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  • Reyna Bradford

Just Stuff (written 7/ 8/20)

Not a good day today.

It was a day where one little thing after another just kept going wrong, and I just had this feeling. It was going to be one of those, and I might as well brace myself and be ready to deal with whatever came my way.

So when the hay storage shed burned to the ground this afternoon, taking my dad's van with it and leaving him with first and second-degree burns on his left arm, I couldn't say I was surprised.

He isn't sure what started the fire. It flared up as he was mowing the grass right beside the hay shed. The riding mower did backfire a couple of times, so maybe that somehow sparked something. But whatever the case, the whole place went up like a fireworks stand.

Two fire departments and two ambulances and two county sheriffs showed up. My peaceful, isolated farm was positively seething with lights, sirens, police radios, and seventeen different individual strangers, according to my dad's count. But there was nothing anyone could do. The hay shed is gone, and everything under the hood of dad's van is melted.

The good news is that there were only three bales of hay in the shed, so we didn't lose much in that regard. Even better news is that dad was not seriously hurt.

Still, you feel pretty messed up after something like this happens.


Destruction of personal property is bad enough. But somehow, destruction by fire evokes an even more visceral reaction. It is a loss, that's for sure. It's silly, but one small thing I grieve for is also the loss of Dundee's travel crate, which had been stored in the shed. How many shows and training outings has that crate seen him to and through, now completely destroyed. Somehow, that insignificant detail makes me sad.

Where exactly we're going to store hay in the coming winter is a further problem that I'm not sure how to resolve. But we'll figure something out.

In the end, it's all just stuff, material debris and detritus that really doesn't matter much. God's mercies are new every morning, and sometimes you just have to pick yourself up, shake the soot off, and grab hold of those mercies with both hands.


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