A milestone was a marker placed to indicate when you had gone a mile on a road or path. Now days a milestone is a marker in one's life, usually a marker of some significance. Today is a milestone for me.
One year ago on March 27, 2009, I was watching my grand daughter in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was a normal day and also a stormy day. I knew I would be there a bit later than usual as the next day being my birthday, my grand daughter had insisted on helping bake a cake for me. My daughter, Jennifer, would not be coming home that evening, as she was at a Womens Retreat in Bentonville. My youngest daughter, Elizabeth, was coming over to bring me a gift. So there was to be a small party for me.
Ross arrived there from work about 3:20pm and his mother called us there to let us know his father, Lee, had passed away that day. His father lived in Missouri. His parents divorced many, many years ago, but still conversed often. My husbands father was not in his life very much and really only started to become close after we married.
The storm had broken and given way to sun and Forrest wanted a wagon ride, so her sweet PawPaw took her for a ride. He needed the distraction of her and her wonderful undying love for him at that time.
We had some cake after my son in law and my daughter arrived and then left for home. It is a long drive home, about 30 minutes, and we talked about when he would leave for his father's services in Missouri. We talked of normal daily things and of how a house had burned down the road from us and laughed about the "save the foundation" policy of the volunteer fire departments in our area. They do their best, but by the time they all assemble it is usually too late. Thankfully no one lived in the house and it had been undergoing renovations and it was thought some work being done in it was the cause.
Ross asked me if I needed anything from the little store in Winslow and I said no I was fine. He himself would have loved some cigarettes as he had been trying to quit, but he refrained from going to buy any!
As we came up the hill to our driveway we could see it had rained quite hard out here, it seemed to be foggy. But some how our instincts told us it was not fog..
Our home was gone! Completely destroyed and still burning! I just let out a moan like cry and said, "Oh Ross"!! He replied he saw it and pulled up right next to uor root cellar below the house and told me to stay in the car..fat chance of that happening! But stay I did for a few minutes and I sat there shaking in fear for my concern for our cats safety.
We had been working on the inside of the house for as few years, as one day our entire ceiling suddenly had collapsed. The former owners had put in all new ceilings and had used no mud, only taped and had used roofing nails. They did this just before we bought the house. But after a few years of the weight of the insulation on those large headed and short nails, the ceiling had given way and pulled it all down! what a mess that was to come home to when it had happened. The only ceilings that stayed in place were over the dining room and the bathroom. The upstairs had all wood so it was not affected either.
So as I sat crying and shaking Ross went up the hill to what was left of our home. I of course got out of the car and proceeded up the hill, which is hard for me with my fibro and all the mud from the rain had made it slippery and of course no light to see.
I could not see Ross, he was someplace towards the back yard, but I could see the flames still burning high and could see my dining room and my tea cart was on it's side. I thought of how the tea cart, which I had restored from a piece of trash, held a beautiful while and gold speckled tea set that a dear friend had made me many long years ago. And I thought of all my beautiful tea pots in that room. and my rooster and chicken collection and the wonderful antique rooster lamp I had and the beautiful panting of a rooster and chicken and the chicks that had been on the wall. Years and years of collecting gone.
I yelled to him and he called back and said to stay back, it was dangerous. I went into our little camper, my mother had given us..I was in a state of despair, not really shock, but over whelming sad..to say the least. We had a momma cat and a litter of kittens in the camper and I was looking at them. Looking at them, but not really seeing them, if you know what I mean by that. I knew in the house had been our mama cat, Stripes and her new litter and their father, Fatso and several other of our cats as well. I was so sad wondering of their fate. In the end we found out Stripe and her litter did not make it out and Fatso had a bad gash on his leg. Most of them were safe, but we eventually lost a few due to what the vet said was stress and some lung infections from the smoke. I digress..
Ross came into the camper and told me he had to have a cigarette and was going to go to the store before it closed. I said okay go, I understand. He had already found a long enough piece of the phone wire and climbed the pole and got an old phone out of a storage container that was outside and hooked it up for me. He told me to call someone to come get me.
After he left I started to scream and cry and ask why, why, why?? I was almost hysterical!! I looked to my right and in the light of the lantern I saw on the wall of the camper my mother's Jesus fish, a calm came over me and I began to pray and ask God what was next for us, what would we do and how would we proceed with our new lives. Oh yes I have cried many times since then, but never became despondent or hysterical again. God had plans for us and he would never harm or hurt us.
Of course the following weeks were very hard. Ross would not leave the property and the animals and he had no power. But he is a country boy and he can survive and he did so quite well.
You know what was funny? I kept thinking while I was waiting for my daughter to come pick me up, I had no clean underwear!! But had like 4 pairs of shoes as I had 2 new pairs in the car and the ones I had on and my comfy ones all in the car!
I sometimes do what I call "Walking After Midnight" when I can not sleep..it is were I mentally walk through the house and see all my things. Yes it is sad, but it is also my memories and a healing process of sorts for me.
I lost all my crafting things and sewing machines and that has been hard for an avid crafter and sewer, but some wonderful friends have sent me some great things. I so appreciate those people and all the ones who have helped us with their words, prayers deeds and acts of kindness. without my family and friends and our love for one another and my strong faith, I do not know what we might have done!
Yes it is a milestone in my life and tomorrow is another one as I turn 60!! Me 60???
Wow how did that happen??
Until next time, God bless you all, always in all ways!!