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The Fire


Alfred Rustad Jr. (Ruste) (1980s)

The day I will never forget was one cold winter morningthe year I was nine. Finishing my chores, namely filling the wood box, emptyingthe ashes and carrying in snow to melt for washing clothes, I was readyto rest a few minutes.

But the smell of smoke, and the crackling of burning soundswhich seemed to be coming from between the ceiling in the kitchen and theupstairs bedroom floor, made my Mother and I realize the house was on fire.She told me to quickly get my Father, who was hauling hay.

It seemed only minutes to run as hard as I could throughthe snow half a mile away. Quickly telling my father that the house wason fire, we raced the horses home while I was able to catch my breath ridingon the sleigh.

We were soon carrying out furniture from the house. Oneroom was never entered. We called it the storage room, full of mementosfrom Mother's teaching days and Father's World War I souvenirs, clothesand furniture not in use.

Never to be forgotten, was how my father and a neighborjust picked up the hot, heating stove in the living room and just walkedout with it, letting the stove piped fall as they left. Only to rememberit took four men to carry the stove back in to the new house.

Adding to the memories of this nine year old boy, werethe eyes of two boys who came to watch the house burn.


Jamie Rustad Meagher

tad Meagher