--^---@House Fire--^---@

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20 years ago we had a house fire. We were blessed though, as we all managed to get out alive. (My hubby, our 2 sons, and myself - unfortunately we did lose a pet). The fire started at 6 a.m on New Years Day. Banks closed, all cash and credit cards burned and I was just in my robe. I grabbed the boys and wrapped them in blankets, getting them out of the house. My husband had to come through the flames and a wall of fire had exploded in my face. So we both lost hair. We managed to borrow money and get into funky motel. Also had to deal with the insurance adjustor that seemed to believe we had caused the fire ourselves - and that was probably the hardest of all - It took us 3 months to settle and the adjustor was vicious saying, "you and I both know how that fire started." Actually, I did, but she didn't believe us. Turns out the double wide had been dropped when set up and my parents (who owned the home). The fire started inside the wall, so when I opened a window in the room a line of fire appeared on the wood paneling a few inches above the electrical socket across the bed immediately and the hairspray on my hair went poof! Lost several inches of hair!! Life was quite depressing.

Yet, each day we would benefit from some one's act of kindness - a teddy bear for the 5 year old. A hospital took up clothes donations for us and I still have and use a beautiful handmade quilt. Once a box of clothes that had one pair of pants all 4 of us could fit in at once! We did, and boy did we laugh and have fun. Having been recipient of random acts of kindness, both my hubby and I have continued to try to pass that kindness on. Sometimes in smiles, sometimes simply passing items on. My children are all grown now and we are grandparents. Had our youngest and his family living with us for awhile. Now, they moved out of state. And, I had a nursery full of toys. One day I packed them up and gave half of them to our neighbor boy who we really don't know as the parents are young and both work. They were so surprised and actually offered money, which I immediately dismissed. They were grandma house toys and needed a child! The other half we took to another grandchild who lives within the same state that we actually seldom see. Now, I have two little 2 yr olds that give me big smiles whenever they see me *that *it makes my heart smile! So please do give, from the heart. Whether a smile or something you no longer need -- the acts of kindness makes both the recipient and the giver feel good!

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