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Bastrop Couple Feels Blessed One Year After Wildfires

Updated: Wednesday, September 5 2012, 01:18 PM CDT

"El regalo, the gift!" said Wally Pape  Wally and Ann Pape feel blessed. One year after wildfires chewed up their neighborhood, they have a new home.

“It looked an awful lot like this except for the porch,” said Wally.

But, that storybook ending came after long chapters of heartache and hardship.

“When we drove up the driveway we could see the pile of ashes and the metal roof on top of it. It just tore our hearts out to think we'd put all that work in it,” said Wally.

Ann doesn't need any encouragement to show you around her new kitchen. Hard to imagine now, but a year ago she was almost ready to give up. 

“I think I was just numb. All the ideas and the dreams and everything that we had for it and the work we put into it was just gone. That's kind of hard at 65 then to say I don't know if I have the time or the energy to start over,” said Ann. “Even financially there just weren't the funds to start all over again.”

Then help started to trickle in. Volunteers painted, installed countertops and donated so many of the new furnishings in the house.

“The cabinets, the table and chairs, the sink even was donated,” said Ann,

The kindness of strangers was never more needed. In the year since the fire, Ann fell and broke her back and her husband had a stroke.

“Every group that came they ended up praying with us and talking with us and giving us hope and encouragement. Their encouragement and all the hope they gave us really kept spurring us onward,” said Ann.

The Papes were gently pushed to accept the gift of a fresh start.

The Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team has been instrumental in helping the uninsured and underinsured rebuild their homes. Anyone still needing help can call 512-321-2868 or go to The nonprofit organization is located at 1106 C College Street in Bastrop.Bastrop Couple Feels Blessed One Year After Wildfires

Click here to see more Central Texas Wildfires

Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Bastrop Anniversary Events

Tue. Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m.
A Night of Hope, Hyatt Lost Pines

An evening remembering the last year and looking forward toward a bright future. For tickets and more information contact Jennifer Long, 512-461-9418 or Sponsored by Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team.

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