Imagine standing in the street next to your minivan, cellphone to your ear, motioning to your children to settle down in their seats. It's dark. You're cold. As you wait you hear the sound of sirens approaching. Then in the distance you seeing the flashing lights. Suddenly they're upon you, blinding your eyes, your children's eyes. You watch as the firemen jump out of the truck and carry their equipment into your house.
You open the van door and poke your head in. "Where will we eat dinner?" your youngest whimpers. Her sister anxiously asks, "what about the Rhubarb the fish?". You inhale deeply and ask if they all feel okay, wondering if your own headache is just from the tension. They're all fine. You're fine. Soon the firemen emerge from your house. It's fine.
Yeah, that was me last night. I was simmering some apples on a low flame last night to make apple pancakes (breakfast food for dinner!). I was also helping with homework and generally being distracted by my children. The flame went out. I kept stirring, not noticing. After a bit I realized my children had left the video game and TV on so I went to the basement to turn it off (it's a complicated setup so I don't expect them to do it). While I was down there I noticed the smell of gas. The furnace had kicked on. But as I went up the stairs the smell got stronger. My apples weren't cooking. The pot was cool. The burner was still turned on.
Thankfully I realized our problem immediately. I sent the children out of the house and began opening windows and doors. My only mistake was that I turned on a fan and turned off a light. Never do these things. They can cause a spark and...
Well, I'm so grateful we're all okay. As I followed my children out of the house I thought, "well, it might all be gone". But I'm a pessimist by nature, so I'd already thought that one through. Most days I think to myself that it could all be gone in an instant. I could be gone. Pessimist. Realist. Sometimes it helps me realize what's important. Yesterday I was very glad to be able to go back inside and eat breakfast food for dinner. My daughter appreciates her pet. We're lucky to have each other.