This has been a different holiday for my family and I; I wish everyone the best in the coming year.
Everything started off odd on Christmas Eve where I spent 6 hours fighting a fire with my second family. The local utility company was unable to get the gas to the structure shut off and eventually we had a free flowing gas line feeding a fire. I was inside the structure with the second hand line when the first order to evacuate was given. This was about an hour into the attack and during my second time in the building. Smoke could seen puffing from the baseboard molding, indicating the fire was in the walls. Shortly after my partner and I observed this, flames were blowing out a cabinet behind us. It should be noted that we were on the first floor and this was originally a basement fire. Eventually flames breached the roof. The home will likely need to be demolished and reconstructed from the ground up. News article.
If I'm honest, my first thought afterwards went to my family as I selfishly felt sorry that I would miss my Christmas celebration with a portion of my family. It didn't take long to remember that I wasn't the only one who spent the last 10 hours fighting a fire and cleaning equipment to get everything back in service. Then you remember why you were fighting a fire - someone had the worst day of their life that night, losing almost everything they own on Christmas Eve.
Keep in mind this coming year that it can all change in an instant. Be thankful for what you have.
Thinking about this holiday season as I write this - wife sick with the flu, still having not seen a bunch of family, having missed the surprise ski trip she planned behind my back, I'm thankful for the past year, as unplanned as it ended.
Stay Safe and Happy New Year.