Monday, August 8, 2011

Up In Smoke...

(how many of you thought about Cheech & Chong with that title?)
Last week, was a frustrating week for me. Challenging and frustrating.  What I thought was going to be an easy breezy lazy yet productive week, turned upside down.. once or twice. I will admit, I have been rather scatter-brain lately.
This is what happened when I got side-tracked with Blogger on Tuesday...
I was making garlic bread.
The phone rang, and I found my phone sitting next to this toaster oven.. with my toast on fire. Grabbing a dish towel, I yanked the plug, and pulled open the oven door... Not the best move...flames shot up to the cabinet above. So I grabbed the sprayer hose at the sink and drowned the flames.  (my fire extinguisher is MIA. I have no idea where, to be honest, I think I lost it with the last move. )
We were lucky...

I do know what a fire devastation can do.
A few years ago, July 1997, my Sister's family home burnt to the ground.
They were on vacation, lightening struck, and it burned for several hours before someone saw it.
It was horrible to say the least.  I am just thankful they were not at home.  They lost their sweet cat, and a fish tank.  Their dog was outside, therefore survived.
My Sis and BIL, didn't have cell phones.  The fire was discovered while they were en-route to home.  No one could reach them, and did not want them to drive up to the horror.  So, driving home, as they passed a friends home, they noticed a large sign that told them to stop here before going home. They passed it, as they were tired and just wanted to get home. But something kicked in and made them turn around.  Had they not, they would have been greeted by other friends, taking turns staying at their property, to assure they would not have to face it along.  As they learned the news, they gratefully left the children with one of their friends and the other drove them home... Or to what use to be home.

I watch them rebuild. Not just a home. Not just the contents. But, their lives.
Timelines for them are;  Before the Fire  and After the Fire.
Although it was not me this was happening to, I was able to feel much of it through my Sis.
I watched it transform priorities. Pull them together, build their love and see them (Sis, BIL & niece & nephew) all become closer together.  My niece & nephew are two years apart. You'd think they were twins. The closeness they share. Best friends Siblings. I have never seen them squabble or cruel to each other.
Material things didn't matter so much before, but even less now.
They adapted to living in a Bed & Breakfast, as well as a couple of rentals while they rebuild.
The gathered much strength in this tragedy.

I would never wish this on anyone. Although, how wonderful to see life through new prospective, and truly value the important things as many can accomplish through devastation.

For me, I value things as I have been able to learn through her example.  I saw my little fire, and immediately realize how very fortunate I was.

I hope that the same is true through little things as well as big things, that I have been through, that perhaps others can learn through how I handle them.

something to think about..

6 comments:

Linda said...

Janis,
This post immediately made me think about the song I heard while driving home from work today - I've heard it a couple of times, but it speaks to me more and more...

It's called "This is the Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli. Look it up. I think it will make you smile. :)

What you wrote is so true.
Love, Linda

Judy Miller said...

Thank God your fire was no worse. We have lived thru a fire need to share on my blog about it. It is a very difficult thing even when there is not a lost of life. Thank God your sister and family were all safe also.

Cynthia's Blog said...

Janis - So glad your fire was small...quick thinking. So sorry about your sister's fire.

Found a labyrinth locator web site that I thought you might be interested in...you just type in your zip code. I really was amazed by how much it calmed me down.

http://labyrinthlocator.com/

Thanks for visiting so often and leaving comments.
Cynthia

Vanna said...

Oh my cousin that must have been very scary considering the circumstances that had already affected your family. I can not imagine. Those pictures make me feel very sad, yet blessed at the same time. As you said I am very happy they were not home during the fire. I did have a very close call with fire one time. I had pre-heated the gas oven in my old home and was going to suprise my mom with dinner already made, when I realized she had left a grease pan in the oven. When I pulled it out the grease splashed starting a grease fire. Luckily I had a friend there who knew exactly what to do. She diverted a possible devistating tragedy for me. I am thankful to her for that. I love you and glad to hear everything turned out ok with your fire!

KPaine said...

I had heard of this happening but seeing the photos brought tears to my eyes and I know that God was there with you all I wouldn't wish that on anyone it is a horrible experience. My husband went to a call a few years ago and watched a apartment building go down as he saved many people it was so sad to see so many people loose things that can't be replaced. I know that we can all make new memories and that is what keeps us all going. God bless you all!!!!!

janis said...

Linda~ TOTALLY LOVE Francesca Battistelli. I have been listening to her for a while. They play her music on KLOVE the Christian radio station I listen to. Isn't that song the best? I can so relate!
Cynthia~ Thank you so much for the website!
Vanna & Kelley~ you were both still young when Julie had her fire.
Judy& all~ thank you...sometimes bad things are mercies we need. I feel Blessed my Sis & Family were not physically harmed. And they are incredibly strong and amazing.