Friday, February 20, 2009

I Almost Burned Down My House Today

It's true. I would have, too, if not for the divine intervention of angels in heaven and Wally next door. Today is a day I have to be very grateful for the big everyday miracles, not just the little ones.

My intentions were good- put on some black beans and let them soak while I go do some family history research. They only needed to boil for a couple of minutes and then soak,, unheated, while I was gone. When I got home, I would finish cooking them and they'd be all ready for black bean quesadillas for dinner tonight. Why not use some of the beans I so diligently canned earlier? I'm asking myself that same question right about now, but at the time I was thinking I'd save the canned beans for the summer when I don't want to cook them. Thinking ahead. Just not thinking right now.

The trouble started, as it usually does, when I turned on the stove and left the kitchen to go change the laundry. (It's the laundry's fault.) By the time I changed it, gathered everything I needed, and got my coat on I had completely forgotten about the beans. I did look back at the dining room table as I left the house and thought, "Flylady would do her dishes before she left." I answered back, "I only have three hours, I can wash the dishes after I get home." Too bad I didn't listen. I would have seen the beans. Let this be a lesson- never leave the house with your breakfast dishes undone. You'll regret it- especially after the police and fire fighters and your neighbor have been over for a little visit. The beans continued to boil merrily on their way for the next hour or so, on high, until there was no more water left in the pan. Then, they proceeded to turn into charcoal, let off a bunch of black smoke, and I think pretty much ruin the pan I make hot fudge sauce in. (Yes, I am sad.) But, they did NOT burst into flame and consume my kitchen. (Yes, I am thrilled!)

Meanwhile, back at the family history center- I'm happily scrolling away on a computer. I had tried to stop in to see Greg on my way in. A little thought said to let him know I was DOWN THE HALL! Yes, if there weren't walls, I could have seen his office from the FHC. He was at a meeting and the door was locked, so I went back to the FHC. The beautiful, or not, thing about the library is that cell phones (or at least ours) don't work on the first or second floors because they are underground. So, I couldn't call Greg and leave a message on his phone at work and my neighbor couldn't get hold of me sometime after 11:00 when the alarm company called them to say our fire alarm was going off. She tried a couple of times and also tried Greg. I was blissfully unaware. They must have called the University Police, too, because Greg had missed calls from them on his cell and work phones. Greg was in a meeting and ignorinng all the times his cell phone kept vibrating. When he got back to his office and saw that he'd missed 5 calls, he thought it might be a good idea to check some of the voicemails he'd received on his cell phone.

By then it was after 12:00. Wally, not being able to get hold of either of us at 11:20, ran around the house when he could see smoke through the windows. He found a certain window unlocked (having a talk with said certain child this afternoon), slid it open, ran up the stairs (after almost killing himself to get through the wonderfully cleaned- not- room), turned off the stove, put the charred beans outside, and opened all the windows. He was there to greet the police and firefighters. The firefighters were later than they'd have liked because they were across town doing some training. Thanks to Wally, there was nothing for them to do, so they left.

Greg got home around 12:30-ish. He checked my google calendar which told him I was at the temple. Fooled him, I did! I was down the hall from his office! I continued to blissfully search away, not once even remotely thinking about the beans, until 1:15. I managed to find several names I didn't have before, so that was fun. I stopped at Gregs' office again on my way out to the car and wondered how many meetings he could possibly have on a Friday. When I finally reached the main doors, my cell phone vibrated to let me know I had a couple of messages. They were from Jill, Wally's wife, letting me know that the alarm company called. I called Wally to find out what was up and he told me the fun story. I then spoke with Greg and apologized.

I stopped at school to get the kids, today being early out, dropped off the neighbor kids, and picked up the carpet cleaner from a friend that had borrowed it, since there's a good chance I'll need it to help with the smell. Greg was still home when we got here. Do you know what he did? He smiled, gave me a big hug and told me he loved me. He's the best. I'm glad somebody did because I was doing a pretty good job of feeling stupid by then.

So, good thing it's sunny and relatively warm (mid 50's right now). We have all the doors and windows open and a big fan (from Wally) helping to blow the smell out. I tried some Febreeze, but I think the smell combination isn't the best. Both Erica and Spencer walked in the door from school and asked why the house stinks like cigarettes. As soon as I'm done here I'm going to make something yummy (like applesauce cake, definitely not anything with black beans) and then take it over to Wally. Hopefully baking will help counteract the smell.

The scriptures say we should be grateful in all things and I can honestly say that in this case I am. Yes, my house smells like a smoker's lounge, but I am SO grateful I have a house to be in. Yes, it's chilly in here, but at least it's not 1000's of degrees in here with flames licking at what's left. It also could be freezing or blizzarding and then what would we do? Yes, I feel really foolish, but I'm so grateful for a husband who can see past my huge blunder, not be angry or rub it in, and love me just the same. Those beans didn't catch fire, Wally was home, and the alarm company called Wally and sent help. Were we watched over? I think so. And for that big everyday miracle I am extremely grateful.


Doreen said...

Oh my goodness, that is so scary! Don't feel stupid. You're not. It could happen to anyone. In fact, something similar happened to Dave and I when we still lived in AZ. We left a candle burning on top of the TV and went to church. We BOTH knew the candle was on, and we BOTH forgot all about it. It was one of those Glade ones in the glass, and by the time we got home, all the wax was gone and the glass had melted into the top of the TV. Fortunately, that was the worst of it, but it could have been bad (as I'm sure Christie can tell you!). I'm glad everything worked out okay for you guys. Hopefully the smell won't linger for too long. And that applesauce cake has me curious. Recipe???

jsw said...

I am SO glad it all worked out. Crazy! So great to have Wally and Jill close by. You definitely were watched over. :)

Julie W.

Jenny said...

What a great story. It was entertaining, and kudos to Greg! Maybe said child who left the window open felt inspired to do so? Or forgot just like mommy? :) So glad you're normal too Shannon!

Shannon said...

You could make the case that said child was inspired- said child is trying to. It was unlocked, not open, and I'm pretty sure it's been that way since last fall. Elder Packer says we usually don't get inspiration until the moment is upon us, right! I'm betting that 4 months is a little far out to be considered "in the moment"!

Mom O' Nine said...

My neighbor left a candle burning in her bathroom next to some "glass" blocks that ended up being some kind of plastic blocks instead. The plastic blocks started to burn and the next door neighbor, who is NEVER home during the day was home, looked out and saw black smoke from the side of her house, called 911 and turned the house on her house. She got the addition she always wanted, as they figured they had to repair that wall, so she has a larger bedroom, walk in closet and the little blocks....this time, they ARE the glass ones! I'm glad you got hugs and kisses. A house is just a house, but a wife and mom....well, you are the real treasure. Sounds like Greg knows it!

NatureGirl said...

Quite a few years ago a neighbor friend called me from a doctor's appointment because she remembered that she had left some beans cooking (I know, weird). She did not want to wake her husband because he worked night shifts, so she gave me her garage code and asked me to just sneak in and turn off the stove. When I walked in however, I found a smoke filled house, a blaring fire alarm, and a bewildered, half-asleep husband standing in the kitchen in his uh...pj's!

Kelly said...

Oh, wow!! Shannon, you have had quite a day! That is crazy, and I'm so glad all is well. It never hurts to be doing family history when you need to be watched over, right? :)

My sister-in-law (who is the *most* together and on top of everything at all times person I have ever known), had a similar thing happen a few years ago. She took dinner out of the oven and set it on the stove top to cool while she went to pick up her kids from something. She hadn't remembered to turn off one of the burners, though. So her husband arrived home to billows of black smoke. They thought they would have to have one of those disaster cleanup services come to help with the soot and smell, but they ended up not having to. I think it smelled a bit toasty for a while, though.

Glad you are safe and sound!

kyleandbeth said...

OK so I read the Facebook entry with out all the info. Why is it that your life is always more exciting than mine, not complaining at all? Just when I thought it was an exciting week here. Glad everyone is safe and you can get the smell out. I am thinking even the dirty diaper idea is out.

Joy For Your Journey said...

Oh, I am so sorry you had to have a day like that but grateful all ended well. Thank goodness for friends and angels!

Baby Oven said...

Shanners, I am so sorry about the smoke but I am glad that everyone and everything is okay. If the smoke wasn't too bad just throw whatever you can in the laundry and the smell and color should be gone. It worked for a couple of my roommates. Anything else that can't be washed they took a dry cleaners and it was all better. Your furniture I would just try some soap and water or your carpet cleaner. Either way, I am glad your safe and don't feel silly, we all have those moments.

Lisa W said...

What a day! It reminds me of the story told by Sis. Hinckley about when she left spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove and came home to a kitchen full of smoke. Then Pres. Hinckley pulled the garden hose into the kitchen and accidently turned the sprayer, leaving them with smoke and water to clean up, as well as a good laugh to share. So good to know that it happens to the best of us!

Kathleen said...

Shannon, I am glad all is well, and about the smell just tell the kids it's like camping indoors, grabs some marshmallows and graham crackers and pretend you're out in the woods, j/k. I am glad though you still have a house!

trublubyu said...

i am so glad you are all ok and you still have a house to live in.
i agree with you- just about everything can be blamed on the laundry.

thank goodness for a loving husband who knows when not to lecture.