In the beginning of February, our 220-year-old American chestnut log house burned to the ground.

Numerous fire company members courageously fought the blaze in below-freezing temperatures. They rolled a 4-inch hose over a third of a mile along Bridle Path Road to pump water from a neighbor’s pond. We all have so many unsung heroes in our midst. Our family praises and applauds the ongoing service of these dedicated firefighters, as do countless others in the community.

A friend heard that when your heart is broken, the cracks are filled with love and compassion from others. This has been so true. We experienced genuine love and compassion expressed by so many during this difficult time. Having been surrounded by the goodness, kindness and caring of humanity, we wish to express our sincere thanks to each of you.

Our friend, Chris Neely, set up a “Save Gnome Countryside’’ account which provided such generous support that we plan to use the funds to help maintain the trails and property, giving back to the community the love that has been shown to us. We want this to be a community gathering place for family and friends and want everyone to feel welcome.

You’ve heard, “God is love,’’ and we’ve certainly experienced the spirit of God in our community.

Richard Humphreys

and 386 gnomes

Colerain

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