The Hyde residence is almost 10 miles outside of the rural town of Fallon, Nevada. The homestead is nestled up against the Carson River and 'Frey Alfalfa Farm'. It is comprised of about five acres, most of which is the arid desert. The property has under gone many changes. Most of which have been man made. Lizards, snakes, coyotes, and beavers are not uncommon. It was the perfect place for an adventurous and imaginative child. The place had countless opportunities to make mischief as well.
Because of the distance from the city, we were not privileged for waste services, or maybe we just couldn't afford it. Either way, we burnt our trash (In those days we didn't care about the ozone, we'd burn it all. This was 1991, Bush Sr. was still in office). We had two burn barrels. They were about 100 yards away from the house. I was about four or five. I had been given the responsibility of taking out the trash and burning it. I had an affinity for fire and its immediate powers.
One afternoon, I was told to take out the trash and burn it (See the figure below. Forgive me for the crudeness of it all. It is not to scale). After I had completed my task, and was walking back to the house, I noticed that we had a substantial amount of second hand clothes, in cardboard boxes, along the side of our home. My mother, bless her heart, was going to donate these to the Goodwill store. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to throw a match on those charitable clothes (evil child) and I did, without hesitation. I strolled inside and didn't say a word. I went to my room, acted as if nothing had happened (no moral compass).
A few minutes later someone yelled 'FIRE!' We evacuated the house and met at our flag pole (we had practiced our fire evacuations a few times). The car port went up in flames. I think my brothers got some hoses out to combat the flame. The fire department took almost ten minutes to get there. Honestly, the whole house should have been caught on fire - a miracle really. I just remember sitting there watching, not believing my eyes. I guess I didn't really consider the consequences of my actions.
The house was spared. Only the east wall was charred and blackened. Some of the roof had to be replaced, but all in all, the damage was minimal. I did confess to my mother, but she refused to believe me. She eventually listened to me; I think I was 12 or so. To not have your mother believe you, because of the gravity of your sin, was a heavy burden to bear. Luckily, that trespass will not be written on the books in heaven.
A lot of times in life we do one small thing, seemingly inconsequential, but have major implications. I didn't really think that match would light the entire east side of my house and car port on fire. But it did. However, greater powers, even God, were at work and saved our home. I believe those same powers are at work in our lives. He may not bail us out ever time, but He is there. If He can preserve my home, out of the millions upon millions upon millions in the world, then surely he has time to help me again.