Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm not sure how Smokey would feel about this one.

A week ago, I was sitting here on the couch, with my computer on my lap and my coffee next to me, waiting for WB's breakfast casserole to come out of the oven. The sun was shining, and we were far enough into vacation for it to have sunk in, but not so far that it was coming to an end. Life was good.

And then WB ran from the house. I thought he saw a moose in the yard or something, but it turned out to be a fire. In our field. Heading away from the house, but towards the camper and the woods. He yelled to me to call 911, which I did, and he grabbed a hose. The porch on the old milking shed had caught, and we figured if we could get that out we might keep it from said camper and coming back towards the house. After I made the call, I woke the girls up (Girlie had a friend over for the weekend, while Boy was at his friend's house) and tried to calmly tell them to get up as a few fire trucks were on their way. I shut off the oven, and went back outside to help. Which really meant standing by the milking shed with the hose while WB raked the grass back over the edges. I didn't know what he was doing, or really even why, but he seemed to know so I just focused my energy on what I knew how to do, which was apply water to fire to extinguish it.

I've never had to call 911 before. One time I mis-dialed my brother's phone number, and I guess I dialed 911 in the middle of it. Dispatch called me back, asking what my emergency was. I said I hadn't called, he said yes you did... then I remembered the mis-dial and gained a new understanding for the 911 system. But when you call because you need help-- and needed that help 5 minutes ago-- it is hard to stay calm. It also turns out that the 911 system doesn't work as well with cell phones. I probably spent 5 minutes on the phone, explaining our location to dispatch. I knew once the locals heard the address they'd know where to go, and I think that is when the adreneline stopped flowing constantly and I could think again. It was interesting to feel that happening-- I could barely explain myself when I first called, but by the end of the conversation I was calm and had a plan. I even tried calling my officer's wife/sherriff's stepdaughter friend to make sure they knew where the call originated. She wasn't home, but another volunteer firefighter's wife called me to say her hubby was on the way. And I knew then it would be ok.

Once the trucks arrived, they had the fire out within minutes. Their big hoses overpowered the flames in no time. Crews were here for probably an hour total, and most of that time was spent making sure it was out and then rolling the hoses up and putting them away. Disaster averted.
Before the blaze, I hadn't slept well for the better part of a month. School budget issues have seeped into my consciousness, and I'm not good at letting things go. Last Sunday night, I slept straight through. The school budget is important, and I will continue to fight for our students and our schools, but I feel like someone was suggesting that it is all relative. What matters in this life is the people you are with. As long as we have teachers who care, it will be ok. Maybe not perfect, but truly, is life ever truly perfect? Compared to all the things that I could have been dealing with-- including finding temporary housing for us as we cleaned up from a house fire, or feeding fire crews trying to put out a forest fire that started on our property-- figuring out a school budget seems fairly manageable.

Today, it's raining as I sit on the couch, making a plan for a very busy school week. I'm feeling my anxiety about the budget grow. I don't like conflict, especially with people I care about. I need to remember that it is all relative, and this storm will pass; whatever the damage is at the end of it, we'll rally around each other and set it right again. Because that's what we do.

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