Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This shell of a fifth wheel was someone's home 24 hours ago. They felt warm and cozy and happy in their big, recently-purchased fifth wheel, eating dinner, watching TV or reading. It was a cold night, and when they went to bed, they left an electric space heater running.

Around 3 am they awoke to FIRE and a screaming smoke detector. This is the result, the damage that happened before the park's residents could put out the flames with hoses, happened before the fire trucks arrived. The roof is gone, the interior gutted and charred, the windows exploded.

The residents escaped, barefoot but safe, and got their dog safely out. They believe the fire started when their dog knocked over the electric heater which ignited a blanket. Fortunately, they are alive, uninjured - and were well insured.

It all happened four sites away from us. Odel and I slept through the entire event.

On a much lighter note, I volunteered for elf duty today. Loma Linda has a large pediatric hospital and will hold a big Christmas party for the kids next week. Piles and piles and bags of toys have been donated for the kids.

The proton patients and spouses had the chance to volunteer to assemble the gift bags. We met at 10 am, in an empty room with a couple long tables. In the hallway outside were about two dozen 33 gallon plastic bags, FILLED with toys!

Our job was to fill 150 bags with age- and gender-appropriate toys. The age ranges were 2-5, 6-9, and 10-12. We started by labeling bags and sorting toys, carrying each bag back into the hallway when it was filled.

Was it working with toys that put us in such a light mood? The comraderie? The purpose of our work? Whatever it was, the work went quickly with lots of good humor. We loaded the bags (and bags, and bags, and bags) into little red wagons, onto the elevators, and into an unused office where they will await their moment at the party.

Then we all traipsed back to Santa's Workshop to reclaim our coats and bags and head home... well, all but Mary, who rode like a queen thanks to Joe.

Life's ups and downs. May you have many, many more of the former.


  1. The burnt RV is quite a story! Glad everyone got out OK and the fire didn't spread to other rigs.
    Geez, and I thought I was a sound sleeper!!!!!

  2. My goodness, I can't believe you slept through all that! I remember seeing a mobilehome fire where I used to live, a long time ago, they burn quite fast, nothing you can really do. I'm glad to hear they all got out safely, like Jeanne said, it's a miracle the fire didn't spread to other rigs.

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron