Tuesday, May 22, 2012
One of the great things about the hamlet where we live is that we have a volunteer fire department. There's no huge office, no fancy firehouse. These guys have the basics and with it, they do miracles.
On Sundays they get together with their families and friends and make a fantastic pancake breakfast. It's a fundraiser for the town, but what's more than that, it's a chance for everybody in the town to come together, eat, laugh, and catchup with each other.
A few years ago our neighbors barn caught on fire in the middle of the night - they had an apartment in the barn and the refrigerator started the fire. (Vacuum your coils, people). Everyone came out to see if they could help and by the end of the night, the tenants had a new place to live, clothes, food, a few bucks to get by on - all of the basics covered along with a lot of support to help them get through a tough time.
We were all terrified that the fire would jump. Our houses are all historic wooden homes and our hamlet is filled with trees, shrubs - a lot of flammable material. Each spark jumping off of the roof of the barn made my pulse race a little faster. The wind would kick up, the flames were flying off of the roof of the barn. It looked like nothing could stop it.
But our volunteers stopped the fire. They didn't have to get out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, they didn't have to risk themselves for us. But they did - and they do. These guys are special. The support that they get form their families is special.
Not only do our volunteers save our homes, farms, and businesses from tragedies, they also bring our community together.
And that's pretty special too.