God is gracious and good.
Everything is okay. Mostly.
Three fire departments and the police were here today.
Fire spread from a neighbor's trash burning--not a good thing to be doing on such a very windy day. Flames jumped across another neighbor's driveway. And then it jumped across to my side yard.
I was in the back of the house and had no idea what was going on until I heard loud snapping noises as the flames reached the branches of the wax myrtles. Those shrubs are highly flammable and can even explode but they self-seed easily and grow everywhere around here. The plants of South Mississippi are naturally adapted to being a part of a fire environment. (Trust me, I know. I used to work at a local arboretum that specializes in native species.) We're in a bit of a mess but nature takes its own back after a fire.
A fireman told me that underbrush could be burning for days but we're okay as long as there's no open flames climbing trees. I'll pretend I'm not concerned about that.....but, yeah, I probably won't sleep well for a few nights.
This could have been a dreadful disaster but, bless God, it was not. The neighbor who accidentally set the blaze has been warned again and again not to burn garbage but does it anyway. He lost his fence, stuff in his yard, and an outbuilding along with everything in it; and he's made problems for the neighborhood. Maybe he won't burn anymore. Maybe he will. But I hope not.
No one was hurt, although I was desperately worried about my tenant who has COPD. I had to call her at work to tell her not to come home because of the smoke, and she told me she was having trouble with her blood sugar. She's diabetic. Our street (only a lane-and-a-half wide) was blocked by emergency vehicles and so was my driveway--she couldn't have gotten here even if she'd tried, and she'd only have been even more upset than she was on the phone. When I spoke to her a few minutes ago she seemed alright, and I pray that she is.
I'm grateful for the good folks who helped out today. Our local fire departments are volunteer since we don't live within the city limits. I'm also grateful for my backdoor Neighbors (the nice folks with the sweet cats) who were already working on putting out fire in my yard before I even got out my door.
I think I need a really large mug of tea with lots of sugar in it. And then I'll get a shower so I can wash the reek of the smoke out of my hair.
I still believe that good stuff happens every day. And God will make something good from this, too.