Thursday, January 20, 2011

Huh what? Fire!

So, it has been some time. Life sure does get crazy, and FAST!

My computer broke. Well, a kid steeped on it, and the screen cracked a little. It was workable, just not really well. So that is part of the reason.

I started classes again. I thought I was going to graduate in May. I was already and happy to be done with College. Turns out I needed 3 more classes! I have all the classes for my major, I have all my gen.Eds. done. I just needed upper division classes. Something that did not show up on my degree summary. So I dropped a class and am going to have a little more time to, you know, do my work!

But really the reason I have not written in so long is because when tragedy hits it is hard to put into words everything you are thinking.

About a week ago now my neighbor’s house caught on fire. It was about midnight when a PD officer just making his rounds noticed the smoke and was able to get everyone out of the house safe. But seeing my friends in such a state and then seeing the red flames just pouring out of their house kind of got to me. Everyone is safe. And they are doing well. The joy of a small town is that people come together in times of need like this. The local Red Cross set them up in a hotel for a few weeks, they have had people offer to rent houses, donations of nearly everything a person could use. The loss of “stuff” was great, nearly everything is gone. A few things were saved but not enough. At the same time it is a miracle that everyone was able to get out okay.

I got to go into the house a few days after the fire and see the damage. Holes cover the walls, the smoke smell is permanently in everything, and there is ash on nearly every foot of the house. But what bothered me, and I am sure my neighbors, the most was that the rooms where they slept are chard black. There is nearly nothing left. The fire destroyed everything. Right where they were moments before.

The husband tells of looking for his youngest daughter (they have a total of 6 children! However, one is away at college right now) She was not in her bed when he went back up to get her. She had slipped into her sister’s bed. He panicked in the middle of the smoky room lucky to find a foot just in time.

Our house is right next to theirs, without even enough room for a one car garage. There is a tree in the middle of the open spot that touches both our houses. I think only a few small branches reach our roof. It was so close that you could smell the smoke and feel the heat in my daughter’s room. Dino just so happened to have woken up in time to see flames pouring out their front door. She has had a hard time with this. I think we all have.

The fire fighters thought they had everything out when they opened a wall to get the rest and flames shoot up covering the better half of the house. This is when T-rex came in and told me to get the kids ready to get outside any minute. I was oddly calm as I got the girls dressed and ready to go outside when told to. Luckily we never were told to get outside and the tree only got a little burnt. The fire fighter said that we were going to be okay because of the cold, no wind, and the tree had no leafs on it.

Still It messed with me. And for so long I have not let myself get upset over this because here I am safe and sound where my friends are hurting, lost, and have truly been affected by this. I guess I thought if I got upset about this that it would be selfish. And maybe on some level it is. Maybe it is easier for me to think of myself and my family than to really put myself in their place. Although I know that is not true I hurt for them deeply. I just don’t know.

We had their three dogs for a few days. But we could not keep up with them and our own puppy. Three little puppies in a house is way too much! (And I don’t even like dogs!) I cried when T-rex said we had to tell them we could not keep them anymore. I knew it was the right thing to do, and we did give them time to make other arrangements, and offered to find another home for the dogs. It just felt like, I don’t know, wrong. But then again, we were not ready for this. We are not set up to house a lot of puppies, and the messes, and the fighting, and everything else just got too much. They were able to find another place for the dogs, and my neighbors were really nice about it. I think they were just happy that we were able to take them for as long as we did. I just really wish there was more we could have done.

I guess that is what has been bothering me the most. I feel like I didn’t do enough to help, like there could have been more that we did to prevent this. I feel like I have no reason to be so upset and yet I am. I was freaked out. That was WAY too close to home. I have a hard time being away from my kids now. I know that my neighbors feel the same way.

Yet even after all of this we still all go on.

I am sure my neighbors would kill me if they knew I posted this, but eh! There was a fund thing set up for them; if any of you are looking for a good place to send your giving I would suggest a pay pal donation to Yes insurance is going to cover some, and they are getting a lot of clothing, but Money for food is really needed when they are living out of a hotel for the time being.


Ann T. said...

Dear Yellow,
I would have been afraid too. And like you, I would have borne up pretty well until some time afterward. Then I would have been anxious. It's a lot to lose, and a lot to almost lose, and scary for your too!

As for not doing enough, as you so rightly point out, it's not over yet. They still need things, and will when they move to their new home. A gift basket, maybe. Or it sounds like everything is mismatched now: A's blanket, B's pillowcase, et cetera. Something that matches or is special.

Or even just an ear! I think you did great about the puppies. Even a few days can make a difference!

Ann T.

Yellow said...

I got messages about people not being able to post a comment. So this is me testing to see if things are working any better :)

Ann~ Thank you for the kind words. It was scary, and it is still upsetting at times. Like today when people came over to clean the carpets at the neighbors house. It just made me thinking about it again, not that I could really get away from it.