Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hug somebody

Just when you think you are beginning to get a handle on things, life tosses another disaster your way. At least this time, the disaster may actually be running in our favor. You be the judge.

Sunday evening we were having some problems with breakers blowing in our house. Nothing Brad or our electrician friend did could make the breakers stay on. Half of my house was without power, including my sewing room. The electrician friend was going to think on things overnight, and come back Monday to see if he could figure things out. He was sure it was a short, just not sure where it might be. Also, the funny smell that came and went was a little troubling, but not overly so.

Fast-forward to 1:41 am. The funny smell is now so strong that it smells like smoke. I get up, go into the family room, and hear crackling coming from my ceiling. I check outside to make sure the snow storm from hell has not descended. Clear, cold sky. (Cold as in -15). I get Brad up, and make him come listen to the ceiling. It is on fire people. Yes, I said fire. As in flames, in my ceiling, of my home.

I get Sara up, throw on some clothes, and start gathering things to get the hell out of the house. Brad is calling 911. Sara is getting dressed, still not sure what is going on, but knows when Mom uses that voice, she'd better shake it fast. I grab my car keys, Penny dog, and head out to my Jeep. Get Penny loaded, move the Jeep away from the front of the house. Start Brad's truck, and head back in for Keon. Keon is scared out of his tiny yellow Lab mind, and does not want to leave the house. Sara manages to get him into my Jeep. I grab Bast, and throw her in Sara's car. Head back into the house, get all the cash, important papers, and checks. Brad and Sara are loading guns and game mounts into the back of the truck. I grab a couple of rifles to put in the cab of the truck, and realize that while I did good starting the truck, I also managed to lock the doors, with the only key in the ignition. Swearing commenced. Crying also, to tell the truth.

One advantage to living in a rural area is that you have a damn good chance that one of your next door neighbors is a member of the voluteer fire department. Martin was at my house in three minutes. He assessed the situation, and helped us move things out of the house. There isn't much else I can do at this point. The fire trucks have arrived, so I go stand by the Jeep, call my brother Joe in California, and cry like a little girl. Joe is awesome, lets me babble all I want, and keeps me out of everyone else's hair so they can do what needs to be done. It takes a good man to get a hysterical phone call from your sister in the middle of the night, stay calm, and talk her down. I love him more than words can say. I'm even sorry for most of the lousy things I did to him when we were kids.

The firemen were awesome. They got in the house, moved my tin pie safe to a safer place, took all my family pictures off the wall and stacked them in the kitchen. One guy opened up the ceiling while another stood ready with the water hose. The fire was out in minutes. I walked back in the house, and the guys apologized for the mess. For crying out loud, these guys saved my house, and they thought I'd be upset over a mess. I could have kissed them all. Seriously.

What could have been a devastating loss is only minor damage. The insurance company is being awesome, the adjustor was at the house within three hours of the initial phone call to our agent. My girlfriend Susan hadn't rented her trailer home yet, and the insurance company paid for two months of rent and utilites yesterday. Brad's boss loaned us the big enclosed trailer to move our furniture with. The dogs are safe at the boarder until we get all moved in, and then they can come home. Bast is still at the house, safe in my bedroom, and I'll bring her over the rental tomorrow or Friday. We did not loose one personal possession people. Just carpet, drywall, flooring, etc. Not one personal thing. We've had more offers of help, places to stay, the girls next door offered to take over feeding the horses and cows for us. The place we are renting is only about three miles away from home. Susan and her husband Tom opened their home to us until we get things moved and arranged in the rental. We are well insured, so everything will be fixed, and even some things will be uprgraded.

Most importantly, we are all safe, and know exactly how many people we can count on. That list is large, and perhaps the best Christmas present I will ever receive. There will be no presents this year, but I have my family, my friends, my pets, and my home. I think that is enough.

Getting ahold of me will be a little difficult for a while. Either send me an email to moosethreaddesigns AT gmail DOT com, or call my cell 406-240-9270. If you are a spammer, and call my phone, I will hunt you down and make your life miserable. I promise.

Just know that we are all safe, sound, and in very good hands. This last year has been trying, and damn near impossible, but I have lots of people who love my family, and are taking good care of us. I can't explain how grateful I am for all of that. Go hug someone for me, okay?