I don't like to post sad news here. Seems as if there's plenty of that without me saying a word. But yesterday is laying heavy on my mind. Firemen expect fires. Kind of goes with the job. And somehow, you aren't supposed to let it bother you. It doesn't always work like that. You know I live in a small community. I post about it all the time. Proud of this town, the people in it. At the same time, a house on fire is different here. It's more than a statistic. These people are my friends, my neighbors. They have been a wonderful part of my life. There was a house fire in our little town yesterday. On the far side of town. 1930's stick house, it went up quick. Matter of minutes, it was completely engulfed. An older couple lived there. You never knew nicer people than those two. They weren't home when the fire started. But fireman don't get to know that when they show up. And they rush in. To check, to save a life. Yet, in doing that they put their own safety, their own life, in danger. Yesterday they put everything they had on the line. It wasn't about the fire. It wasn't about the house. To the man...each and every fireman there put their life on the line. But I'm not writing this to write about the fire. I want to tell you about something someone else. Somebody that wasn't even at the fire at first. This man is my daughters school bus driver. He's also Captain of the fire department. And he was also the next door neighbor of the house on fire. Lifetime of being neighbors, can make you as close as brothers. When the call came in, Jim was on his bus route. Midroute, and unable to respond. Had a load of children. Radio contact, and he's coming...but the children need him. His fellow firemen put it all on the line yesterday for Jim. To rush into a fully engulfed house fire, not just once, but several times. To save man loved as a brother. Who wasn't even home. Jim delivered every child safely home yesterday before he allowed himself to go to the fire. Took his school bus to the fire. As the fire was coming under control, the owners came home. They had been in town. Seeing the loss...the man who the fire department had tried so hard to save, dropped dead of a heart attack in the front yard. And yesterday as they gathered in his yard in fire suits, today we prepare to gather in our better suits one more time, as we move toward the funeral home. There were tears last night. Tears for the neighbor. Tears for Jim.