Keep the Home Fires Burning

It just occurred to me that I quoted Alicia Keyes’ “This Girl Is On Fi-Ya” last year about this time. This Thanksgiving a new fiery experience inspires thankfulness.

While my husband drove us home from a recent out-of-town adventure, I was my usual charming traveling companion self — engrossed in a book. He braked the car abruptly and I rescued my nose from the dashboard just in time to see us speedily approaching a flatbed piled to the sky with hay bales. The pickup driver pulled his rig over, dove out of his truck, and frantically cranked a lever to unhitch his pickup. As our vehicle passed, we noticed why. A bale was burning. My husband parked and we jumped out to help — him with manpower and me to call 911.

When the dispatcher asked me whether we were in Minnesota or South Dakota, I had no idea, so I read the mile marker and the intersection signs nearest me. She sighed and put me through to another dispatcher who said, “You should call 911” and I think he hung up on me. It’s like with Siri. No one takes me seriously. So I called 911 again.

The driver and my husband and another passerby finally got the flatbed unhitched, which was no small miracle, considering how quickly the fire spread.

FlatbedFireIt spread like wild fire. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Sparks blew toward a grove of trees near a farmhouse adjacent to the road.  A college age girl and I scrambled to alert the owners. The door was padlocked, indicating no home dwellers were in danger.

When a lone highway patrol car showed up, I threw up my arms. “I asked for fire trucks and they sent him? What’s he going to do, throw his coffee on it?”

My husband gave me that now-don’t-get-us-a-ticket look. So I saved further complaints for the ride home. We never did meet a fire truck. But, we didn’t hear about any rampant South Dakota/Minnesota fires either, so help must have arrived. And in hindsight I realize how much we have to be thankful for. No one was hurt and the driver had insurance. And we weren’t these unhappy travelers.ThanksgivingDinner

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving! Keep the home fires burning, but only in your fireplaces please.

For great Thanksgiving reading, pick up a copy of Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) by the amazing Barbara Park (April 21, 1947-November 15, 2013).  Barbara Park will live on forever–in her words, in toilet paper roll necklaces, and in our laughter. That’s one more thing for my thankful list.

Limbitless Nick Vujicic

Man of Steel Christopher Reeve drew admiration leaping tall buildings in a single bound faster than a speeding bullet. And all of that in tights. His superhero persona wasn’t bad, if you like that rippling muscle, perfect jawline, piercing eyes sort of guy; but he earned my hero-worship when he persevered, even thrived, as a  quadriplegic after his real-life horse-riding accident. It was then he said, “Some  people are walking around with full use of their bodies and they’re more  paralyzed than I am.”

Wow, did his words convict me. It’s so easy to let life intimidate and stop us short of our potential. Then I learned of another real live superhero five years ago. A friend sent me a YouTube link featuring a motivational presentation by Australian Nick Vujicic. Vujicic’s fearless joy stirs me to the core.

I hope to introduce everyone I know–children and adults–to Nick, as an inspiration to live life zestfully and gratefully, and to never become paralyzed by fear of life’s failures or successes.

Some people make us move forward in hope. See for yourself why I wanna be like Nick.

Click on the photo for a recent presentation by Nick Vujicic.

Click on the photo for a recent presentation by Nick Vujicic.

And, here’s what he’s up to now.

Click on the photo for a 2013 60 Minute report on Nick Vujicic and his wife.

Click on the photo for a 2013 60 Minute report on Nick and Kanae Vujicic and his wife.

Vujicic Family with Baby Kiyoshi James

Vujicic Family with Baby Kiyoshi James

Nick Vujicic’s life formula:
I’ve never met a bitter person who was thankful.
Or a thankful person who was bitter.

Click on the photo for the short film starring Nick Vujicic.

Click on the photo for the short film starring Nick Vujicic.

If you want more:
Nick Vujicic full DVD

His web sites:

When life paralyzes you, remember Nick Vujicic. Like him, you are important and your life is a gift for the world. Don’t deny us the joy of knowing the real you. Keep moving forward!