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Toilet paper, fires and fodder for stories.

COVID-19 Shelter In Place Day Nine

**Note: the pictures in this blog were pulled from the web. I did not take them and they are not from my neighborhood.

Yesterday was not a fun day.

It started out fine.

Ran 3 miles (at least my version of running. Plodding slowly around the yard is probably more accurate).

Lifted weights.

Then left to run a couple of errands. (I’m trying to make sure I drive my car every other day so I don’t have issues.)

I went to Walmart and as unbelievable as it seems, I actually found toilet paper.  AND it was the kind that I use (I have a well, so I have to use Scotts since it disintegrates unlike some of the other brands).

I was thinking that my day was going well, really well. Then, I got a notice from the NextDoor app. There was smoke in my neighborhood. (see what I get for taunting fate about a good day?)

I live in a pine forest. This time of year is always a fire danger and this year the weather has been unseasonably hot and dry. Not a good combination when you live surrounded by giant turpentine filled sticks.

By the time I got to my neighborhood, they’d blocked the road leading to my house. At this point, the panic that’d been joining forces in my gut since I heard about the smoke started to spread out to invade and conquer.

My pets were home. Alone. They count on me to keep them safe. They trust me. I had to get home so if they called for an evacuation, we could all go. I couldn’t let them die there alone, waiting for me. Terrified.

That panic was clawing its way through my chest. I couldn’t let that happen. I’ve been through enough of this shit to know that panic didn’t do any good.

The year I bought my house three hurricanes hit Central Florida. I lost my screened-in porch and a good section of my pole barn. A few years later we had terrible fires in my neighborhood. I had to evacuate for a few days. Then, a few years after that we had a  100 year flood. Again, I had to evacuate.

So, suffice it to say I know how to stuff that panic into the bottom of my gut and keep going.

Yesterday, was no different.

I ended up driving around the back way in the neighborhood and luckily for me, the road block was on the other side of my house and I made it home.

Then, I waited. It didn’t take too long before the wonderful firemen were able to put the fire out. I heard on the Nextdoor app that two houses were lost. (I haven’t seen anything today about it, so hopefully it was just a rumor.)

So, day over. Tragedy avoided. I plopped on the couch to watch some TV. It was time to relax and extinguish the panic that still churned in my gut. I opened a beer (it’s a proven method for dampening panic, but don’t have too many or the opposite happens – lol) and my phone pings.

It’s the Nextdoor app again. There’s another fire. This one is on the other side of my house.

The panic cheers, “I’m alive. Alive.”

I wait and watch the app. To the panic’s dismay the firemen once again put out the fire and I called it a night.

Fortunately for them and unfortunately for us, they wear more than what this man’s wearing in the picture. Although, I wouldn’t have minded if he came over afterwards with his fire hose and doused my panic (sex is also a proven method for dampening panic -lol)

Tomorrow has to be better, right?

No, it doesn’t. I can’t control that but I can control how I perceive today.

I was lucky.

My pets were safe. My house was unharmed. Not only was I faced with another challenge and managed to keep functioning but I now have more fodder for my books. Everything authors experience slips into their stories in one way or another. So, savor it all – the good, the horrible and the scary.

Yesterday was a good day.


  1. Doris Cooper says:

    Thank God you & pets are OK!

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