Fireside Chat - 01/23/14
I'm plopped down in front of our new fireplace as I write this, basking in its warm glow and siphoning off the stress of the day. I'm happy and content -- but it's taken me seven long years to get here.
You see, I have a love/hate relationship with fire. There is no grey area just a deep love and a deep loathing. Fires have been part of some of my happiest memories and most tragic ones. So my psyche is not capable of assigning fire a casual spot in my consciousness -- instead it's linked to pleasure or pain.
As a child and a 20-something I spent countless hours camping. A blazing fire was always part of those wonderful weekends at the lake or in the mountains. A day hiking, fishing or boating was capped with cooking over the campfire or gathering around it to sing songs. There's something mesmerizing and magical about watching a fire crackle at your campsite. That's the pleasing part of fire.
The painful part of my fire experience started in January 2006 when a fire destroyed our home. I grew to hate everything about it -- the smell, the destruction and the fury. The terrible blaze began when my husband and I were out in California covering the Longhorns in the National Championship. The phone in our hotel room rang in the middle of the night. That's never a good sign. The overnight assignments editor at KEYE TV delivered the heartbreaking news that our house was on fire. Not much was left when we pulled into our driveway the next day. The biggest loss was our beloved cat. Our dog was rescued off the back deck. Loving friends and family and even many strangers helped guide us through those very dark days. We also learned very quickly that "stuff" really isn't important. When you lose all of your "stuff" in a fire, but the people you love are alive and well then you truly understand the insignificance of things.
So that's my fireside chat, the yen and yang of that yellow glow that evokes such strong emotions for me. All in all, I'm delighted Santa delivered on his promise to bring me gas logs for Christmas and get our fireplace back in business for Christmas.