Last week my mom called me. When I asked her how they were doing, she said, "Pretty good considering the conversation we had in the car this morning."
It went something like, Look out! Shit! Are you okay??
They were on their way to spend the day running errands and a deer ran full speed into their car, shattering the driver's side window and denting up all the panels on that side of the car. Besides being shaken up, they are no worse for wear and even drove the car the rest of the way into town.
I remember thinking about it and musing that sometimes I think God just needs to remind us how vulnerable we really are.
Last night we had a reminder here are our house. Brent was in the basement stoking the fire for the night and looking around for what we are assuming is a dead mouse somewhere.
All of a sudden he heard a loud WOOSH followed by a roar. He looked at the furnace and the pipe going into the chimney was turning bright red. Then he went outside and there were flames shooting out of the chimney.
Imagine this house in the dark and snow with flames shooting from the chimney.
He came in, told me we had a chimney fire, called 911, and was working to get it out. I grabbed all the kids out of their beds, put them in the car, and drove out to the road. By then there were just sparks and an orange glow coming from the chimney.
Our local fire department is a volunteer department. One of our neighbors just up the road is an EMT and was here in less than five minutes.
This was when I remembered to say a prayer.
And then I realized the dog was still in the house. I felt a little bad but was happy I had my three kiddos in the car and out of the house.
I watched through the windows and soon realized that Brent and our neighbor weren't frantically running around. In fact, they seemed to be rather leisurely from the outside.
So I decided it was time to bring the kids back in before they got too cold and any more scared. Grace was doing well, but I didn't want to scare her any more than she already was. We got permission and came in and sat in the living room all bundled in blankets. Calla was back to sleep within 2 minutes. Grace settled in rather quickly, and V just sat and snuggled and asked about her daddy.
The fire trucks got here and we had I think eight firemen in the house.
They doused the fire with a giant fire extinguisher and then took their fancy heat-sensor around to all points of the house checking for hot spots.
At one point they realized they were tracking snow and dirt into the house and apologized. I told them that if that was the worse I had to clean up, that made me happy.
Then it was a waiting game. At one point the chimney measured about 622 degrees. Then it was in the 400s, and finally down to 320ish.
That's when they decided it was okay to go. One of them commented, "You could bake a nice loaf of bread in there." It made me smile.
But before they went, my husband, always thinking, mentioned that I certainly had something to blog about now! And I should get a picture. One of the guys commented, "Sure! We're not camera shy." So, I went and got the camera.
Firefighters are awesome.
We've lived here for only a few short months and already we know about half these guys. Our neighbor who showed up first, one of the guys we go to church with, and the local chiropractor. And another one who said he was one of the guys harvesting the field next door and we were out watching. (Who was watching who there?? I told him I was also the crazy lady standing in the road taking pictures of the combines taking up the whole road.)
After they all left, Brent took the girls up to their room and we turned on the propane heat and brought the space heater up from the basement. Then we sat around for a bit trying to wind down. It could have been so scary.
I'm thankful he was down there and we weren't asleep. I'm thankful for that dead little creature that kept him in the basement searching for it. I'm thankful for a crew of unselfish firefighters who come and took care of us like they actually got paid for it. I'm thankful for simply being tired and having a mess to clean up.
I'm thankful that we only brushed up against our vulnerability rather than being violently jarred by it forever.
We finally crawled into bed about 2am. I told Brent that sometimes we make a pretty good team. He chuckled, "Yup, sometimes we do."
This morning Calla came downstairs and told me she slept all night in her bed. I suspected last night that she didn't actually wake up for the excitement, so I asked her if she remembered me getting her out of bed, putting her in the car and the firefighters in the house. She looked at me blankly and said no.
Then I asked what she dreamed about thinking maybe she dreamed about firefighters. But she just told me she couldn't tell me.
Because then it wouldn't come true.
My conclusion there is that she's watched way too much Cinderella in her lifetime.
I swept my floor this morning. I got two piles about this big.
Then I mopped. I'll vacuum in a bit, too.
Hug your kids. Kiss your husband. Clean your chimney. Thank a firefighter.
After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.