abandoned condominium

How Should I Feel?

Two posts ago, I wrote about an adjacent neighbor who set fire to my condo while utilizing a mini-blowtorch to kill weeds, then went back into his unit to watch TV while mine smoldered. The front of his apartment is pictured above. To this day, I remain astonished why the town of Longview didn’t cite him for criminal negligence.

To put my discovery of the fire in perspective, in late April I was appropriately convalescing from a four-hour hernia operation at Kaiser Permanente’s Sunnyside Hospital, courtesy of cousin Margaret Johnston within her natural-beauty surroundings in Tigard. Before walking into my condo, I strolled around Lake Sacajawea with distinguished Professor John White, recently retired from Pacific University.

I unlocked the condo door and stepped into a dwelling filled with smoke. My fortuitous discovery prevented a smoldering carpet from blossoming into flame, thus saving all my memories, my condominium, and five other units.

After five months and 10 days being confined inside Quality Inn Room #101, my townhouse – at long last – was ready for re-occupancy. The work was performed by ServPro, a national organization that works hand-in-hand with three national insurance companies – Allstate, State Farm and Farmer’s. Most of the delay is taken up by insurers’ paperwork for their bean counters. By the way, I have Allstate, and adjuster Michael Broszczak treated me right.

Hector Luna coordinates fire-restoration work in Longview for ServPro. Hector knows much, and is a loyal employee.

A couple weeks later, most relevant items are unpacked, and I’m trying to figure out the appropriate wall hangings, while the good Professor promises to visit and celebrate Alice’s epicurean tastes so this place doesn’t turn into a museum.

But enough with all that.

For the first time, this post contains the name of my next-door firebug: Ned Rauth.

And here is why his identity can now be known.

On the night of October 26, Rauth was transferred by ambulance with a blood oxygen count of 40, and designated another victim of Covid.

At the hospital, he didn’t make it. Ned died.

How did it happen?

The spirit of my all-powerful late wife, Alice McCormick, could have caused him harm, because the day Rauth had to be transported from his townhouse – exactly adjacent to ours – was October 26, precisely six months from the day he set OUR apartment to blaze.

Creator continues to bless me.

Keeping in mind I am a Quaker, I ask, “How should I feel?”

Happy Halloween.

Printed image from an old tee-shirt worn annually.

5 thoughts on “How Should I Feel?”

  1. Another loss to Covid. So sad. Did he ever apologize for setting your place on fire? Did you ask the Fire Department why he wasn’t charged? So how do you feel?

    1. Ned never apologized. Instead of taking responsibility, he simply said, “Get as much from the insurance company as you can.”
      Consequently, I shunned him. That turned out to be a smart move, learning after the ambulance took him away that he had contracted Covid. Regarding the plausibility that Alice’s spirit may have had something to do with his demise, I don’t know whether to believe it or not. Alice was unlike any woman I’ve ever known, ever been loved by or loved. Therefore, I refuse to close the door on her potential impact from the spirit world. I like to think she looks over me.

  2. You should have given him a weedeater. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Matt. 5:7). What does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to humble yourself to walk humbly with thy God (Micah 6:8).

  3. Perhaps it was Alice, perhaps not. In any event the man died and can no longer be a threat to you. Just thank God you were not harmed, it could have been a lot worse.

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