Recently we had a fire which began in the chimney and ultimately engulfed the garage.  Smoke took over the rest of the house, yet thankfully we were able to get all the animals out safe and sound. A saving grace was acting quickly and being home. It was a fluke, a window in the base of the chimney was open, and one little spark from the wood burning stove happened to go down, and catch a magazine at the base of the stairs near the chimney entrance. Fortunately we smelt it immediately and called 911.  The biggest challenge was staying calm to get the animals out to safe ground and not taking in too much smoke..  Thankfully the fire department arrived quickly and spent the entire night getting the fire out... which did consume the entire garage.  What I am so grateful for is the kindness of neighbors who invited me in, cold and shivering from the freezing temperatures and wind. At that point I was still shaken with trying to stay composed while getting the animals out safely.  One gave me a hug and then offered me tea... I am so appreciative of that loving kindness.  The next thing was some other neighbors who own a vacation rental two houses down, offered us a temporary home which was also a huge blessings. I am so grateful for the help and extension of support that came from others during this time.  Mostly, I am so thankful that we were able to get the animals out. One kitty, Milly freaked out and didn't come back initially, so I went back the next day to watch for her. She came back in when I shook her food bowl and I held her in my arms for a few minutes, before we transported her to the temporary home.  We were very very lucky everything was caught on time along with support from neighbors etc.  For me stuff and material items simply do not matter that much, although I believe I lost some Fabric Art Dolls that use to be in gallery that were in a box in the garage.  That brings sadness to me, yet there really is so much light in the long run.

One thing I really want to share, is being open to reaching out in times of need and extending the love to your family and friends.  So often, we take things for granted and forget those I love you's or a hug for the day.  I wish I could hug all my close friends and family right now, yet since not everyone is around, I sent a loving e-mail to everyone to tell them that I really do love them.  Life can be taken away so quickly so remember to say those I love you's or help someone in need, even if the smallest task or deed.  I cannot stress the amount of gratitude and thankfulness I have right now.  So even though I do not actually know a lot of you, I am sending the energy of love to all, to know that we have it in us to get through those tough times and keep on plugging. To have trust in the divine that all will be fine.

Winter blessings of love to each and everyone of you.