Life’s Challenges, You Never Know

One day a couple of weeks ago in going over my emails and the Readers section on WordPress I was saddened to read one of the bloggers I follow had a fire in his apartment building. His apartment had been untouched by the fire, the water and smoke damage was so great he had to move to a hotel until it was safe to move back in. I wish him a speedy recovery of that fire damage so he can move back home. Update: He is in the process of moving. You can read about it here.

In reading this it reminded me of a couple of fire-related stories. One of them was one day when I was working at my job at Walmart years ago a woman who worked as a cashier got that phone call we all dread. Bad news. Her husband had called her letting her know that the trailer where they lived had burnt down to the ground. She and everyone else was astounded. 

What had happened was when the husband was carrying hot coals from the indoor woodstove their cat had run in front of his legs in front of the stairs tripping him spilling the hot coals all over the floor which caught fire with everything else catching fire turning into a huge blazing inferno. It was so quick, trailers are like tinderboxes especially the older ones. They lost everything. They were left with just the clothes on their backs. A collection was started for the family. They had to start all over again living in a hotel until they could start over again.

The other story that comes to mind was one day while I was a work I heard sirens really close, just down the street with red and blue lights flashing lighting up the street. My partner and I lived in an apartment building on the corner only a stone’s throw away. Me and the girls went to our work building’s windows looking out to see what was going on straining our necks to see down the street when I heard that’s your building Sheryl. WHAT??? I cried out my first thought going to our dog was in our apartment!

My partner who I lived with worked in the same building and together we ran down the street to see what was going on, was our dog okay? By that time the town’s firemen had put out the blazing fire. The man who lived below us drank heavily had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette catching his apartment on fire. Thank goodness he survived but our apartment was trashed with smoke and water damage and our dog was missing.

One of the firemen told us they had opened the door and she had run out into the night. Running up and down the block, we frantically called for her but gave up after an hour returning to our apartment which we could finally go in. Dreading what I would see I opened the door. Everything was wet with water dripping off the ceiling mixed with soot from the fire. It had a horrible smell to it. Going into our bedroom there was a gaping hole in the ceiling where the stars twinkled looking down on us. I looked at my partner dolefully told him I always wanted a skylight.

While we were looking around it wasn’t too bad but completely unliveable. The Red Cross was called setting us up with a motel in town. Our neighbor came with our dog in tow which made me so happy and relieved so we packed up what we needed for a few days leaving for the motel which I was grateful they let us bring our dog. The motel didn’t have a fridge but they did have a window sill and a little balcony with snow piled up so that’s where I put stuff I wanted to keep cold like milk, juice, and eggs. I remarked we finally had that vacation I wanted.

After about a couple of weeks of being cooped up in a studio motel room with a dog, no stove, no refrigerator the manager of our apartment building, bless his soul, had everything ready so we could move back home again. I chanted there’s no place like home! So you see…you never ever know what event could happen in your life that you will be challenged with and survive it. 

What challenges have you had to face in your life and survived?


  1. Thank you for thinking of me! Everything has worked out all right. No one was hurt in the fire, which is obviously most important. The building was condemned, so we had to move to a much nicer apartment that costs only a little more money. Everything is still in boxes, but that’s minor. I think that you and I have the same idea: we just take life as it comes, stay positive, and keep on going.


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