Early one morning, one of those mornings when I was sleeping soundly (which is really rare), we were suddenly awakened by loud pounding on our front door. Great, I thought, I have two more hours before I have to get up and some idiot thinks they can come for a visit.
So Edward jumped up and ran to the door. Good thing he did because our garage was on fire. I grabbed my robe and ran for the kids. I found three. I could not find Lynlie what had run into our room to find us. Once outside I could hear the sirens coming round the corner. A neighbor, wife of the man who pounded on our door, came over and took the kids. Edward and I stood as firemen put out the flames and other neighbors gathered to make sure we were okay.
And okay we were. The fire was contained to the garage - where alas we lost poor old George, the moose head - and most of the things we lost were old, useless, unnecessary, and replaceable!
Edward and I got the older children ready for school, fed them breakfast and watched them as they walked down to catch the bus - but not before Eddie, Jr. made one of his most memorable statements - "I can't wait to get to school and tell everybody about the neat thing that happened to us this morning". Out of the mouths of babes.
Once the yellow bus pulled away, we trekked back into the smoke-smelling house and began the tasks of cleaning up all the charred wood, old luggage, and George pieces. We threw away some of those old rusty nails Edward had brought from the old house and about two hundred dollars worth of melted Tupperware. I lost an old Easter bonnet and Edward shed a tear or two over what was left of the new shelving he had built (to hold his tools and those old rusty nails).
After bathing the children and getting them in bed, then showering away all the grimy filth that covered my body, I sat down beside Edward to talk about rebuilding the garage and how to get the insurance company to replace my old Easter bonnet and what we would declare an honest value for old George. It was then that I began to sob - "We had a fire. We could have all been killed." Edward put his arm around me, "I've been waiting for this all day. I knew it was just a matter of time".
I am not the strongest of people and my survival skills were minimal back then, but I did learn something that day. I can be counted on in a crisis, but you'd better watch out when it is over because I am going to fall apart.