Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm an odds-breaker

OK so background info first: I've had this awful headache/sinusy/congested thing all weekend, I think it's probably allergies. It's terrible, though, I cannot sleep and after 3 nights of that, LOOK OUT WORLD. Jenn needs her sleep. So I was miserable today. I took some allergy medication that made me all dopey, and my husband said to me, around 2:30 p.m., "why don't you go lie down and take a nap?" Well, listen, I don't just take NAPS, and I don't think anyone has ever in my life offered me a nap (at least not since the age of 4 or so) - so, like anyone who is not a complete dolt would do, I jumped at the chance! I went and took a nap. While I was napping, Jeremy took Cassidy to see her grandparents so they could give her the birthday card they had for her. Trevor was outside playing with his new friends (that's an update for another entry - Trevor - FRIENDS - OMG) - I woke up around 4:10 and meandered downstairs leisurely in my pj pants, T-shirt and my Old Navy sweatshirt that I cannot live without.

I sit on the couch, see Trevor outside with the boys on the trampoline (TREVOR - FRIENDS!!!! :) OMG!) and I relax with a new book I just bought (Weird Massachusetts, it's really cool and full of stories of TRUE weird things in Massachusetts! It's by Jeff Belanger). Trevor comes into the house and says "Mom? Are you burning a fire in the fireplace?" I say "Boy, it's 80 degrees out (YES!) - why would I be burning a fire?" He says "I don't know, but I see smoke coming out of the house." Me, thinking Trevor is hallucinating, "Trev, there's no smoke." Trevor goes back out, and I go check the furnace, just to be safe. Everything looks fine. I sit back down, and Trevor runs into the house yelling "MOM! The side of the house is on fire!" I go outside and sure enough, the side of my house IS ON FIRE!!!!! HOLY SH*T! I grab the phone and call 911 while Trevor and his new friends grab our garden hose and turn it on and start putting the fire out. The fire seems to be coming from a box on the porch, and it's burned it's way up from the porch to the top floor, my bedroom window. I can see flames. I tell the 911 operator that my house is on fire, and he asks for my address. I can barely even function once the phone call was over - I called Jeremy and told him to come home, our house was on fire. The boys were all outside. I was worried that my laundry wasn't put away and what would the firefighters think? LOL

Two cops pull up, and I show them the damage and that I think the boys got it out, but that I was worried the fire might have gotten into the walls or something. The fire trucks got here and got out their axes and stuff, and I was definitely nervous, but I still hadn't cried yet. Jeremy got here at the same time as the fire trucks. They didn't even have to do anything, they just ripped the siding off the house where it was burning to check underneath, but everything was fine and the fire was completely out. They called our landlord for us, and then Jeremy also called her to make sure she knew that it wasn't "bad" - it could have been so much worse.

Here's what the fire dept. said happened - there was a small cardboard box on the porch that Jeremy dumps ashes into. He dumped ashes into it last night from a charcoal grill fire from at least 2-3 days ago. They apparently either smoldered
continuously for 2-3 days OR last night when we cooked, an ember might have blown into it - it was a total FREAK thing. The box was up against the corner of the porch, the corner that meets the house. It burned the corner of the porch, the railings, the side of the house in a thick line all the way up to the bedroom windows on the 2nd floor.

So I finally burst into tears when it was over, and I kept thinking about the "what if's?" - what if I had worked today, I wouldn't have even been home yet when this happened. Trevor most likely would have been home alone, in his room watching TV. What if I didn't wake up? What if I had kept sleeping this afternoon? What if this had happened Saturday night when Jeremy and I went out, and Trevor stayed home alone? I am feeling VERY thankful right now.

The other part that was really weird was that I couldn't THINK. That's not me, and I have to blame the allergy meds in some part. I honestly couldn't think - like all I could think was "the kids are not in there" - that was ALL I cared about. You know, you read stories about fires and stuff, and I would always say "I'd grab my journal, I'd grab the kids' baby books" etc. I didn't grab anything, I couldn't think what in the world to grab. I was so glad no one was in the house, I just couldn't think about anything other than that.

I think I must have a guardian angel. I think our whole family does, actually. When I was 23 years old, and Trevor was a baby, I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me. Ectopic pregnancies are the leading cause of death for women in their first trimester. It's rare to have an ectopic pregnancy (19.7 out of 1000 pregnancies), but even rarer for one to rupture. I lost a fallopian tube and the doctors thought I might have a hard time getting pregnant again. 3 months later, I was pregnant with Cassidy. Cassidy, who ended up having a rare type of birthmark that COULD cause cancer and Neurocutaneous Melanosis (a heart-breaking, fatal disease), but that DID NOT!

One more story for tonight - when Trevor was born, my auntie Judy (who I adored) knitted him a yellow baby afghan. She passed away a few months after he was born, and I was devastated. One night shortly after she passed, Jeremy and I were watching TV on the couch after tucking Trevor into his crib. He was only a few months old, and I had a baby monitor in his room. We all sleep with fans on in this house, you know the whole white noise thing, and I could hear the noise of the fan running. As I sat there, I felt this presence in my head (I am not kidding you) telling me to go check the baby. I can remember almost arguing with this voice in my head (doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, say it in a spooky voice) and saying "I just tucked him in 15 minutes ago, what trouble can a 7/8-month-old get into?" Well, I suddenly felt a PUSH in my head. It was the weirdest feeling I've ever experienced, and it yelled at me while pushing to "GO CHECK THAT BABY!" I ran upstairs, with Jeremy left behind probably wondering what the heck was going on, and I walked into Trevor's bedroom to find my hair-dryer ON inside his crib with him. Guess what was the only thing between his precious baby skin and that hot hair-dryer? Auntie Judy's blanket. BRRRR - did you just get the chills? I get them every stinkin' time I tell or write that story. There is NO DOUBT in my mind who our guardian angel was on that day, I assure you. So you're wondering why I had a hair-dryer in my baby's room, right? LOL Jeremy worked nights at the time, and our bathroom and bedrooms were all upstairs. So I would shower and blow-dry my hair in Trevor's room. Well, this particular day I decided to vacuum (yup, I do it every now and then), and I picked the hair-dryer up off the floor and "hooked" it onto the side of Trevor's crib. He must have been standing in the crib before he fell asleep and pulled it into his crib and it turned on.

I'm not done with my stories about breaking odds, though. Call them miracles, call it God, call it a guardian angel, call it luck - I have had my share, and I am THANKFUL and hope that whoever or whatever it is that is watching out for me doesn't fall asleep on the job. I apparently need a LOT of watching over.


  1. WOW!!! You were always a writer!!! damn. that's some scary stuff right there!! who knew kids could come in handy? I'm thinkin, your guardian angel is Judy. It all makes sense. I had forgotten about the middle pregnancy. you should play the lottery!!

    love ya!

  2. Glad everyone is ok!!! That must have been really scary...

  3. Can't believe I am just getting around to reading this now...blame it on wedding stuff. OMG Jenn I am soooooooo glad you guys are OK! We had a fire in our house when I was in high school and we lost soooo much stuff - family hierlooms etc. No one got hurt but it was still devasating. So glad you didn't have more damage! hugs, Linda