I generally sleep very soundly in the middle part of the night. So soundly, in fact, that I seldom even know when Cliff gets home at 1 AM and crawls into bed beside me.
We don't lock our doors. At 1:30 this morning I was pulled from whatever nether regions in which my soul dwells at that hour, realizing there was a woman in my house, calling my name at the top of her lungs.
"Donna, Donna," she yelled desperately, "Our house is on fire!"
My first thought was that it might be Vicki, who rents the mobile home from us. As I roused myself awake, I realized it was Roxanna, Marvin's wife, from next door.
"I'm sorry, Donna, I'm sorry (she was apologizing for waking me?) our house is on fire. Marvin tried to put it out with a hose and he can't. Call the fire department." And she was out the door as quickly as she'd entered.
Of course I called 911, and they said someone had already called. Then Cliff and I peered out the kitchen window; we saw no signs of fire or smoke for a couple of minutes; then flames shot through the roof.
It only took ten minutes for our rural volunteer fire department to show up, but with no fire hydrants out here in the boonies, it was pretty hopeless. I really don't know whether any of the house can be salvaged or not; I do know this end of it still stands.
What a horrible sight, and what a hideous thought. A family of six is out of a home today, so close to Christmas. Anna, the quiet little girl who sometimes rides my horse, is one of the family members.
Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.