and, It’s Getting Hot in Here!
also, Puttin Out Fires with Gasoline!
and mostly, Burnin Down the House!
The silhouette of a house you see there? That’s our house. Or “Our House, in the Middle of Our Street,” since that’s how we’re doing things today.
Seriously though, the other night around 1:30am a neighbor came and woke us up because the vacant house next door to us was on fire.
And what I didn’t realize at the time, was that this was serious sh*t people. Not until the neighbor returned and frantically told us to get out of our house. Then I considered the fact that we may be in danger.
Turns out Eric is the one who takes charge in a crisis. I would not have assumed that, nor would I have guessed that I would be utterly clueless. As in without a clue. Not only did I have to ask him what to do, but I spent a few moments deciding what to wear before evacuating my family from the house… Ah, well, at least we know that one of us isn’t a moron.
But we did get out, and then we stood there waiting for either our house to be engulfed, or for the Hot Firemen to save the day. I was surprisingly calm. I mean, physiologically I was in panic. I could practically palpate the adrenaline coursing through me. But mentally, I was calm. I just kept thinking, “Okay, we’re going to lose our house tonight. That’s okay, because we’re all safe.” Apparently I’m the one who will help after disaster strikes. We’re learning our roles here people.
Hooray for the Hot Firemen(HF!) They arrived after about an hour, or maybe a few minutes, and saved our home. But here’s what we hadn’t planned on (because we had planned on everything else thus far,) when you add water to a ginormous fire, you get even more ginormous smoke. It was BAD! And we couldn’t go back into our house, since it wasn’t exactly safe just yet. So the boys and I went to my moms, while Eric stayed to talk with the HF.
In case you don’t my moms, let me tell you what a couple of badasses they are. When I called at 2am to ask if we could come over, they got up and made us beds with fresh linens, and turned on white noise for little Oliver (or He Who Does Not Sleep.) When we arrived, Mom jumped into Social Worker mode to council Sebastian, then stayed up therapizing me until Eric came. In the morning Beth made us pancakes. How did we thank them? We drank all their (open) wine and left their sheets smelling like campfire. Thanks Moms!
Part of me feels like there has been one thing after another all year. Specifically, one near-tragedy after another. To many close calls, dear reader!! This same part of me feels like saying, “Why us? Why do these bad things keep happening to us?” Sometimes I wonder if we’re being punished, and then I wonder what we’re being punished for…
But really we’re lucky. We keep getting lucky! Our house is fine. Fine! Yes, we lost a good chunk of our fence. And the trampoline, which for some reason is particularly depressing. Maybe because we associate trampolines with children’s laughter and joy? Or maybe because we call it a “Tramp,” and subconsciously this makes us feel bad for prostitutes? No one will ever know.
Yeah, it’s created a lot of work for us. We have a lot to clean up, and a fence to rebuild. But it’s kind of a blessing. The vacant house will finally be leveled, though it’s taking longer than we’d like. And we’ve met tons of neighbors that we’d never known. In fact, we met a guy who’s lived in the here for 50+ years, and he told us all about the WELL that’s under under our house. We’ve wondered for years what’s flooding our crawlspace! Turns out it’s an artisan well. Yeah, expect some updates once we figure out how to unearth it.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m trying to convince myself here. I really am so grateful that my family wasn’t harmed. I’m not sure I can convey just how close we came to disaster, or how surreal this whole experience was. As I took photos of the house next door, the house that was destroyed, all I could think was how lucky we were.
Thank you to everyone who’s been there for us. And thank you in advance to all those who will continue to help us with cleanup and repairs. We are sooo grateful and so happy to have you in our lives.