October 3, 2011

blue and red lights on a Saturday night

There I was sitting on my sofa in my pj's, pink robe, and slippers.  JF was down for the night in the next room over and I was watching How to Tame Your Dragon and sending some emails.  Travis, L, and Ben were all gone for the night.

All was good until I heard a noise.  Unsure of what it was, I told myself that JF had just snorted/snored rather loudly.  But then I heard it again, the sound of a ping pong ball dropping on a hard floor and then bouncing across it. POP pop pop pop pop pop.

My heart started to pound.  I was afraid someone was trying to break into our house, having come through our cellar door (which is twice locked) and then up the basement steps (the door to the basement is also locked, and blocked by a large toy.  Hear that, bad guys?!!  You can't get in!)  My other thought was that a mouse was in the house and had knocked over a toy. 

A mouse is equally terrifying as a robber in my book.

So I called Travis because if it was a robber and he attacked me then Travis could call 911 and tell them where I was.  I mean, if I'm being attacked I can't tell a dispatcher my address and emergency, can I?  No.

Seeing that all was still in the kitchen and with Travis safely on the phone I walked into the downstairs bathroom, continuing my investigation.  The bathroom smelled bad, and there was smoke right above the sink. 

If there's smoke there's gotta be a fire.  I was afraid it was coming from the outlet - there was nothing else that could have caused it and it smelled metallic.

If my daring husband had been home he would have had me go to JF and quickly done some investigating.  But he was on the road, driving home from Wisconsin with a friend and so I was on my own.  I hung up the phone, got JF, and sat in the mini-van to call 911.

I knew that if I called 911 they would send all kinds of people.  I was right.  I police officer responded right away.  I heard his siren and saw his lights before he turned down my street.  I was impressed with his bravery as he went into the house.  A county cop then showed up and went in, too.  He was calling for more people on his shoulder walkie-talkie. 

In the end there was a full-sized firetruck, 3-4 fire and rescue trucks, and 3-4 cop cars parked around my house, all with their lights on.  A bunch of men stood around in my yard, shooting the breeze.  More men walked around my house and I thought, "I don't think there's any underwear laying around upstairs.  I'm so glad I cleaned the kids' rooms and the bathrooms."  I was standing on the sidewalk in my bright pink robe, holding a confused and sleepy JF.  I knew all my neighbors were looking.  I felt like an idiot. 

And the problem?  It was a lightbulb.  The lightbulb had short circuited or something (they showed me the burn marks on it) though the bulb wasn't busted and the light fixture itself was fine. The cone-shaped lightbulb-cover thing shot the smoke down, which is why it hovered over the sink and not near the ceiling.  They checked for radon and called it good.

I apologized for them having to come out because of a lightbulb but they all reassured me that I did the right thing.  Many of them had been at night our house the night JF was born and they were happy to see him.  One of the firefighters, a man named Dennis, I actually remembered from JF's birth.  He held my hand while they worked on JF, something I thought was incredibly kind.  I thanked him for doing that and the other men looked at him with little grins on their faces. 

So that was my Saturday night.  I hope yours was less eventful!


  1. What a night! I'm glad it wasn't really a fire.

  2. That is a FANTASTIC post. Every time I read your blog I remember why I, and so many others love you! Even though I haven't seen you in a million years :)