Let me first start by telling you we're all fine...
This morning, I received the following email. Note that some names have been changed to protect identities:
Hi Erin, (that really IS my name!)
It’s a small town…
Bobby was out plowing this morning. He had his scanner along with. Heard the fire call to your road and called me right away. I panicked and prayed. Called my dad. He was basically getting into the fire truck as I called his cell. I told him he was headed to your road and that there are only two houses…yours and Cliff’s parents and that he had to call me! I was so worried. Found out Cliff’s parents must have smelled smoke, but everything is fine now, right? My dad said Cliff was there with his parents. I did worry if Cliff had already left for work because the scanner said the daughter-in-law (you!) made the call.
That’s a small town for ya. But, it’s all in the name of love that news like that spreads.
This morning's fire scare was the fifth 'lights & sirens' scenario in our little valley in the last year. We've had: a disoriented and drunken teenage boy who was found in the snow last winter and ended up needing just a ride home, we've had a lawnmower tip over and pin it's driver in the ditch, we've had the snowmobile accident, a car that slid through an icy country intersection and off the road, and then this morning's fire scare. Seems like a lot for a small rural area like ours. Those are all just the events that could be seen from our house. One of our other neighbors is a First Responder and is out her driveway and on her way to help at the first report of a medical situation. We're grateful that she is giving her time, talent, and skills to help all the rest of us.
I love that when tragedy happens, we pull together. I love that we're all connected in some way. I don't ever want to leave this community. This is our town.
Listen: My Town . Lyrics .
We're all fine. The fire dept did respond to a call to Cliff's parents' house this morning and we had a bit of a scare, but they are fine and their house is fine too. We think there was a loose connection in some wiring in the house that led to the smoke in the kitchen, but we're still looking into all of the possibilities. Since the smoke seemed to come from an electrical outlet, the electrician is checking all of the wiring, etc.
When I received the email above, I was actually comforted to know that while I stood in the snow on my front porch in my bare feet, pointing the fire department in the direction of Cliff's parents' house, worrying about what might be happening out of my sight at the end of the road, our friends were thinking and praying for us. The firemen who responded were neighbors who grew up just down the road, the father of our good friend, and other firemen who have been out to our farm in other emergencies. These are people who know us. The electrician who is out at the farm today checking things over is a good friend of ours with whom we ride motorcycles, whose father's funeral we just recently attended. A neighbor who saw the lights and sirens early this morning and wanted to help, drove over and curteously parked his pickup in another farmyard and walked up to the house so as not to block the pathways of the emergency vehicles. This is the same neighborly concern that had us standing out in our front yard in the snow the night after Christmas watching the lights and sirens stop in the field just across from us, saying a prayer that whoever it was who was hurt was going to be okay, praying that it wasn't serious, but knowing that it probably was, trying not to cry or worry too much until we knew who it was and what had happened. We quickly learned that it was our 'next-door' neighbor who had had a snowmobile accident and was badly hurt. We imagined the worst - imagined his wife's terror that night and the worry of their three little kids at home. He is now home again and is doing really well.