I know I haven't written anything lately about the fire or the part of our life that still feels the impact. We have come to accept that the smell of smoke or the site of a column rising into the air will make our heart race a little faster and the actual site of flames or the sound of a fire alarm will send us into full on panic. In talking with others who have had a similar experience, I have come to understand that this will probably be a fact of life for the rest of our lives. That's just the way it is.
Luckily this summer, even with dangerous fire conditions, actual fires have not been as numerous as in past years. The 4th of July fireworks did not set any hillsides on fire. Our neighbors obeyed the rules for the most part and kept personal displays to the City parks. Lightening caused fires have not been as prevalent either. Unfortunately, the record high temperatures did crazy things to our fire detectors and so twice this summer they have chosen to go off in the middle of the night for no explainable reason.
The first time, my husband tried to be dutiful and go around the house changing batteries and resetting sensors, only to have the words, "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" continue to blare. Not fun at two in the morning. The second time it happened, we just turned off the circuit breaker and went back to bed. I did have a "Boy Who Cried Wolf" moment and so did make a quick walk through the house and around the outside to verify that there was no fire. Since the weather has cooled, there have been no more incidents.
Today we identified another ripple in the pond. We spent part of the day in St. George shopping for new dance clothes for Emily. Last year, her dance shoes were a size 2. Today we bought size 7. She has grown so much. This had led to a thorough cleaning of the closet. Boxes of too small clothing now fill our bedroom closet. The ripple came as Emily became very anxious about letting things go. To her, these items of clothing, still many of which were those given to us after the fire, have become the foundation of her sense of security.
We sat down with her and talked about her feelings. Eventually, she was able to help us pack the clothing away. Before the fire, this had never been an issue and the kids enjoyed giving their things to someone who could use them. We will see how it goes this time when we try to take the boxes to Deseret Industries.
Just like a stone thrown in a pond, the ripples are getting farther apart and fainter as we move from the epicenter, but occasionally they are still visible.