Helping a Family in Need
If you’ve been watching the news lately, in between all the tornados in mid and eastern America, there are wildfires all over Texas. If you haven’t heard, you can read all about it and see video shot from all over the area on CNN HERE. I received a text yesterday from Tate, my ex-husband, that his parents who live just outside of Graham, TX have been evacuated and that a wildfire has jumped a nearby lake and was headed straight for them. The fire had been 0% contained and it wasn’t looking good. They had enough time to get their clothes and have someone come and get the horses. They then headed in to Graham to Tate’s brother Ty’s home to wait and see. At that point, they had no idea whether their home would survive or not.
About five years ago, Richard & Jan Viehmann took all they had and built themselves a small home on some property. Richard built it with his own hands and even broke a leg in the process (falling off the roof). In addition to building this little home, they spent many months here in California helping Tate and I with the ongoing remodels. They are wonderful people.
Over the last two years, they built a horse stable so that their granddaughter Hyedi could have a place for her horse to live. Just recently, Tate added a friend for Hyedi’s horse to hang out with:
Today, I got the news from Tate that they have been allowed back in the area and everything but the tin roofs is gone. There is nothing left but charred grass and trees for the majority of their property.
The loss of everything they had is heartbreaking, not only for Richard and Jan, but for those all over Texas. Richard and Jan have been good to me, I would like to give something back. So I am raising money to be able to help them get back on their feet. On a limited income, they had limited insurance and even that won’t be processed for months to come. I would like to collect as much as I can to send to them in a form of cash or a Walmart gift card, since that is the major store in town, so they can get started on rebuilding their home, wherever that may be.
Please help me by donating to their cause. Every little bit counts and these are people that are habitual givers, and I want to help give back. If you feel more comfortable, you may send a check or gift card directly to them at the following address:
Richard Sr. & Jan Viehmann
C/O Ty Viehmann
1425 Thompson Street
Graham, TX 76450
I’m so very glad you are all ok. Things can be replaced, but you two are priceless in my eyes. Love and hugs and all the positive thoughts I can send you.
My heart is just broken over their loss!
Update from Tate as of 4/20/11:
So some of you’ll know but others do not so let me tell everyone again. There has been a huge fire near Possum Kingdom Lake and my parents live 10 miles from this lake. With the high winds, shifting directions, & dry conditions the fire was completely unpredictable. It moved at such a rapid speed that my parents got no real notice that the fire was upon them until it was too late. When they learned they may lose their home. They had only time to get the horses, small animals and a few clothes. Once evacuated we had no way to know if firefighters were able to save anything of my family’s property. Today was the first day we were able to go see what has become of everything. Although we had hoped that at least some would be ok we were not so lucky. My parents land was very wooded with lots of trees. This is not the case now. Only a handful of trees look to have made it (which only time will tell). All of the structures (house, barn, and storage shed) are completely gone. Although the carport is still intact, go figure! Here is a link to my webpage where I have posted some pictures. http://gallery.me.com/rlvmann#100209 Although it is a total loss they have insurance and we will start to rebuild. It will be a long, slow process. Thank you to everyone who has offered to help and continues to offer to help. I am sure we will take you up on it at some point. Right now we are trying to get bearings and start the process of figuring out the best way to move forward. I will keep you all up to date if you wish just let me know.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I couldn’t imagine how they are feeling. Just remind them its the intangible things that can’t be replaced, other things can be.
We will be in Austin in August. Let us know what we can do do help. It doesn’t matter you’re 4 he’s away. That’s what friends do.
Take good care,
Thanks to the members of Dolphin Divers of Sacramento for your donations at tonight’s meeting. And thank you to those who have already donated or plan to donate.
My heart goes out to your family. Thank goodness they’re all ok.
I remember meeting both of you at the Picnic in the Park a few years ago. I am very sorry for your loss; the pictures are shocking. I hope and pray that things go as well as possible from here on out. Brooke
4/27/11 Update from Tate:
“Well my parents spent the last week living with me in my apt and we are all still alive…haha! Couple of days ago it finally rained helping to contain some of the fire. Its said to be about 50% contain, as of a couple days ago.
We drove back to Graham and the land a few days ago. The insurance adjuster meet us @ the property and we went through everything. It was not an easy task. We are still remembering the things we lost. Little things will pop into your head at random times. The rain did help settle down some of the ash and smoke. The land already looks better. The trees however do not. We are still hopeful that some will make it but some we thought might be good have fallen since last time we were out there. Time will tell.
We also got the horses to their new, temporary home yesterday. Bo and Smokey were both very happy to have room to run again. For now they are on 43 acres with scrub oaks and a water tank. There is also a large barn near if weather gets bad and they need shelter. This should be their final place until we are able to move them home.
My parents are back staying with Ty this week.They will be starting work to get the garage apt livable again so they can hopefully have a place to get away on their own next week. It is a very small (700SF) place that is in complete disrepair. The fun never stops…lol!
In all my parents are in good spirits. They are moving forward and making the best of a horrible situation. Thank you everyone for your comments, support and encouragement. I do pass it all on to them. Even those of you that have not meet my parents. They have now learned who you are and are so grateful that people care so much!!!