote an inventory first with the help of Steve, then Mercia. The cost of all recent renovations , new windows and kitchen and other equipment and utilities together with what there was already probably exceeded $ 80,000, and then there were Mercia's acquisitions including several large clocks, sofas, highboys, cabinets, carpets and all of my tools and many of my books. Enough for now, will let you know what Donegal Insurance paid us. [Answer (April 16, 2009) it was $ 80K minus 10% refundable agst receipts]