Tuesday, July 17, 2012


...I was really bumming out. The next day would be my birthday and I was turning 49.
I felt depressed because that would be my last year in my forties.
As always, it was Hot outside. I hate having my birthday in the middle of Summer.
Being female, it's upsetting to try to style your hair only to have it frizz.
It's hard to dress up and be comfortable.
I always wished I had been born in October.
But six years ago I didn't need to worry about that.
I had no big plans.
I was working at the old boarding facility back then, separate from the vet clinic, so I'd be there alone.
Basically I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
Then not much past midnight, on my actual birthday, my little dog Ruby woke me up.
She was barking furiously.
I sat up quickly and looked outside my window.
All I could see was ORANGE. All I could hear, besides Ruby, was the roar of fire.
It was my neighbor's garage on fire.
(I have posted some of this before, but that's what old people do, right? I mean repeat themselves? anyway...)
Our houses are very close. It's possibly only 3 feet away and their garage is right out their back door.
The whole thing was engulfed and her new car was ignited.
I always hated the aluminum siding on my house but in this case, I think it saved my house.
Her house's vinyl melted and the entire back had started to burn.
The ivy on my home was fried to a crisp and my Weeping Willow, whose upper branches always brushed my window had caught fire too.
The tree is what Ruby and I had seen blazing orange out my window and then looking down, the huge roaring ball of flames was the garage.
I sprung out of bed, pulled on some shorts, slipped on my flip flops and ran down the steps with the dogs.
I grabbed the phone to call 911 and the woman on the other end of the line told me that
"They are all ready there!"
So I leashed up Blue and tucked Ruby under on arm and Claude under the other and yelled to Griffin, my old Shih-tzu to follow.
At the door to my porch, a woman was pounding. I opened it up to see fire trucks, police cars and several neighbors standing outside in the darkness. I asked her to grab my dog Griffin and she said she lived down the block and would put him in her yard. I started towards my car in the driveway when Blue broke free. I apparently hadn't clipped his collar correctly and he ran to a fireman. A woman from the crowd ran over and grabbed him and brought him to me. I loaded the two little ones into my car as a policeman asked if everyone was out.
Back then, I only had 4 dogs. But my cats were inside still.
We turned and ran back in. I've always told myself that I don't have favorites but as soon as I stepped inside I screamed "Harry!" and off the banister he flew, into my arms. I ran out with him, shoved him in the car window and turned and ran back in and got Levi, Ghost, Fagan and Ivy. Then I ran back upstairs into my spare bedroom to get Kanga. She's my cat with no front legs, she could have never gotten out. The neighbor girl had called one of my nieces for me, so my sister and 2 of my nieces had arrived by then. The policeman asked me if I needed anything else out of my home and I said no, "I have everything".
I look back now and think about how I hadn't even grabbed my purse.
I was lucky. They got the fire out before it actually got to my house.

I sit here now and look at old Griffin, he was old then, now he's ancient.
and I have rescued a few more dogs.

Levi, Ivy and Fagan are all in Heaven now.
Kanga is back living at the clinic.
My neighbor has a new garage,a new car, new landscaping and a new kitchen.
I'm still doing the boarding thing but now it's at the clinic and it's an all new facility.

 So when I went to work that day, I was very tired but happy that I had a home and that my furry loved ones were safe.
I didn't even think about being 49.
So, tomorrow I will be grateful for all that I have and try not to think about the number 55.
When I don't even really feel 35.
But I have this damn neck that looks crepey when I turn my head a certain  way and jut out my chin.
I wonder how much longer I have until it's actually wrinkly?
I finally have my hair completely grown out to it's natural color.
It's not as grey as I thought it would be.
There's kind of a streak of it in the front and then grey highlights....
I think I will color it again.
I can't have grey hair AND a crinkled neck.
and maybe a tattoo?.....


Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Happy Birthday!!! If my house was on fire...I'd just want to get the babies out too and would consider all ok if I had them all. I'm so glad it didn't burn your house down. I found out someone I used to work with died last week at the age of 30. We had worked together for about 6 months at a place I found intolerable. I felt like I was in jail every day I was there and quit as soon as possible. He had worked there for over 10 years and it made me soooo sad to know he'd been stuck in that place every day for those 10 years and then died without knowing a nice place to work.

He criticized me when I left. He said I should stick it out. But I knew another day there was another day wasted. It just made me so sad...to know he was gone and so young and had experienced so little. It made me appreciate every day of my 51 years.

Anonymous said...

That was a night You won't forget easily :-)

Thankfully the cottages here are so far apart that if one caught on fire the rest most likely would be safe. But who knows, with the right winds anything can happen.
As long as we can get our pets out purses and wallets aren't that important :-)

Happy Birthday!

An Urban Cottage said...

Wow, what a story! I laughed, I cried, I was scared and then relieved.

Happy birthday! I hope you have a GREAT hair day.

sassypackrat said...

That was a terrifying night! I would have done the same thing, grabbed my daughter, my mom, Lita and Binks. Then ran back for my CD binder of doll patterns, everything else can be replaced.

I hope your day today is calm and stress free!

Happy Birthday Cindi!

Robin Kent said...

Happy birthday! Cancer/Leo are two of my favorites. Hope your birthday candle isn't as big as it was a few years ago. We (bloggers and pets) are so glad to have you here. Calls for a celebration of dog and kitty treats!

yoborobo said...

Happy Birthday, Cindi! I'm so happy that on that night you and your kiddos were spared. And now that you are young and adventurous, and life yawns before you (just like with ME!), I hope you get into all sorts of trouble this year. Live it up. And when you worry about your neck, and your gray hair, you think of your twin in MD, and say, "We earned it." :)) I'll be causing trouble in this part of the country. SOMEONE has to. Might was well be us!!! xox