I got a call this afternoon from our youngest daughter Hopie (I mean middle daughter… now that little Indy is here) and she was out of breath and could barely talk. I was immediately worried, and even more so when she said she was over at Miss Joan’s house (one of Joey’s best friends who’s 77 years old and lives about a mile from us) putting out a big fire! Well, I jumped in my truck and took off. When I got there, Miss Joan and Hopie were arm in arm in the front yard. Hopie was covered in ash and grinning ear to ear.
Miss Joan said that she had been burning her asparagus bed, likes she does every year, and somehow the fire got out of hand and the grass around it started burning, then the hay field went up in flames and it was headed for the barns… Then Hopie said that she had been working at Marcy Jo’s, when they got a call from Miss Joan who was upset, and out of breath, and in tears. She said she was hoping that there might be some men there who could come help her put out a brush fire at her house… that she’d called the fire department, but they weren’t there yet, and could anybody come help. Well, Hopie took off her apron, jumped in her truck, and headed for Rutledge Lane, where Miss Joan lives. As soon as she got there, she started fighting the fire with water jugs and a garden hose. A few minutes later, when the local Berlin volunteer-fire-department showed up, they said Hopie jumped on the back of their truck and while they drove around the field, she sprayed the burning fire til they got it all put out! How crazy and awesome is that!
They asked her if she’d like to join their volunteer fire department, and said meetings are the first Monday of each month!
By the time I got there, Miss Joan looked exhausted and so did Hopie. But they also looked like they’d both been through quite an adventure together. As I watched Hopie walk Joan back to the house and up to her chair on the porch, it was so precious. I knew my girl was strong and tough and brave and tender. But I’d never seen her be all those things at the same time.
I was and am so proud of our daughter Hopie. As we said goodbye, Miss Joan said that Hopie had saved her house, or at least her barns from being burned down and that Hopie was her hero.
When Hopie and I got back home, she stood in the kitchen and told Joey all about what had happened and Joey just smiled and hugged her and was so proud.
As a father, I sometimes like to think that maybe I’m our daughter’s hero. But the truth is, whether they save a neighbor’s house from being burned down, serve someone at the restaurant with a smile, or just wake up and face their day with hope and love… they’re my heroes.