Well, I hardly know where to begin in my list of:
Things for Which to be Thankful over the past Day
I am so thankful that the electrical fault occurred through the day. I hate to think of, 'What ifs...', but... what if it had happened through the night?
I am so thankful that we were at home. Had we been in town, or away for any time, Jackson would have been in on his own. Gulp. Can't go there.
I'm so thankful that it was one of the appliances in the garage that went on fire. The fire was contained in the garage, and although there is some smoke damage in the Utility Room, and we have soot in all the cupboards, that is nothing. compared with what we would have had the fire been somewhere in the house.
The garage windows were all closed, as well as the large up-and-over door. This meant that when the fire door between the garage and the Utility Room was shut, there was no air being fed to the fire. It had run out of oxygen even before the firemen arrived. Normally, the large door is open at that time of day, because the Wee Guy is in and out of the garage for his bike, or his trucks and toys.
Catherine had been in the shower: but was out, and so was able to run out that door the second she heard the "GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. NOW!"
I was just going to have a shower, but decided to make the Sticky Toffee Puddings first. They never were made, but I was right there in the kitchen. I would hate that the girls would have had to have come looking for me, or that they would have been panicking and unsure what to do. Even for seconds.
I am thankful that our kids didn't question even for a split second: they heard the "GET OUT. NOW!"... and they got out. Now!
I am thankful that Jackson was right there in the Utility Room, and that he was out that door with Katie in a split second. I hate to think that if we'd all been coming out of the front door, and he was at the back door... All that time we stood waiting for the fire appliances to arrive - it was only 16 minutes, but seemed like so much longer - we'd have been hysterical thinking of Jackson stuck in there by himself. Yet, I know I wouldn't have opened a door and gone back in. I certainly wouldn't have allowed any of the kids to go back.
No, no. Rules for fire: Get out. Close all doors. Never go back.
I am so thankful that Katie had the presence of mind to grab her mobile on the way out of the house - she didn't detour for it - but it was right there on the edge of the table as she was heading out. She had the presence of mind to phone the Emergency Services as I was closing doors and heading out the front door. Without this phone, we'd have to have run out to my sister-in-law's house. 500 yards is a long way at a time like that.
Can't you see how good God was to us?
I cannot even begin to tell y'all what the firemen who came were like. These are local boys. We know them, and they know us. They couldn't have been kinder or more thoughtful, not to mention more professional. Really and truly, they are worth their weight in gold.
They were so kind to me. The Builder wasn't home when they arrived, but I felt so safe once they arrived. There is nothing like having guys who have known you all your life dealing with a situation like this.
I truly think we live in the best place in the world. Sorry, Virginia. Sorry, South. Sorry, Pennsylvania. Sorry, Michigan. Ness is simply the best place in the world.
One of the firemen is an electrician. Having dealt with our fire, he spent all evening here sorting out our electrics and getting a temporary system up and running. One of the firemen made sure we had somewhere to go for dinner. Another came down later that evening to check we were all okay. A local plumber came down to check that our heating hadn't been affected.
Not to mention our extended family, who were all right here with us.
I could go on and on. There really is nothing like living in a community such as we have here.
This morning as I was on my knees, and I was giving thanks for some of the many, many mercies of the previous day, I began thinking of the way the fire had been contained... windows shut, door shut, the plasterboard that lines the wall between the garage and the house. Building regulations meant that when the house was being built, two layers were put on that wall. I began thanking God for allowing men to invent this material. Then I thanked God for - not inventing - but creating this inflammable material inside plasterboard. What an infinitely wise God we have. He created some materials to burn; some to be precious and beautiful; and others to be inflammable.
Such infinite wisdom; such infinite love and care; such infinite ability.
All these mercies. Such blessings. These are only a few. They were innumerable.
The whole time we stood outside, I felt absolutely no anxiety for what was going on inside the garage or the house. That may be very odd, but my whole family was safe, and that was all I cared about.
To all of you who commented on my previous post with kind and thoughtful comments, and to all who posted on Facebook with kind messages, thank you. It really does mean so much.