"My friend, Hannah, says there's a fire by our house," my sister said about my father's house in Bastrop County. I've talked about my sister before. She's 26 in years but about half that mentally and half of even that emotionally. Shame on her friend for scaring her. It's just a brush fire. No biggie. Still, maybe I should call my brother and check. After all, my father and sister had only just driven up this morning. They couldn't very well turn around and go back to Smithville, now could they?
Then my brother called back. He had grabbed the dog and cat and was overcome with smoke before he could get anything else. He barely escaped before the flames charged the hilltop and consumed the house and his patrol car.
Just like that. My father's house is gone. 650 acres and counting.