Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Counting My Blessings.

Last night was a gorgeous, spring night.  I had one of my besties over for dinner, we enjoyed the nice weather, and I relaxed for the rest of the evening before falling asleep with the windows open to let in the fresh air.  At four o’clock in the morning, I was woken by the sound of sirens.  The sirens were long and loud.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on but I went back to sleep.  At five thirty, I was woken by the sound of my cell phone ringing.  Since no one ever calls at that time, I assumed it was an emergency and jumped out of bed.  Of course, a fifty pound brown dog was snoring on top of me and it slightly hindered my leap for the phone.  When I reached the phone, I was shocked to see the missed call was from my daughter’s school.  You can imagine my shock to listen to a message from our superintendant stating school was cancelled due to a fire at the elementary school.  The early morning sirens suddenly made sense.  Unfortunately, nothing else did.

scc1 Rumors and questions began to fly amongst the parents of students at Saint Croix Central Elementary School.  What happened?  Was it intentional or accidental?  Did anyone get hurt?  We are all scared, confused, and wondering how could this happen in such a small community like ours.  This town is hardly big enough for a stoplight (although we just got our first by the highway exit!), yet we have been hit by a tragedy like this.  As the day progressed, we have learned that no one was hurt, save for a few brave firefighters suffering from dehydration, there has been extensive damage to our library (a favorite place of all the kids), and to the front office.  This is even more tragic because our principal, Mr. Sanders, was retiring at the end of the year after 29 years at our school.  What a send off for this amazing educator.

Equally confusing, is what will happen next.  Classes have been cancelled for the rest of the week.  Our educators are currently struggling to figure out how to resume classes for over six hundred students, grades kindergarten through 4th.

happinessAs this crazy day starts to come to a close, I am taking some time to reflect on my blessings today.  They are many and they keep pouring in.  So here are some of the top blessings I have found over the course of the day.

  1. My children are safe.  Actually, all the children are safe, as are the teachers, the staff, the firemen, the first responders… you name it.  We were blessed that this was not an even bigger tragedy which resulted in loss of life, limb, or innocence.
  2. We live in a strong, supportive community.  Today showed me the strength of the community in which I live. The fire at the school was fought by volunteer firefighters from several different communities.  Businesses were offering crews for clean up, starting book drives, giving discounts to help with donations.
  3. I have great friends and family.  I have never received so much love, support, and offers to help as I have today.  And it isn’t even me they are helping, it is my community.  Every few minutes someone new does or offers something which brings me to tears.  I have received offers to help with the local book drive from blogger besties in other states and my dirty book club members (also bloggers).  A friend of mine in Illinois is even donating 15% of her store’s sales on Saturday, May 11 to the school.  She isn’t from my community, has never been here but feels the need to give something to others. 

Now since I don’t want this blog post to get long and rambling, I will stop at three blessings.  However, I do recognize many more blessings before me and will keep saying a prayer of thanks for each and every one.  Although it is hard to remember, please do not wait for a special occasion to do the same in your life.


Interested in helping support the St. Croix Central Elementary School recovery? 

Here are some ways you can contribute:

SCC Library Book Drive

Agave Kitchen in Hudson, Wisconsin, has started a book drive to help restock the library.  The book drive will continue until the school tells them to stop.  We will be in need of books geared towards kindergarten through 4th grade, as well as reference books and periodicals.  Books can be dropped off at or mailed to:  Agave Kitchen, 501 2nd Street, Hudson, WI.  54016

Chapter2Books, also in Hudson, Wisconsin, has offered a 20% discount on all books purchased at their shop to be donated to the book drive.  You can purchase books at the store, located at 442 2nd St or over the phone by calling (715) 220-8818 (ask for Brian). 


Wear Did U Get That

Stephanie Ormsby, owner of Wear Did U Get That in Crystal Lake, Illinois, will be donating 15% of her store’s sales on Saturday, May 11th to SCC Elementary School.  Wear Did U Get That is located at 66 N, Williams St. in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Please call Stephanie at (815) 455-7500 with questions.



A huge thank  you to all businesses and individuals for supporting our community.



  1. I went to school in Crystal Lake! I will tell my freinds to shop there on Saturday!!

  2. Thank you so much for the mention. I'm really sorry for your loss today but you seem to have an excellent attitude about it. It is the least we can do to offer a discount. I have to say I kind of butted in on Paul Rode's effort this am, for 2 reasons. Well 3 I guess because obviously we sell books. One reason is that people were mentioning ordering from Amazon. I am fully aware that Amazon is convenient and ultimately it's about getting books donated. But Amazon is competeing unfairly with independent bookstoors like ours. We are also coming off a tough few months, fighting to stay open. We appreciate any business we get, especially in the next couple months.
    My sincere best of luck to you and all the families affected by the fire.

    1. Sue,

      You are amazing. Your support in any which way is greatly appreciated. Please do not feel the need to explain yourself. I love the idea of one local business supporting another or supporting the community. Pay it forward, I say!!!!

      I hope this post pays it forward to Chapter2Books.

  3. Oh my, that is scary. How lucky you are to be part of such an involved community. Not that it makes this any easier. Prayers for the school and your children!

    1. Thank you! The kids are amazing this morning as they board the buses to "Panther Camp."