Saturday, December 8, 2018

Only The Smell Remains

I am happy to report that the damages from my recent bout of forgetfulness were minimal. For just a second I did consider letting the place burn, but my dogs were there and I didn't know if Martha, the fat cat would have come to me or played a game of hide and seek. He has been cantankerous since our return from our trip.

I would not have left him in a burning house. This is not my first adventure with smoke and flames. When the children were young, our house caught fire. I don't think the addition of the family room was done with any permits. The fireplace was faulty ….. in that they built it with WOOD and they did not properly install the brick. Surprisingly enough, HeWho had nothing to do with it. We bought it like that. I just remember the realtor cautioning me to keep an open mind and think of the potential the house had. 

Smoke woke me in the wee hours of the morning and I shook HeWho was sleeping blissfully next to me and told him the house was full of smoke. He agreed and turned his back to me and went right back to sleep. I decided to launch an investigation and discovered that most of the smoke was on the end of the house that held the master bedroom and the family room. The kitchen and living room was between the children's bedrooms and the fireplace.
No smoke hovering in those rooms, so I went quietly down the hall and closed the doors. I told my oldest child to grab his brother and get out if he heard me yell. I was prepared to give similar instructions to my oldest daughter when the power went out with a loud snap.

That's when I realized I was closing my children in a burning house. HeWho woke and I grabbed one child and a cat and he grabbed the youngest, also with a cat. The boys came out one their own and with some convincing the oldest girl came along. We all piled into the family station wagon. HeWho and the oldest boy were teeth chattering cold, so I went back in and gathered some blankets. Oh, we had dialed 911 and we could hear the sirens in the distance. It was like a drive-in movie as we watched them carefully move our Christmas tree and then dismantle the faulty fireplace. 

I was disappointed that HeWho had unlocked the front door. I hated that door and was expecting the firemen to hack it down with an axe. They were really nice, those firemen, moving all the presents under the tree before drowning the fire. It was a Saturday night and I had a pound cake waiting to go to church the next day. I brewed coffee and fed the firemen, put the children back to bed and then took myself to the hospital since I was wheezing from smoke inhalation. That was after I called first to see which doctor was on duty. I wanted to avoid an arterial blood gas and had to make sure I didn't get a doctor that I was unable to manipulate encourage to see things my way.

Ah, memories. After I expressed myself in my last post, I ventured back to the scene of the crime. I will never use the sauce pan again. It was favorite copper bottomed pan. Burned beyond usefulness. It was so sad. I bade it a fond farewell. I will need to order new knobs for the burners. The salt and pepper mills are twisted beyond recognition and there is soot everywhere. The oven still works and so do all the burners. If you can turn them on. It's not that bad, only one knob is melted beyond use.
I went ahead and made one batch of cookies and then cooked dinner.

I had some leftover spaghetti sauce and I had asked HeWho loves to run errands to pick up a can of kidney beans. He got navy beans. He blamed it on the girl stocking the shelves, but how hard is it to read the label? Or just look at the picture on the label? One bean is white and one is red and NAVY and KIDNEY are spelled differently. I had dried beans in the pantry, but given the adventures of the day, I didn't want to drag out the pressure cooker. So, I dumped a can of diced tomatoes and the navy beans in that spaghetti sauce along with some chili powder and called it supper. It was palatable, we ate it. 

I tackled the soot removal the next day. After some research, I wiped the walls and all the other exposed surfaces with dry sponges, then mixed up a batch of vinegar and Dawn. I even cleaned the bathroom, despite the fact that nothing happened to it. The smell of burning plastic still lingers, although I seem to be the only one to smell it.
After the big clean up I made almost 6 dozen cookies and cooked a decent meal.

Today I ventured out and picked up prescriptions for HeWho is not allowed to do this (his inattention to details, he would pick up whatever they handed him and not question the amount or the contents of the bag and these cannot be returned for a refund). I went to the thrift store and scored a new slightly used heavy bottom sauce pan and then got caught up in the Christmas spirit and bought some gifts for the children that reside in the park.

Santa will be here on the 16th to eat breakfast (brunch?) with the kids and they will need something to open, right? It was great fun. I was too tired to cook when I got home. Shopping is hard work! Tomorrow I will be baking cookies and wrapping gifts.


Val said...

What a relief that you all escaped that family fire safely! And that your kitchen fire did only limited damage.

I understand all too well how you can send HeWho to get a can of KIDNEY beans, and have him return with a can of NAVY beans. Be happy he didn't go to the butcher and bring you a KIDNEY. I imagine that finding a human kidney on the black market would be too much trouble for HeWho, so there's that.

luksky said...

I'm beginning to catch things on fire in my old age. Not long ago, I left a pan of bacon grease heating up on the stove and promptly went outside to throw something in the garbage. Got sidetracked and started pulling weeds. Came back into a pan on fire. I was too stupid to know anything else to do but grab it and put it under running water. I'm lucky I don't have kitchen curtains on the window above my sink or that would have been the end of that. I have to watch myself these days.

Joanne Noragon said...

I can smell burnt plastic. It seems to be wafting from the computer. I cannot remember setting anything on fire, but let's not say never.

RunNRose said...

Good to know that it wasn't too bad. Sorry to hear that you lost your favorite saucepan. I know that feeling, Had a heavy
stainless steel pot. Perfect size, weight. After about 25 years' use, to my shock and dismay, the handle came off! I think
screws had worn out; no way to save the pan. Hope your new one is as good as your old one!

Anyway, nice to know that you are upbeat about it all!!!

Linda O'Connell said...

Happy cookie baking. I know exactly what you mean about sending a man for something specific.
You know, that plastic smell can't be good to inhale. Many years ago when our indoor porch caught fire, we wet towels and went through the house flapping them to remove the smoke.

Almost fifty years ago I was boiling my babies nipples on the stove in a saucepan and got distracted. Burned them to a crisp and kept wondering what that awful smell was. Worst part was, the Blue Laws were in effect and there were many items you could not purchase on a Sunday. You could buy a glass Pyrex baby bottle BUT NOT A NNIPPLE. It was a hell of a day.

2019 has to be better.

River said...

I read this and the previous post and remembered my daughter's house fire. I'm so glad all of you survived, and I'm glad the latest fire was contained to only the stove area. Favourite good saucepans are hard to replace. The new one never feels exactly right.