Sunday, June 23, 2013

Life looks different

This morning I woke up early for a run around my normal route. But it wasn't so normal today. Friday afternoon, the nature area around which I run, caught on fire. And there was just enough wind and dry vegetation to make the fire a challenge to put out. It took several hours and 180 firefighters to contain the blaze, which damaged 30 acres and five structures. Two of those structures were homes in the small neighborhood that we live, only 0.3 miles away. Needless to say, it was a nerve wracking several hours, wondering what would happen with the fire and our home. Thankfully everything turned out okay for us, but our nerves are a bit frazzled and our world a bit shaken.

It was obviously scary for the girls, between the threat of the fire, the huge cloud of smoke in the sky, the smell of smoke at our house, and the policemen blocking entry to our neighborhood. My youngest, Katherine, has an amazing imagination and can use it to worry quite a bit, but on Friday it was her sister, Rebecca, that worried more. When going to bed, Rebecca was afraid to sleep. She was going to stay awake like the firemen. She was not comforted by the fact that the fire was almost completely contained at that time, or that there were still half the firefighters watching the area over night. She was not buying into the "just in case something happens." If everything was okay, they wouldn't need to be there.

Yesterday, life did settle down and the girls were able to forget the stress of the day before. But we have not forgotten all that we have to be grateful for. We are all happy and healthy. And our home is safe. In the hours of uncertainty, I was only concerned with the well-being of my family and our dog, Sprinkles. In that moment, everything else was just stuff. I love our home and so much of what's in it. But when it came down to it, I didn't feel the urge to frantically pack. It all just felt like stuff. I just needed to know my family was safe. And when talking about the experience with my husband, Daniel, he also felt like his outlook was readjusted. He was reminded that much of what we worry about day-to-day is just small stuff.

So it might have been my normal running route this morning, but it looked different. Life looks different.

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