This is a very difficult post to write………By now I am sure everyone knows about the devastating fire that took place on friday morning destroying the historic P.G. Towns build in Douro. Yes, my studio was located in the building. It appears I have lost everything that was in there. But this not my loss. While my heart aches and stomach churns thinking of all I had put into my business the last three years, it pales in comparison to what the Towns and Coons family have lost. A building that belonged to their family for 124 years. The cherished family heirlooms, the memories. All the hours of hard work they put in running the store and more recently all the hours the Nancy Towns , Lise and Bernard Leahy put in recreating and renovating the store again into Towns & Leahy Mercantile. Along with the family the community grieves. The red building that stood as a landmark for so many years. The hub of the community. Who doesn’t have a fond memory of P.G Towns General store. As I watched what little remained of the building reduced to ashes, 124 years of what they had created gone , they were consoling me for my loss. In the typical Towns family fashion they were looking out for everyone else, making sure everyone else’s needs were met. As always putting the needs of community ahead of their own. While I hurt I know they are hurting so much more. But I am also grateful, grateful for having the opportunity to be apart of something so wonderful . I have only been apart of this community for 14 years, but being apart of the P.G Towns felt special. A huge sense of pride that my business was in Douro General Store. How lucky was I to be part of this space with such a rich history. Mike, Rosy, Chris and Michelle always made me feel like I was part of that family. Helping me set up my business, making sure they could do what ever they could to ensure my success. Its hard to put into words just how amazing that has been.
As for my wonderful friends, neighbours and clients your kind words and caring have helped during this difficult time. I feel there is still a long healing ahead but if you know me you know I am strong, I will get through this. I have my beautiful family by my side helping me pick up the pieces.
To the amazing community of photographers…… what can I say? I am blown away by all of your offers of sympathy and caring, and offer to use your spaces so I can continue to provide for my family, and clients. To all my clients and your outpouring of care and concern….. You have invited me into your lives to capture your happiest of moments and I am so grateful for that. Your kind words touch my heart and give me strength to not give up and keep going. Those who do have sessions booked, as I mentioned I have been offered use of many studios in the area, and your sessions will take place. I am still able to fulfill outdoor sessions here on our farm. Please email me with any concerns you have about this.
There are so many more thoughts pouring through my head right now, but in all, I just want everyone to know that I understand that everyone is hurting right now. We will all get through this together as a community, as a family. To the Towns and Coons family, I am there for you as you have been there for me. I hope you know just how amazing it has been getting to be a part of this wonderful community you created.