Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reality Check

Last night after we went to bed Payton kept waking up, needing her mama.
I had just tucked her in again and headed into the kitchen for a sip of water when I smelled smoke.
I live outside of town and am always smelling smoke. Neighbors burning their fields, having a late night bonfire, using a woodstove.
I noticed the smoke but wasn't really worried about it.
As I walked around the corner, though, I noticed flashing lights through the window curtains, so went to check it out.
There were fire trucks and firemen everywhere. At my neighbors house.
And their house was smoking heavily.
We live on 2 acres and are surrounded by trees, so our next door neighbor isn't right next to us, and this neighbor is more across the way then next door.
I went and woke up Steve. He wasn't on shift yesterday but hasn't been feeling 100% so was out hard.
We went to the window to look, and just about that time they must have cut into the roof, because all of a sudden huge flames shot out into the sky.
I started bawlin' right then because I was so scared for that poor family. I felt like everyone was probably safe, but how scary, and sad, to have your safe place, your home, a totally unsafe place.
We wanted to see if there was anything we could do for the family, ie., take their dogs for the night, etc., so we tossed on jackets and walked down there.
It turns out they were gone for family night and had returned to smoke. Apparently the fire had been smoldering inside for a long time before it became apparent outside. This morning, while the shell of the house is still standing, it's just a shell. It's a total loss.
I went home after checking on the family but couldn't sleep, so I grabbed my camera. All I had on it was my 50mm 1.8 lens, so this isn't a closeup, but I had to document the experience.

I feel so bad for this family!
It did get me thinking, this fire. People joke all the time about what we'd grab if our house goes up in flames, but really, what would you grab? You'd grab your kids. And then if it was still safe, you'd make sure your furbabies were out. But you really wouldn't risk your life for your scrapbooks, your camera, your fancy TV. You wouldn't.
Just thinking about losing all those things, though, got me thinking about being more proactive with those things that are most precious to me, my photos. I have an external harddrive, but what good would that be if my home was gone?
I have CD's of photos in our safe downstairs, but even that isn't totally fool proof.
To me, the best thing to do is online photo storage.
Picasa is free. And it will automatically check your computer for photos. It has a great photo album for organizing your photos as well.
Scrapbook Pictures is also free. You can also order wonderful prints from them in a variety of different sizes, which is good.
I currently use Picasa after some good reviews from the girls at Studio Calico. And today I'm motivated to make sure that everything is up to date, that my photo CD's are in fact in that safe, along with my video camera tapes, birth certificates, passport, mortgage documents, etc. etc.
It's just so scary, the idea of losing everything. Even with mortgage insurance.
Anyway, it was a crazy way to welcome my weekend. An eye opener for sure. I'm a little worried about the girls, because they worry about smoke detectors and fire all the time and are always asking if I'll keep them safe from a fire. To have it so close to home worries me a little, with regards to nightmares, but I have already talked to them about how the family was lucky because all of the people and their animals are safe, and that you can always go buy a new toy, but you can't replace a sister.
To distract ourselves, the girls and I are off to the nursery this morning for petunia's, because it's finally starting to warm up and I think the summer flowers can handle the night air. Not much else is planned for this weekend, except for a barbecue with the inlaws tomorrow.
Before I go I did want to point you towards a BPS class I just signed up for. Jenni Bowlin is hosting a class called Re-purpose, Re-think, Re-invent. It's about "learning how the past can open the door to a new creative lifestyle". I'm really excited to open myself up to more creativity, and as I've always loved junk and antiques as well, I"m excited to merge the two. I hope you'll check it out! It's a 12 week class that starts in July.

Have a great day! Davinie


  1. Wow, girl, that is really close to home. I really can't imagine waking up to that. I'm so glad that the family is safe. I'm off to check the smoke dectectors now. Thanks for all the photo storage info. Stay safe and enjoy diggin' in the dirt.

  2. this happened to my neighbor (exact same thing) a few months ago. single mom, five kids, NO renter's insurance. i gave her all the baby stuff i had, and it broke my heart. it really makes you think, doesn't it.

  3. so so sad. :(

  4. Wow, so sad for this family. Thanks for the link to Picasa and for the reminder to think about these things.

  5. omgosh, how scary. =( i'm glad they are all okay!!

  6. Jennifer.T5:21 PM

    Gosh.. I have tears in my eyes for people I don't even know... it really brings home it can happen to anyone, very scary.

  7. wow-how sad is that, that poor family. at least they weren't home and everyone was safe.
    thanks for the tips on the websites-i'm going to check out picasa when i get back in town - i need to be better at archiving and organizing my pictures.

  8. How scary! I would have been freaking out. Thank goodness nobody was hurt and it didn't come close to your home! I couldn't imagine losing everything.

  9. I'm so sorry for this family.
    Thank God they all are safe.

  10. oh man. that is so scary. i always wonder if i could keep it together and get everyone out safe. thank god they were safe. but it does make you think

  11. I thought about the same thing the other day. Of course the family and the pets, but I would be so upset to lose all of my scrap stuff and pictures. I currently use Picasa also. Does that store your stuff so you can get to it from other cpu's?