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Fire, Fire, Fire!

Late last night, when we were all in bed, old lady Leary lit a lantern in the shed and when the cow kicked it over, she winked her eye and said “it’ll be a hot time, in the old town, tonight. Fire! Fire! Fire!”

Firetruck at my church

This song is one that I often sing with my Brownie unit. However, this past week, it has taken on a whole new meaning to me. Last weekend, we had a fire at our church (thank God no one was hurt, as it happened in the evening). When I first saw the picture of the firetruck outside our church (seen above), I thought “Oh dear, the fire alarm went off, yet again, for a false alarm.” I then heard somewhere, through the ever reliable grapevine, that there had been a small fire. Again, I had a remarkable lack of concern. However, unfortunately, this was not the case. Turns out there was extensive damage, causing the lower level to be closed for 6 months, and our upper level for 5 weeks (hopefully).

Most of the damage affected our day care, requiring us to dispose of about 90% of the belongings – smoke and water damaged items. The day care has been operating for 22 years, so unfortunately, there was a lot of stuff that had to be thrown out. But it was amazing. As we were going through the supplies, resources, toys, and other miscellaneous items, we came to realize just how much would be actually missed – and the answer was that it was less than you would think.

Midway through the process (I was privileged enough to help with the clearout – in a Tyvek suit and N95 face mask), I came home to my husband, and I said to him, “you don’t realize how much you can live without, until you’re forced to throw it out”. Looking around our home, I know that there are a few items that I would be disappointed if they weren’t salvageable, but for most of the items, we wouldn’t miss them all that much.

I would like to point out, though, that some of the items we were able to save were those that were in sealed plastic bins – this helped to keep out the smoke. I know that I’ll be moving over some of our belongings out of their cardboard box into these waterproof containers.

Fire can have a cleansing effect. It is difficult though. Many years of love, creativity, and memories could not be kept. However, it has made room for 22 more years of fun and adventure. I have no doubt that something beautiful will come out of all of this (and we’ve already seen many blessings). He has a bigger plan.

Have you ever had to throw something out because it was too damaged? How did you feel about the process?

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