Friday, April 3, 2009

five alarm fire

It just gets better and better around here.

I woke up to the sound of rain gently falling outside. This is usually a most welcome sound, but this morning, all I could think was "My LSH is stuck in the woods with eleventy-million 7th graders, and all of the activities are outdoors. He is going to kill me for talking him into this."

My second thought was "Oh crap. I am helper mom today at Terzo's preschool co-op, and we are supposed to be celebrating his birthday." In my defense, it is not actually his birthday today (although he was a little confused), it is just the last day of school before his birthday during school break next week.

Dunkin' Donuts to the rescue again. After feeding farm animals, making lunch for Secondo, making coffee for workers, wiping down wet dogs, etc., I tore out the door to grab a few munchkins before heading to my helper mom duties. Just before I was due to report for school, I dimly realized that I had forgotten my cell phone at home. I didn't have time to run back for it, and I blithely thought along the lines of "I can live without it for 2.5 hours, right?"


As it so happens, about 45 minutes after I left the house, the painters were busy sanding away... and set off the smoke alarm. Not a big deal, except that our smoke alarm is connected to our security system.

They tried calling our house, but no one was home.

They tried calling my LSH, but his cell phone did not connect in the wilderness.

They tried calling my cell phone, and you know where that was.

And so they called out the fire company and state police.

About 30 minutes into my helper mom duties, the school received a call from my LSH's office manager. She was tracked down by the guy driving the fire truck (sometimes it helps to live in a small town) and she knew where I was. In his panic, my LSH had forgotten. I tore out of the school to head home. I knew I was in trouble when I passed the fire company's tanker truck, on its way back to the station.

Sure enough, the fire truck plus two state troopers were in my driveway, waiting for my arrival. The poor painters were stuck in the office, with the alarm wailing and Charlie barking away in the house. I spent the next 30 minutes apologizing non-stop: to the firemen, to the police, to the painters, to my LSH, to Charlie, to the painters again, to the security company, to the office manager (who, with her daughter, took over for me as helper mom). I don't think I will need to apologize to Terzo as he is no doubt really glad to have his gorgeous 18yo babysitter suddenly appear out of nowhere and take over for me. I only took a break from apologizing to take a quick shot of the fire truck making a K-turn in our driveway.


The disadvantage of living in a small town is that I will never, ever live this down. And should the memories of the town residents dim, you can be sure that my LSH's will not.

Apologies again, Mr. Weekend Farmer. Maybe I'll get to that shearing post tomorrow. Right now, I am going to go lie down with a cool compress on my forehead.


  1. Try not to let it bother you! DH is a volunteer firefighter, and most of his calls are false alarms. The firefighters really don't mind - they'd rather make the trip for a false alarm or something questionable than have a disaster later because they weren't called out. It's just something that happened - it was *not* your fault or anyone elses, and you shouldn't feel like you have to apologize for it. Having a cell phone does not obligate you to be available 24 hours a day for the rest of your life!

  2. Sorry for the double comment, but I just told DH your story. He said that even if you did have your phone with you, if you were not on the premises there was no way for you to have known that there was not a fire brewing, and it would have been crazy for you to assume that everything was ok, call off the alarm, and then run home to find out. If there is a fire every second counts, and the time it would have taken to run home and check things out could have made the difference between having a controllable fire and losing your house! Trust me, they would rather go out on 50 false alarms than have to battle a blaze because they weren't called soon enough! If you don't know exactly why a smoke alarm is going off, please let the fire department respond!

    Sorry - not meaning to lecture you - I just hate to see you beating yourself up for no reason at all!

    Big hugs!

  3. Thank you very much Heidi, I feel better now. I am going to line up all of these excellent points (thanks also due to your DH) and present them to my LSH on his return. And I am also going to make sure I have his favorite dinner for him.

  4. Oh Kris... I am laughing so hard it hurts.
    Between the two posts, I am stunned that you are sane and have not thrown yourself under the retreating fire trucks wheels!!!

  5. : ) lol....this was a great post!! However you cant beat my story when I had called 911 on Mrs. Weekenedfarmer and that the plain clothed poilce knocked on the door with guns drawn asking if she should be at this house. I didnt realize she was home : )

    Hope you get some rest soon..You must be exhausted!

  6. Your five alarm fire BEATS my five a.m. encounter with the New Jersey State Trooper ad his drawn service revolver. It was too early and too dark for me to tae photos. Glad that your event was documented.

    From your,
    Ocassional Domestic and Livestock Overseer

  7. Kris,
    I have not laughed so hard in a long time. Maybe since the time Frank tried to put in a basketball goal and hit the gas line. I had to say I was married to the DIY champ who started the whole thing just to walk past the police line into Cochise Circle. Our crazy neighbors kept saying "if it blows, Beth will get the new kitchen she always wanted!" Settler's Inn burned down the same day so we were not front page Central Record. You will not be so fortunate, I think. This is how legends are made!

  8. Holy Smoke! I'm glad everything is okay. That certainly qualifies as "one of those days..." it probably beats out all other contenders.

    Loved the update on the sheep shearing extravaganza. The fleece looks gorgeous.

    (secondo is always my favorite. shhh. don't tell the others.)

    Mrs. C

  9. and if everyone in the town doesn't let you forget it, you can certainly count on your friends to remind you