We had some excitement on our street last night, when a couple of fire trucks with sirens blaring and lights flashing roared into our next-door-neighbour’s driveway. It was about 9:30 at night and we were just getting our older two kids ready for bed, when our whole house lit up with flashing red in every window.
Soon a group of neighbours gathered in the road in front of our house, and Sir Monkeypants went out too to make sure everything was okay. Turns out, everything really IS okay. They had an outlet that started sparking and smoking, so they called the fire department just to have it checked out. They didn’t really expect the Ride of the Valkyries, but I guess the fire department doesn’t mess around.
In any case, there was no actual fire and they’re calling an electrician and all is well.
But given that it was the house right next to ours…it does give one pause. What if, you wonder? What would that mean? What would we do? Not six weeks ago, there was a fairly major fire in a home three streets over from us. Due to seriously fortunate winds – blowing directly from the back of the house – the two houses on either side were completely saved, with only a bit of buckled siding in damage, even though they’re only a couple of feet away from the house that burned down. Lucky, lucky, lucky.
What if we weren’t so lucky?
I’m surprised to realize that there’s little that I would lose that would truly devastate me. If everyone got out alright, that’d be fine. The only objects I would really want to save are family photos. Many of the ones of the kids are in the cloud, so that’s good; a lot of my older ones are not, and maybe I’ll find the motivation to preserve the best ones in some way. They’re the really only irreplaceable thing, I think.
My kids would probably not leave the house without their extra special stuffed animals, and yup – that would be the one thing that would be terrible to lose, I can’t imagine the heartbreak. If we had time to gather a few things, I know they’d try to bring ALL the stuffed animals. You’d see us out on the street in our jammies with six bins of stuffies and a box of photo albums. PRIORITIES, people.
It’s interesting to me how much things, material things, mattered to me when I was young. The very idea of getting rid of a toy or throwing out a piece of artwork was too horrible to consider. The thought of a fire destroying my room, my home, was unbearable – in fact, my best friend in Grade 5 used to say goodnight prayers each night that ended with, “And God protect us from fires,” which resonated so much with me that I started doing that too, even though we weren’t all that religious.
But now, surprisingly, I’d be okay. I’d find a way to replace my kitchen gadgets and my thousands of books and all the Lego. We’d get new clothes and a new couch and a new piano.
As long as I have my peeps with me, we’d be just fine, just fine indeed.