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Fire Victim: "We Have a Lot to Be Thankful For"

Fire swept through Southern California from the north of Los Angeles to the Mexican border during October, 2007. Five hundred thousand acres were burned up, a half-million people displaced from their communities, and 2,000 homes destroyed in the blazes.

But in Rancho Bernardo, in a Presbyterian church in which 60 families lost their homes, worshipers met to give thanks. One reporter noted, "They gave thanks for the big things: for lives saved, families, friendships. They also gave thanks for small things: a hug, a shoulder to cry on."

Barbara Warden was one of those fire victims. All she was able to salvage were three boxes of photographs and her grandfather's cuckoo clock. But she, too, was thankful. No one was hurt, neither in her family nor in her community. On the Saturday before the Sunday service, as Barbara searched through her home's ashes, she discovered a sundial her husband had given her. The following message was engraved on the sundial:

Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.

Barbara mused, "That says it all, doesn't it? We have a lot to be thankful for."

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