A travel writers writings, readings, gear, wheels, and recommendations.
2020-03-01 by Carla King
An amazing mini-memoir, Carla.
I had just finished your valentine tragi-comedy and was about to write a note congratulating you for using such an engrossing, personal story to warm up the audience for your pitch to buy a writing tool. Masterfully done!
Then comes Round Two, a beautifully understated account of your near-death experience, including saving your mother’s life as well as your own. A really moving documentary, combining as it does an appeal (as prologue to the story) for readers to follow their reading with an immediate smoke alarm check.
(Also nice extended family photo)
Carla I am so sorry. Prayers for you and your family. My husband used to be a fire fighter. I have heard so many stories. You and your mom are so lucky to be alive.
Thank you for this write up. So sorry that this happened but grateful everyone is ok.
God is so great! Many prayers for you and your mom as you try to overcome this loss of property but not of the love of your family.
Hi Carla, wow, what an account and experience!!! So glad you were there! Know how much you are all loved and appreciated , not only as family, but PEOPLE. You’re right – an experience like this crystalizes (sp?_) how much difference having a family like yours makes in life! Please pat Tucker for me and give Cynthie and Caryle big hugs from me, and pass them around liberally to all the family and people who helped you all. xo Cuz Gail
I was just getting over reading about your San Francisco seminar and hoping to be able to attend next time when this popped on to my email. I am as shocked as if I was at your house. I am so glad that you, your mom, and Tucker are ok. How horrifying it must have been. I know that I’m repeating myself but I’m so glad you all are ok. Thanks for sharing this terrifying incident so that we all can be more aware of alarm batteries, strange locks, and even stranger passageways.
If you guys need anything please let me know. I’m not too far from there. Take care.
Stuff is unimportant. Take the memories and insert here…or into its equivalent. Rebuild anew, free of all that burdened you. The things you need will float back to you.
What a night! So glad you were there with your mom and that you both got out of the house safe with your pooch. I remember your parents house, so sad! I hope to see them rebuild a new home. You are all such a loving family, give them my love please!
Tami Greer Woodbury
So sorry for your family’s loss of home, but thankful you are all safe! (We have common family members in NC :))
Carla, I am so happy you and your family are safe. This is an amazing story and a lesson for the rest of us to always be prepared. You are right about checking those smoke detectors. The wired system that is in my townhouse, I’ve been told, will only last about 7 years. In addition to checking the batteries, each month I vacuum the dust from around the edges.
Wow! Just Wow! Unfathomable horribleness. Sooooo happy you three got out! I am teary-eyed and shaken just reading about it.
“Happiness is getting a hug from your daughter for no reason.”
Boy. Did you have a reason!!
Hugs and Kudos to you Carla.
Of course you’re a skilled and interesting writer, but this writing is over-the-top! I was right there with you, crawling under the smoke, desperately struggling with the security door, knowing every second counts, trying to remain rational and calm, with disoriented and whirling mind. Feeling the cool floor, and the details – tile or fake wood. The sweatpants, off and then on. Struggling over the phone in the shelter of the car. Mike the neighbor finding you. Riding in the ambulance. That picture of you in the ambulance, barely recognizable, witness to all you’ve just been through physically. Shocking photos, witness… The aftermath –nightmares of soaking sweats, the what ifs, the gratitude of family. Gratitude of life!
This horrendous experience has turned you into a suspense/action writer beyond all your often hairy and dramatic adventures. The way you have written, switching from past to present gives that feeling of watching your life pass by…
Thankful beyond words you were there, you and Cynthia and Tucker got out, your family is circling around. Life goes on…
Glad you survived Carla. Life is a bubble. What was the ignition source?
Dear Carla and Family, My heart is still pounding from the recounting of your harrowing ordeal! You brought us crawling right there beside you as you narrowly escaped this nightmare. If you don’t have PTSD from this, I may! All of your family here in Wallburg, NC sure are happy to hear your Mom, You and your Tucker made it out alive. We are very sad your parent’s lost everything they had collected through the years whether in travels, yard sales, flea market finds, barters, auctions, employers and/or any other unsaid or forgotten procurement. Each one was a sentimental memory to them and just seeing it could bring on a Carlyle tale! We love Carlyle stories here. He is a hero bigger than life and so these tales are treasured and still retold to younger generations of our children to keep them going forever. Not even a fire change that!
Gosh, darn—I was just with you in San Fran planning our future. I can’t tell you how sorry I am about this tragedy for your family that could have turned out so much worse if not for your quick-thinking and real heroism. What an amazing story and I thank you for not just sharing it but doing it with such truly brilliant writing. We definitely need to turn this into a book.
Let me know if there’s anything you need. You have a room waiting for you in New Mexico whenever you need it.
I’ll call you!
Hi Carla, my dear old friend…on my goodness – what a story. I am so sorry about the fire and so grateful you all made it out alive. I have thought of you often over the years and you are one of the most capable women I have ever known.
I would love to see you soon, and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
Marian, I’ll be knocking at your door 🙂 Love you!
A horrible, terrifying event so well captured. I forwarded this to many others because people too often disregard safety measures (functioning smoke alarms, exit strategies, fire drills). So very relieved that no one was seriously injured. I hope your lungs and throat recover as well as possible and don’t trouble you further down the road. Yoga, yes, good practice to keep the mind clear. The what if’s are going off in my mind now. Thanks for sharing your story. Looking forward to a happy story next time.
Thanks Louie, and thanks for spreading the word. It’s easy to ignore things like that for sure, just yanking that irritating smoke alarm battery. Whew! Happy story = we’re alive and surrounded by loving family and friends. Lucky us.
I am so sorry to hear this, but more importantly relieved that you are all safe. If I can do anything please contact me. Carla you are a rock and tell your mother I am so glad she and all are safe.
.. glad all survive and yes it was just things, still sad tho… Best to your family and the rebuild process… I’m sure your dad will keep me informed… You do know a lot of folks would have burned up trying to get out that door, eh??? Glad you turned around. Onward….. Cranky
Thanks so much Bill. Yay for those sane moments in the whirlwind of panic, huh? I’m so glad you’re friends with my dad. I hope to see you sometime soon.
Carla, I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing this. Take care of yourself.
Amazing share. I hung on your every word and was right there with you Carla, along with your Mom and Tucker. Glad everyone survived. I’m absorbing all the lessons you learned and hope to apply a few in my own wood and stone craftsman home, at the end of a long dirt road, surrounded by Mother Nature’s best.
Thank you so much Alexia. I’m glad you are taking steps to making your haven a safe one. PS I love your writing and what you do for the world. 🙂
Your story had me catching my breath and almost in tears worrying about how you were going to get through this experience. Over the years I have told my friends about my brave cousin from California and her adventures. I’ve always been amazed at your courage to go for the unknown. I guess you were just practicing up for this amazing challenge and I’m so proud of you for your brave and amazing rescue and so glad you are all safe and well!
Thank you, I know! People are saying “well you made it across China on a motorcycle but now this, at home.” I just glad I was there to be my mom’s early warning system. Lesson here: Louder smoke alarms! Love you!
Carla a wake up call for many, thank you for sharing!
Glad to hear no lives were lost!
Your experience will no doubt be imbedded and with you forever.
So glad you and your mom made it out safely. Hopefully you will turn this eye-watering account into a great non-fiction best seller.
It seems to have struck a nerve. I may just do that, Dwayne. Thank you!
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