Letter 7 - Terrie Adden Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

To Terrie
On the night of the fire, I packed a number of pieces of art from the walls of my house, including a tile mirror from Terrie.

Dear Terrie:


I am honored that you created two beautiful mirrors using china and tile pieces from platters, plates, and mugs that we resurrected from my property after the Santa Barbara Tea Fire.  Your artistic talents and craftsmanship combined these remnants with other elements like the tarnished silverware and other eating implements and tools, coins, glass beads, and stones.  The mirrors are truly works of art that my family and I will have forever.  I cannot even begin to thank you for your insight, creativity, and generosity in designing them. I know it was a huge undertaking for you and you succeeded beyond words can describe.  Hopefully, when you read this and when I share it with others, they will have the benefit of the three photographs which include the one tile mirror I saved on the night of the fire and the two new ones you magically created for me!

On the night of the fire, my son, William and I loaded the car for almost an hour.  The first things we packed were photo albums and boxes of photos from our front entry way closets.  We packed until the car was filled to the brim.  When I think about what we chose, most of the art, clothes, jewelry came from our three bedrooms.  A handful of signed books and ceramic pieces came from the living room.  I am thankful that I thought to take the two hard drives from our office area.  These hard drives were some of the last two items we removed from the house that night of the perfect fire storm.  In fact, our neighbor’s parents miraculously found room in their car for the hard drives.

I had an entire one bedroom fully furnished guest house next door to the house. Toward the end of our packing, I made a final round into the guest house where I found one of my two cats.  I grabbed our cat, Einstein, fearfully leaving behind Midnight. I went back one more time for the mirror that I bought from you, Terri, and my high school and college yearbooks.  That’s it.  Little did I know at that particular moment that you would play a huge role in creating a reflective work of art representing my house at 810 Coyote Road.  All of the art and visual memories of my guest house also survived through a web-site created for me at www.thecoyotecottage.com.  I will have that forever!

My son questioned why I went back for the yearbooks.  Why?  During all of this devastation and chaos it has been friends who have helped to make the rebuilding and the healing possible.  Just like the art that I saved and the new art that has come into my life, friends from high school and college have magically reappeared in my life.

I wanted to take this particular moment to reflect on our relationship.  You and I met almost six years ago in Janet Lucy’s writing classes.  I remember the first time I found out about the writing workshops.  It was sometime after I had learned about Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist Way.  I was looking to expand my career and move away from a 15 year career as a grant writer for non-profit organizations.  I wanted to write more creatively.  The Artist Way taught me about the morning pages and the writing group gave me a structured and safe environment to work on my writing.  Coincidentally, for the year before the fire I had been saving memorabilia from my garage in a storage unit in downtown Santa Barbara.  I have again discovered almost all of my journals except one of my most recent ones, including the journal from our first weeks of meeting at your house in 2003

Terrie, I write to thank you for being a part of my life and creating these mirrors for me and my family to enjoy.  I am so honored to have you a part of the Tea Fire art community.
Thank you so very, very much.
Much Love, Melissa

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