Posted by: walkerswalkabout | September 11, 2011


The fire will try every man, of what sort he is.

Paul was referring to the Refiner’s Fire, of course, not the fires in Bastrop, Texas last week that left my oldest son’s house as a smoky gray smudge upon the ground. Or was he?

Every fire, flood or severe storm creates what I call a “clearing”, sometimes literally. Into that clearing come emotions, words, actions and outcomes. What will come into this clearing? What sort of man is Austin?

Here are some snatches of comments lifted from Austin’s Facebook page:

“We are all well and feeling blessed.
Thanks everyone for the outpouring of well wishes and offers of help. We were well insured and already have received money from the insurance company to cover the basics we need. I know there are many families not as fortunate as we were. If people are able please donate to help them.
I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming offers of help and support. Everyone has just been wonderful. Right now we really don’t know what we might need. Many of our neighbors are in much worse shape than us so any donation to the efforts taking place in Bastrop will help more people than us.

We have been truly blessed to know so many great people. Thank you will never be able to express our true gratitude.”

I am overjoyed of course that everyone is safe (and so is his bicycle, as he was at a bicycle race at the time of the evacuation).

We can’t control what happens to us, only our attitude towards what happens to us, and our consequent actions. Austin’s attitude came through in one thing he said in a recent conversation with him—“What a marvelous opportunity to start anew”!

Based on Austin’s attitude, something positive and permanent (as much permanence as this life allows, anyway) will be built upon the ashes of this new clearing. His is the smudge on the corner.

He has started a Blog about the path now and forward–



  1. My insurance guy snuck me out on site 2 days early. Unbelievable devastation. Just home after home that only slabs covered in rubble remained. I snapped a few pictures with my new point and shoot. All 3 of our cameras were in the house. Canon 60D in the near future? 🙂 Going to post them to the blog along with memories stirred. Interesting times ahead.

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