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CARTER: A burning reason for Thanksgiving gratitude

My sister in Florida signs all of her emails with the phrase “Angels on Duty.”

Boy, am I glad mine clocked in for the night shift one evening last week.

Not to create unnecessary drama, but I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week.

Last Wednesday repairmen claimed to have fixed the heating system in my apartment. I went to bed glad to feel warm air on a cold night but kind of bothered by the odd smell coming from the vents. Anyway, I went to sleep only to awake an hour or so later with the place filling up with smoke and a pair of smoke alarms going off. I scrambled out of bed, shut down the heat and cut off all the breaker box switches.

The night before last I learned that it was not just smoke that night. The cable guy went up into my attic to replace a cable that had been causing me to lose TV channels the last few nights. He brought down a charred length of cable and told me there had been a fire in there. A beam above the ceiling to my bedroom had been burnt through its middle, phone wires had been burned and a thermostat wire burned through.

New heating repair guys went into the attic Tuesday night and came down saying they had no clue why or how the fire burned itself out. Plenty of stuff was up there to feed it.

Yes, I’ve got a whole, whole lot to be thankful for this week. I’m still here, as are the single mother and two young sons who have the top floor unit next to mine. Still with us as well are the weightlifter guy who lives on the ground floor below them and the newly weds who live below me.

I don’t think I’ll be forgetting the meaning of this particular Thanksgiving for a very long time.

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