It was a flu fire. No damages and we think we even got all (or most) of the smoke smell out of the house. It got a little chilly with the doors open and the fans blowing all that frigid snowy air through the house. (Yes, we actually got our first snow of the winter today!) But, we found ourselves grateful for a house to live in and grateful that no one was hurt and we made an adventure out of the cold conditions.
Here's what happened. The most cozy Sunday afternoon imaginable. Snow falling outside, beautiful fire in the fireplace, Will down for his nap after playing in the snow, me and Shep making sweet hot coffee drinks and getting snacks ready to watch a movie... (This is where you hear the record scratch - bbbbeeeerrrrcccchh - and everything changes.) John had just gone upstairs to work and he was the one who noticed the smell of fire. He came downstairs and quickly discovered the fire in the chimney - he could see the flames coming out at the top from outside - and now there was smoke building up, not bad, but enough to know there was a problem. We got coats for the kids and I grabbed Will out of his peaceful slumber and we got the kids outside. John suggested I get my computer backup - I hadn't even thought of it. We were rushing around so much. Our sweet neighbors were out to help in an instant and Ms. Becky took the kids to her house just as the firetrucks were pulling up. Four of them, to be exact. There were firemen everywhere! Anyway, they got the fire out quickly and before any real damage was done. One of the firemen even apoligized to me for tracking up the floor with muddy footprints. Really? I was just thankful to have a floor to clean. So we all settled back in to our home - feeling grateful to have it and grateful for the Lord's protection and feeling a renewed sense of realizing it's all "temporary" anyway and what really matters are things of eternal consquence.
And, yep, I confirmed my secret hunches... I am a disaster in an emergency. All the best laid plans made during calm moments are suddenly gone, not to be remembered by my little brain. All I could think about was getting my kids to a safe place - which even in hindsight I know was the most important thing - but I had time to do more and just couldn't think of what to do. Some people actually think better during a crisis... I am not one of those people. :) Well, God must have other uses for me...
We did have a family meeting tonight to make sure the kids know what to do and where to meet in case of fire. It was a good reminder to talk with the kids about that. And we all thanked the Lord together for his blessings to us. I really enjoyed hearing their sweet prayers tonight.