Well, ‘aint that been a month ‘n’ half?
I’m just gonna drop this one right on in there, I ended up in a house fire.
Yep. A house fire.
Luckily it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, except it involved my ninety odd year old Grandma. She has a lacking sense of smell, sight problems and a short temper (however she farts like a trooper, is sassy as hell, makes hilarious analogies, gives great advice and amazing hugs, so she’s a keeper) so there’s the basis of this problem. She set a pot to simmer and forgot.
Long story short, I go to visit and can’t see my hand in front of my face. There is smoke pouring from the 2 open windows and the whole house smells like a chickens arse. My Nan threw water onto the flames to put it out. No fire left, but there was smoke galore. It was like being in some sort of apocalyptic film. They (I guess “they” being the emergency services) do say that fire is not the killer, it’s the smoke, so all I could think of was to get my Nan and her pacemaker out.
After a coughing fit, a breather outside, another coughing fit, doing a treasure hunt for window keys, coughing some more, finally finding a key and opening all the windows and then running away for a few hours, it was all ok.
My Nan’s house and all her worldly possessions still smell like burnt Big Bird, but everyone and everything is ok. The only real damage done was the burnt pot, which I am incredibly thankful for. We laugh about it now (but I still double check her smoke alarms on the way out).
I guess that’s not a particularly happy story, but the fire is not the victory. It’s the way I reacted to it. Sometimes, when I am down, I think that I must be an awful or horrid person if I am at all selfish. If I can’t help someone out or do something productive or helpful in an instant then I tend to think less of myself. However, knowing that when there is a crisis, I can step in and I can be brave and caring, that means much more than a silly self doubt. I have the urge to protect, to right wrongs, to fix things in any way I can. I didn’t fly, I fought. That is my happy little victory.