Thursday, February 19, 2009

Counting my blessings!

You ever have those days where you just KNOW that you have Someone looking out for you? Wow, I can't tell you how blessed we are!

Last night, I was about to leave for my Wednesday night study group when I smelled something electrical. I assumed that it was one of the girls' flat irons, or something like that. I sent Audrey upstairs to look for the source of the smell and to fix it before I walked out the door. A second later, she shouted that it was coming from my sewing room. I was a little confused - I keep a keyed lock on the door so the little ones don't get in there and destroy all my stuff, and I hadn't been in there in a couple of days. She asked for the keys, so I went up there to see what was going on. I saw smoke seeping out from around the door, and there was soot streaked around the edges. I told her to stop - not to open the door, and to get the kids out of the house!!! I called 911, in a complete panic, and spent a full minute or so chasing the dogs around the house so I could get them out. I knew the cat was a lost cause - he just does his own thing, and certainly won't come if I call him lol! I finally got the dogs out, all the while the 911 operator is yelling at ME to get out. I'm not the hero type, and feel that human lives FAR outweigh those of the pets, but I knew where the fire was, that the door was shut, there wasn't any smoke downstairs, and hardly any upstairs. I am SO not gonna risk my life, but I felt like I could spare the 60 seconds. Whew! I was crying - I knew all the people were ok, but I was so freaked out!!! It took 15 minutes for the fire department to get here, making me totally insane while we waited. I sat there and watched the smoke start to fill up Madeline and Ellie's room, which you have to walk through to get to the sewing room. I didn't see any light coming from the sewing room window, which confused me. But whatever - it was obvious that there was a fire!

Now, to put this all in persepective, my sewing room is my all purpose crafts room. I have miles and miles of fabric, all of my rubber stamping/scrapbooking supplies, my 2 sewing machines, the serger, and the embroidery machine. It also happens to be my storage place for all things heirloom and important. So, all our printed pictures, from Audrey's birth on until we got a digital camera about7 years ago, were in there, as were all of our professional pics. And all of our christening gowns, antique clothing passed down from my grandparents, and all kinds of other such sentimental items. I learned a long time ago that "things" are replaceable, people aren't, and even if the "things" can't be replaced, they are really just STUFF! Gotta let it go! Doesn't make it any less sad to lose things that I have attachments to, but it does help me to keep things balanced, and focus on what really matters.

Anyway, when it was all said and done, one of the firefighters was telling us that they thought it was a lamp that was up there. He said they kicked in that door and the area around the lamp lit up. He also said that everything in the room was really hot, and probably within 5 minutes of combusting! Holy cow! After they cleared out, we went up there to see what the damage was and I was beyond stunned that the fire didn't seem to have touched anything on the floor! Looking at the items that they chunked out the window, there was my computer that I use only for my embroidery designs, the desk that was sitting next to it, and a pile of insulation. In the light today, I saw that the things on the desk, like my drawers of brads and other embellishments, were melted and out there, too, on top of some of my grandmother's baby clothes. However, the clothes don't appear to be at all damaged, just a bit damp! That, to me, is beyond priceless!!! Nearly all of my fabric was on the other side of the room, as are the christening gowns, and NONE of that was touched! Of course, there's soot on everything, but that is fixable, and I believe that the gowns are underneath other things, so they may not be harmed at all.

Have I mentioned how blessed I am??? I'm sure as I go through there in the days to come, I will discover things that are destroyed and it will make me cry, but one of the most amazing things I have pulled out of there already is the box of photos. The box was dripping, but not a drop had soaked through to harm the pictures! They threw my nice melty paper cutter on top of my sewing cutting table, and it's stuck to a piece of new fabric that I just got a week or two ago. Wow. I am honestly so stunned by all of this! So my paper is wet, and all my embellishments are kinda crispy, but that is so replaceable! And the best part of all of that, is that I had actually inventoried all of my Stampin' Up stuff a few months ago! I noticed today that my ink pads are all over the floor, some melted, the rest trampled, and the ink pad holder is destroyed. I haven't see the stamps, though, but I'm inclined to think they may be fine. And, of course, most importantly, all of my PEOPLE are fine!

They are telling me that it will probably be about a month before they are done cleaning, but thankfully, our homeowners insurance is providing housing, etc., for us, in addition to the clean up and restoration. The guys that have been out here so far have been just wonderful, and I don't think I could have asked for a nice group of people to be helping us out! Again, we are so blessed!!!

Adron is home with some dinner for me - I'll be back on to ramble whenever I get access to a computer again lol!


Christa said...

I am so glad you all are okay. And I'm hoping the damage isn't too bad. Please let us know if you need anything. We can house people, animals, help clean up...whatever you need.

Anne R said...

WOW - what an experience!!! I'm SOOOO glad Audrey didn't open the door...
As a former "clean-up company's order receiver" (did that make any sense?) I'm sure your house will look great once they've cleaned everything. It's amazing what they can do nowadays :)
Not much I can do practically from over here, but let me know if you need a virtual shoulder!

Bonnie said...

Oh my goodness Catherine! I was shocked when I read this! I just came to thank you for all your comments lately and then I see you have been through this! So sorry to hear about this. How awful for you, but as you least your kids and pets are fine and unharmed and at the end of the day ,that is the most important thing! Did you have to move out while they clean up the damage? Wishing you all the best!