It was pretty exciting here yesterday. We had a fire. At about 5:00, Mom called and said that she thought the pasture was on fire. I was in my jammies, but I went out onto the patio and not only could I not see flames, I couldn't even smell fire. I went back inside and continued watching "True Blood". After about ten minutes, I heard sirens, so I thought, maybe I should put on some clothes and go back out. I put on shorts and was in the process of pulling a t-shirt (sans bra) over my head when I heard Phyllis and Columbus frantically pounding at my back door. "Terry, Terry, where are all your hoses? The fire's in your yard!" Well, Phyllis and Columbus almost learned more about me than they ever wanted to know because I was pulling on my t-shirt at almost the same time as I was coming onto the back porch. Mother was running around to the front, and Columbus was unwinding hoses while yelling to me to move my vehicles to Mom's yard. If my house went, at least my cars wouldn't. The smoke was so thick we couldn't see through it to even see some of the flames. We could hear sirens and trucks, but we couldn't see them. There were none coming toward my house, so I began to run up Ridgeview toward Hwy 45 where the sirens were. I couldn't make it because the flames were leaping across Ridgeview, and I couldn't breathe because of the smoke. I figured we'd have to take our chances and continue to fight it ourselves. As I ran back toward my property, I called the fire dept. and told them that none of the trucks were coming to me and that the fire was in my yard.
We did, obviously, get it out. Trucks finally came and put out the tree stumps and trees that were burning in the fence-line. My hose wouldn't reach that far. In fact, that was the scary part: my hose ultimately wouldn't reach far enough into all the flames, really, to protect my house. The forest service finally just dozed several stumps and burning trees down and drug them to the middle of the pasture where the fire had started. (All three hundred acres of it burned and an acre and a half of mine.) Then the Lord turned the wind. If He had not done that, my house would probably be gone today. See, the fire trucks, too, had run out of water!
Lots of things came from the experience. As my friend and colleague, Cindy B., said, "Oh just think of what good writing material this is!" (I'd rather have passed on this experience. And yes, Cindy, I realize that this is a summary and not a real story! LOL) I met some of my neighbors that I hadn't met before. They were there with their rakes and passing out gatorade and giving us wet cloths to hold over our noses and mouths. I learned once again that Columbus Dalmut is a saint. And I was again reminded of God's goodness to me in loaning me my sweet Stacey for awhile. You see, years ago, Stacey decided to fully dig out the wet weather creek that seperates the yard proper from what we call "the woods". He dug it out two feet wide and all the way to the bedrock. It made a fire-break and allowed us the time to soak the ditch and the surrounding ground with the hoses so the flames didn't jump over into my cedar trees which were just ten feet away. If they had caught and with the direction the wind was coming from, their burning debris would have landed on my roof. And you know what else? I learned that in the face of a crisis, I have nerves of steel. I have noticed that I stay calm, but when everyone else was running around frantic, I was not. Don't mistake me, I didn't want my house to burn, and I was working like a wild woman to spray the flames, but inside and outside, I was calm. But they aren't MY nerves of steel, they are God's nerves of steel. That's where my Blessed Assurance comes from.