The incessant pounding on our front door woke us at 2:30 A.M. on a Monday morning a few weeks ago. My thoughts raced to our kids. Were they okay? Had something happened that brought them to our doorstep from Ohio or Colorado?
Then I saw the police officer and heard her shout, “Get out of your house! And get your cars out of your garage!”
John handed me our dog, and I stumbled to the front lawn while he raced to back the cars out of the garage.
From my front lawn, in my bathrobe (!), I began to piece together the story.
Seems my neighbor happened to wake up around 2 A.M. and noticed a fire in the backyard of the house between us. A large shed had caught fire and flames were creeping up our back fence toward our garage. Julie called 911 and within minutes our street filled with emergency trucks and personnel. I’ve only seen more fire trucks at one time at our town’s annual Fourth of July parade.
Things don’t sink in immediately at early morning hours, but now, weeks later, it all seems more real, especially as I survey our burned fence and shrubs and the melted siding on the back of our garage.
Forgive me, writer-friends, but as I try to wrap my mind around this whole incident, this sentence comes to mind: “It takes a village.” I hate to use clichés. BUT it fits. Without the efforts and concern of so many people, we would have had a much more serious situation. Ultimately, we did not lose our house or our lives, nor did any of our neighbors. Our insurance will replace what did burn.
It takes a . . . neighbor who can’t sleep.
It takes a . . . bevy of emergency responders who also didn’t sleep.
It takes a . . . caring Fire Chief who noticed frightened little boys at 3 A.M. and took the time to reassure them.
It takes . . . people caring for people.
Connected living. What a life-sustaining gift! Literally.