Escaping Archie Creek

Feb 23, 2024
Escaping Archie Creek

Nancy Tague and Diane Muscarello bought their first Corinthian Bells wind chime to celebrate Diane's completed cancer treatments. The chime hung for years at their beautiful Oregon home, Long Shadows. The couple spent decades designing, building and furnishing the property. “We called it,” Nancy says, “paradise.”

In 2020, the Archie Creek wildfire swept through Long Shadows' neighborhood, burning more than 130,000 acres along the North Umpqua River near Glide, Oregon. Nancy and Diane were forced to flee the property with only what they could quickly gather. Their house was a total loss, and they spent weeks relying on friends and community for food, shelter and support.

When they were able to return, the couple began digging through the ashes, looking for anything salvageable. They found several treasures, including heirloom silverware that had melted together and a burnt hydrangea that miraculously began to bloom again the next spring. They also found the wind chime, badly damaged.

The chime's strings had melted and one of the bells was very badly damaged. But they sent the remaining parts back to Wind River to be repaired, and the original chime now hangs in their new home. “There's so little that we have right now that we had before” the fire, Nancy said. “It's significant.”

The chime, originally a celebration of return to health, now symbolizes many different kinds of healing and restoration. We're honored be able to share this part of Nancy and Diane's beautiful story, inspiring harmony through resilience.

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