Housefire

In NYC my cellphone came back to life after a long period of unconsciousness in Italy. Two messages appeared right away, one from each daughter, asking me to call as soon as possible.

That is never a good sign.

It took me a short time to find a fairly quiet place in the airport.  And when I called, I heard that we had had a housefire while I was gone. 

It was a very typical incident.  A forgotten candle had set a wooden stand on fire, and the stand had ignited the television set on top of it.  When Ruth discovered it, she reacted perfectly.  She herded all the animals out of the house as she called 911 and then pounded on our neighbor’s door.  It was about 11 at night.  The Martinez’s and the fire department responded quickly.

The firemen did an excellent job.  One shot of the house changed it from an electrical fire to smouldering wood.  A second shot put it out.  Pi cat, my heat seeking feline, had of course immediately race back into the house to settle down by the nice warm fire.  A fireman rescued my dotty old cat and brought her out of the smoke. She is fine.  There is no structural damage, just a dead TV, dead VCR/DVD player, dead refrigerator (I think perhaps from a surge before the GFI kicked in) scorched smelly ceiling tiles, and lots of soot and settled smoke. 

It could have been so much worse.  In a very short time, it would have reached the gas pipes, and then I might have been coming home to a hole in the ground.

So, all in all, I am suffused with gratitude.  We have a lot of scrubbing and cleaning to do, probably at least a weeks worth as we must begin with ceilings, then walls, then every item in each room and finally the floors.  It’s going to take time.  But I think I will choose to be grateful that I have walls and ceilings to scrub!  And the firemen did not hose the fully laden bookcases to either side of the flaming television.  The books will be a bit smoky, but they have survived.

My office is in the basement, the site of the fire.  I’m going to take my big old computer in to Bryce tomorow and ask him to pop the case and give it a good cleaning.  I don’t want soot or residue on a circuit board to short anything out for me, or a choked fan to let my motherboard overheat.

So, for a time, I will still be posting from this cranky little laptop with its flat and cramped keyboard.  For this reason, please be patient if you have recently tried to contact me.  I haven’t really looked at much email or many posts since I left Tacoma on June 11.  Eventually, I will get to them, but for now I need to devote myself to restoring order from chaos.

One piece of good news.  This little room where I am now working was largely untouched by smoke.  Excellent news, as I had just painted it the perfect blue to complement the framed portrait of Sintara that hangs on he wall here.  If Jackie’s art had been covered in soot, you would have heard the howling from around the world!

Thanks for understanding as I remain largely ‘off-line’.  Whatever time I can type on this keyboard will mostly be devoted to getting the pages I need every day to move the book along.  The keyboard is a bit hard on my hands, so I’m going to limit my keyboarding hours.  Email and posts will have to wait a turn.

Today, I am counting my blessings. Children, dogs, cats, books, all fine.  The house is intact.  The wiring of the house wasn’t damaged.  I could go on and on.  I am so lucky!

Megan

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