The House Fire that Nearly Was

I’m writing this in a house now mostly cleared out of acrid, chemical smelling smoke. But it could have been worse. Much worse.
My eleven-year-old picked today to organize a group basketball/rc helicopter extravaganza with his friends. We got done cleaning up the downstairs, he plugged in his helicopter to charge it, and I hopped in the shower to get clean before I took my son and his friends for their testosterone filled afternoon of fun.
I got out of the shower, and my kids were wolfing down microwave food, the lunch they had made themselves while I was showering. I was just in a robe, but I came out to check on them. I smelled a horrible smell. I seem to be naked at the most inconvenient times.
“Did you put metal in the microwave?” I grilled.
“No,” they all answered in unison.
“Are you sure you didn’t see smoke or flames coming out of it? I know something is burning.”
They claimed nothing happened. I was just about to get dressed when something told me that I had better go downstairs. I headed down, and the smell intensified a hundred fold. I also saw a thin, white smoke. I ran upstairs, still only in my robe, and told the kids to get shoes on and run out. Something was on fire.
I thought maybe the dryer had gone out. Or the furnace was having issues. Then, I opened the door to my son’s room. The smoke was definitely originating from there.
So, I grabbed a towel, held it to my face and searched for the cause of the smoke. I simply couldn’t find it. I called my brother-in-law who was just about to come to my house and help me search for the cause when I found the culprit. My son’s helicopter had the wrong charger in it. The entire front end had melted and scorched the carpet in his bedroom.
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I was so grateful to have found the source. I was grateful to have stopped what could have been a devastating house fire.
I was grateful no one had to come to my house while I was mostly naked. I knew that I would never be able to go the fire station on another preschool field trip without a paper bag over my head had I been seen in my mostly exposed state.
Mostly, I was grateful that our home, with all our memories and valuables, was still intact.
But then I started thinking, would I still have had something to be grateful for if things hadn’t turned out so well? Would I still be counting my blessings?
I absolutely would be. I would be hugging each of my children tightly, giving my husband an extra kiss, and thanking God for all the blessings I have which are not at all material in nature. My family, my health, my faith, my friendships, all the “things” that I really hold dear, the “things” that aren’t things at all.
So, when you bite in to that delectable pie tomorrow, think of all the “things” you’re grateful for. Near the top of my list will be the house fire that nearly was.

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