Sunday, December 20, 2009
On Hatteberg's People -- When your house catches fire, your life comes apart...or so you would think. Last week Tim Ladwig's house caught fire. But he found peace among the rubble and gifts this Christmas season that aren't under a tree.
"I'm very thankful for those firemen. How quickly they got there and their dedication. Then, one after another people would come, and I think people kind of filled that void that maybe fear would have filled."
In Tim Ladwig's burned out home, the roar of portable heaters drowns out most conversations. Restoration crews are going through saving what they can from a fire in Ladwig's home last week.
"My oldest daughter came down and said dad, there is a fire upstairs."
And there was....it started above her room and spread quickly. But amidst the rubble is something special....a calmness in calamity.
"In a funny way, its kind of like a fresh beginning again. You begin again with only the things that are important.
Important things like his wife and children all safe.
"I think my girls will miss more than anything the books they had stored here."
There are other small miracles here.
Ladwig is an artist. An illustrator of childrens books and one of the rooms in his house that the fire spared was his workroom where much of his art is stored. Many of his illustrations are about Christmas -- and its meaning.
"I hope that I can see the best in people, really the image of God and his goodness but also put it in a real-life setting. You just have to learn to see God working through people."
Tim doesn't wear his religion on his sleeve, but this quiet humble talented man sees greater powers working this Christmas.
"I think we've experienced more love this Christmas than we ever have."
Time isn't the only talented adult in the family, his wife Leah is also a creative photographer--her work also spared by the flames.
But damage is everywhere as are the memories.
"We put a lot of hours in the house, but you know what I value about that, it was hours together doing something."
"We'll start again and have new memories."
"I think of friends and I'll agree, it will be a merry Christmas."
"I think for the Children and Leah and I, it will be the most meaningful."