One Week Later

Clyde and I are waking up this morning to a much different scene than we did just one short week ago. I have to admit we are still trying to wrap our minds around what happened last Friday, but I can tell you one thing: without all of you out there, we would be curled up in a ball in bed, crying over our woes.  Now the tears we have are those of gratitude for everyone’s kindness and concern that has been shown to us over the past week.

So many of you have asked about what happened and what our plans are, that I wanted to update you with as much as we know.  Plus, if you haven’t seen the ruins of the winery on facebook, I’ll share a few of those shots below. (If you just want to remember Peaceful Bend as it was, I’ll give you a warning later before we get into the pics.)

Many of you know already that Clyde and I have been living and taking care of his Mom in the cottage on our property for most of this year.  Last Friday, I woke up early – somewhere around 3am – and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to just get up and head to the winery to get a jump start on the day.  When I stepped out onto the porch of the cottage, I could see the winery completely engulfed in flames.  I ran inside, woke up Clyde and called 911 at that time.

By the time the fire crews arrived, the building was basically gone and fire had spread into the woods uphill from the winery.  They were able to quickly contain the forest portion and also limped our tractor out of the way of the burning building.  By around 5 or 6 that morning the firemen had put out the worst of the hot spots and left saying that what was still there would continue to smolder for several days.  It was too hot and still dark, so there was little the fire marshal could do to investigate at that point.

We ended up going inside and sitting, numb to what had just gone on, for at least an hour or two.  My parents were staying over at Murphy’s Place, so eventually I went over to tell them what happened, and to use my neighbor’s computer to let you all know too.

That day and throughout the week, you all flooded in messages of support, love, encouragement, and condolences. Our facebook page and our email was filled to the brim, and neighbors began stopping by to offer us anything they could.  I don’t know what we would have done without each and every one of you that reached out in any manner.

You’re messages were the lifeline out of our despair. Because of your support, I can say that we will rebuild.  I don’t know how or when yet, but we will rebuild.

The insurance fire investigation began on Tuesday and is still open, so there isn’t anything we can do for clean up yet.  We’ve spent the week getting things like bank cards, driver’s licenses, instructions for what to do next, etc underway.  We do have a phone hooked back up to the winery number.  It goes directly to voicemail for now, but will try to return calls as quickly as we can.

So many are wanting to know what you can do, so I am sharing two fundraisers that are going on.  If you are ok with giving money and you live nearby, our friend Lee Watson is hosting an evening of music, food, and a silent auction at his barn in Cuba, MO on December 17 starting at 3pm.  For more information about that, please click on over to his facebook event page here.  For those who aren’t nearby, another friend named Lea Baker has set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations here.

For those of you who can’t give money for any reason, but still want to do something for us, I do have a huge favor to ask.  I can’t tell you how much it’s picked up our spirits and propelled us forward to hear from you all during this dark week, and I’m guessing that we’ll still have some hard days ahead. Could you choose a day in the coming weeks/months ahead and send us a note, email, fb message, phone call or stop by if you’re in the area?  If you don’t know what to say, you can share a memory, you could encourage us, drop a line saying ‘just checking on you’, let us know what you’re up to, relate your favorite bad pun, or tell us to get off our butts and get more wine ready for you dangnabbit!

Thank you in advance.

Ok.  I’m about to share photos.  For those of you who want to remember the winery as it was, don’t scroll down.









The view from the driveway.


What’s left at the top where the front porch, tasting room entrance, and crush pad used to be.

Looking down into the main wine cellar from above.

Looking at the section of the building that faced the lower wine garden. Friday we had a recycle bin, but by Saturday that had burned away along with the bottom of the steps.

A wider look from the lower wine garden. As you can see, Maggie and Pepe have not let the fire dampen their spirits!

Our new tractor. UGH! Clyde loved this thing. The fire crews were able to start it and move it out of the way, so we have hopes this can be repaired.

What’s left of the 2016 vintage.

Two pieces of pottery that my mom gave me years ago somehow survived falling through the storage room floor into the wine cellar. Plus this melted piece of ??aluminum?? looked like modern art, so we might save it. Call it our Phoenix.

As tragic as all this feels, the sunlight is still golden in the wine garden, and the pavillion is intact (plenty of chairs even!).  Friends and family are even more precious to us now.

Pepe’s bed is still intact, but he’s definitely been missing his dose of treats this week!

And my sense of irony is still intact. I found this in the hay field above the winery a day or so after the fire.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. We meet with the fire marshal this morning and after that, I’ll try to get an email out to our newsletter subscribers. Again, I can’t thank you all enough for everything – we are truly blessed to have you in our lives and are looking forward to toasting you with a glass of our wine again.

22 Replies to “One Week Later”

  1. We have been thinking about you every day. Thank you so much for the update and photos although it breaks my heart ?to know what you and Clyde are going through. I am so glad I got that case of wine about a month or so ago. It gives me a little comfort just knowing we have some left.
    We’ll stay tuned and hope the fire marshal will shed light on what happened and that the insurance process goes quickly.
    Love to both of you,


  3. Wow! So sorry about this! My husband and I were visiting the family farm a couple of weekends ago and saw a huge house fire on our way home as we crossed the Huzzah at Brickey’s. Saw some kids running toward the road, who said they were “hunting” in the area when the fire broke out. No one home at the house…….burned to the ground in an instant. No fire trucks or emergency services. I am curious as to the origin of that fire……and concerned that your horrible fire happened so soon after.

  4. Don’t really know what to say but that I am profoundly sorry for your loss and for what you are going through right now! You are so sweet and brave to write about it…hope the writing helps to some degree. You WILL get through this….and some day this will just be a memory. You will rebuild something better than ever and become stronger in the process. Sending prayers. light and love from Owensville! Thank you for keeping us informed! May God bless you good, kind folks! <3

  5. Just a random suggestion. Don’t just start throwing stuff away. You may be surprised what some people will pay for a memento from the old winery. That piece of melted aluminum in a nice frame would look interesting. One of the doors from the mettle vats with ‘Peaceful Bend’ and the date inscribed on it would make a nice table top. So just don’t be to quick to just throw things away. Hope things go well for you.

  6. Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

    What goes down must go back up!!

    Keep on truckin’.

    Sending much light and love to both of you.

  7. Hearing the new Friday morning of what happened to the winery was so saddening. It was one of my favorite places to go as I was growing up. And you guys were always so kind to us! I can’t wait to hear when the rebuild will begin. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers! So sorry for your loss!

  8. Katie and Clyde,
    You know we are here for you both and sincerely hope you rebuild the winery. We do not want to see the ruins so we have not been over but please know we love you both and grieve with you on this loss. We are a phone call away and will do anything we can to help. Love you both and the trolls are watching over us from a distance. (Will explain later).

  9. Katie and Clyde,
    So, very sorry to hear about your winery fire, how sad. We do not know each other very well but felt heart sick for your loss.
    Our guest that have staid with us loved visiting your winery. I received so many positive reviews about their visit there.
    My thoughts are with you and hope there is something we can do in the future to help you get up and running.
    Cindy and Don Gill
    Gill Ridge

  10. We are so sorry for your loss. But like you said to say. Get off your bottom. Your friends in Florida really, really need your wine. Wine down here is nothing like good old Missouri wine from good friends.

  11. My heart breaks for your loss. Some of the best memories of my life happened at Peaceful Bend. Friends, music, wine and your never wavering hospitality made a difference in my life as I’m sure many of us can say. Here’s where you must, and I’m sure you will look to the future as a possibility of something even better. If you rebuild it- we will come. Just try stopping us!

  12. We are so fortunate to have stumbled into Peaceful Bend many years ago. Throughout our many visits we have been blessed to have met a plethora of kind people that are fondly referred to as our Peaceful Bend friends. You built a business that offered so much to so many. We are thrilled to know that your plans are to rebuild and continue to extend a place where people can come together to relax and enjoy your wine with friends we know and others we haven’t yet met. The familiar surrounding will look different but the opportunity to enjoy your hospitality will live on as will many fond memories that we all keep forever. It wasn’t the building that made your business special, it is you two. Hugs and love to you both as a new place to gather grows out of the ashes. Looking forward to spending time with you and the rest of our Peaceful Bend friends on the 17!

  13. Katie and Clyde,

    We are praying for you! Your loss is devastating but the recovery will be magnificent! You two are strong and brave and hard working. You are friendly and giving and a whole lot of fun. You will get your bounce back soon and rebuild something even better than before! Sending hugs and love! Rhonda and Jerry

  14. Hi Guys! Someone already mentioned holding on to bits and pieces that may be considered “memorabilia.” As Marv and I drove past the smoldering cellar, on the right side of the road, near the parking/gathering area, there was what looked like perhaps a large wooden wagon. The side exposed to the road had the Peaceful Bend name and logo on a partially burned panel. I said to Marv that I hoped you kept it to frame/reuse/whatever. I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, but thought I’d mention it. You all have been in our thoughts and prayers so many times this week….again, love and blessings to you….

  15. Katie and Clyde: Thanks so much for the update. I am happy to hear you will rebuild. And much happier I got the last case of Courtois wine. I will be by to give you a hug. Prayers are coming your way daily. Lots of Love Mike and Cathy

  16. I know the winery will come back better than ever. Just don’t loose that country rustic feel. Our family are forever customers.

    The Mastersons

  17. Katie and Clyde: with Christmas fast approaching, Gary and I would love to cook a meal for you. Let us know if that might be possible- we are in Huzzah now and will be back at Christmas. Blessings to you both during this trying time in your lives. PB will rise again from the ashes with Jacques T. and other wonderful nights of wine and music.!

  18. Katie and Clyde, I can’t imagine not having peaceful bend to “run away to”, but thrilled to hear you say you plan on rebuilding. I was lucky enough to find my favorite peaceful bend wines in St. Louis so I bought all they had to bring home. I’m only drinking them for special occasions to make them last until I am able to once again walk through your doors. Hugs to you both from us and my kids that also love your place.

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