Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rooftops Roasting on an Open Fire

The "red" in our Christmas Day celebrations!

This is sure to be a Christmas to remember. We have taken "Go light your world" to a new level!  First, our happened upon tradition (2 years running) of going to KFC and getting our picture taken with a local Santa Clause on Christmas Eve was disrupted by the fact that this year, not only did they not have Santa, they had no decorations up. None. You wouldn't even have known it was Christmas. So sad. We did see a Santa at the mall walking around with humongous sunglasses on, but the kids opted out of approaching him for pictures! Ha!

Secondly, due to Christmas Sunday being a busy day for us we decided to celebrate our Christmas on Saturday morning and ending the day by doing our annual Christmas Eve run to KFC. Despite KFC not working out we had a fun day with all of the kids enjoying their gifts and enjoying each other. Barry and I had quite a time finding gifts here this year but in the end, all were pleased and thankful for the chance to get something new. Sunday would entail ch*rch with nationals in the morning, possible visitors in the afternoon and then a dinner/fellowship with the International ch*rch in the evening. We went to bed feeling ready for Christmas day.

While the family slept, Barry and I woke early Christmas morning.  Barry was getting ready and I began food preparations for the days activities.  In the midst of making tortillas I hear a loud POP....and then all the lights went out.  This was a noise unlike anything I have ever heard.  I thought maybe a transformer had gone out, I went outside in the backyard and saw nothing.  I went around the inside of the house and saw nothing.  I then went into our bedroom and asked Barry, who was in the shower, if he had heard it because it didn't sound good.  About that time I hear my neighbor yelling "Mister!  Mister! Hati-hati, ada api!  Ada api!! Mister!"  So I think oh man, a house is on fire!  I then rush out to see my neighbors hauling a ladder to my roof and lifting buckets of water up it!!  MY ROOF!  Just like those old Taco Bueno commercials would say, "Now that was unexpected." 

Just to clear the record:  Even though I have been given the nickname of "Sparky" due to my electrical mishaps, neither I nor my cooking was the cause of the fire! I feel better, let's continue.

I never smelt anything nor had I seen any smoke inside the house.  I run into the house and yell "FIRE!!" like it's my own hair that's flaming.  All my kids had slept in one room together and it was directly under the flaming part of our roof!  I scream to Barry who comes rushing out along with the kids.  We scoot the kids outside and my neighbor is yelling to see if we have a spigot they can use and a hose.  Uhm..the spigot is in the back and the hose is roughly 5 feet long (no joke!).  That and the fact that with no electricity we have like zero water pressure, none of that is going to be helpful.  We quickly gather more buckets, filling them from the "bak" and hauling them outside.

Kids waiting and watching the action...obviously they have had better wake up calls than this.

Now by this time, we literally have the whole neighborhood, and then some, at our front gate.  They have called the "fire department", the landlord, and the electric company I think before we even knew there was a fire.  Which of course was great of them, and it was reassuring to know that we have neighbors willing to not only watch out for us but help out in such an extraordinary way.  So the fire truck arrives...after the fire is put out (with water, which we are very fortunate because you really are not suppose to put water on an electrical fire) and they begin to inspect and make sure it was contained and extinguished.  While I am grateful for these guys and their attempt to help, let's just say they gave me lots of fodder for this posting!

Looking good and saving the day...sort of!

First of all, they arrive in full gear (a good sign) looking quite efficient they climbed up and inspected the damage on the roof and then asked to go inside.  We showed them the attic door which is in the kids bath and then they asked if I had a ladder they could borrow. 

What?  The firemen didn't bring a ladder? 

I thought ladders and firemen just went together!  So after explaining that we didn't have one they proceeded to stand on each others shoulder, 3 men high, and climbed up into the ceiling.  I am so not kidding!  It reminded me of a circus act!  So once the guy made it up into the roof they asked for a flashlight. 

What?  The firemen didn't bring a flashlight? 

So we find them a flashlight and they look around and declare that, "It is good, no more problems."  Uh, ya, thanks buddy.  I'm sure that a less than five minute inspection of faulty wiring is thorough!  After all this I am a little less then relieved and not at all comforted that this ordeal is over.

Here comes the Electric Company...and if you were a child in the '80's that has a whole different meaning to you! LOL
Finally....the electric company has an extending ladder that the firemen can use!
This is about the time that the electric company arrives and so the firemen use their ladder to check the roof again and the electric guys asks if he can come in and check my outlets, of course you can check our outlets!  So he checks them, proceeds to get into our attic (not sure how, I missed that) and messes with something up there and POOF, we had electricity!  Which is nice...but kind of scary!  He smiles at me and says everything is fine.  We want to know what happened, he said, "Some wiring caught on fire but it is okay now, and you have electricity again."  Needless to say I am thrilled that all the outlets didn't fry and fry everything that was plugged in along with it, but having electricity at that point was not at all fact it was down right frightening!  We quickly called the electrician that we always use and asked him to come check it out.  It took him all of about three minutes to declare that it was unsafe and that the whole house would need to be rewired and he was afraid it would catch on fire again.  Lovely.

The electricians checking out the damage on top
 By this time it is lunch time, we have missed ch*rch and there is no way that I can get a dish and dessert done for the evening fellowship.  Now we have the dilemma of whether we leave the house to go to the fellowship or stay  to watch over the house.  In the end, we decided that we would turn off everything and then go to ch*rch that night.  Just seemed kind of weird to not go to w*rship, especially when it falls Christmas.  We had a great time celebrating the birth of the Son and our good friends, the "G's" offered to let us stay in their home while they were on vacation and our house was being rewired.  What a blessing that has been! Barry has stayed most of the nights at our home, first to be on watch for a flare up and then to not leave it empty at night as that just not a good thing here.

So now, by the time I am wrapping up this blog post, the house is completed, all rewiring is done.  We will next have them come and repair the roof where the fire damaged it then all will go back to normal again.  Of course normal here means something else will break, leak, stop working or snap off in your hand or aparently catch on fire.....ahhh....normal is so over-rated! :) 

I don't want to close this post without saying just how thankful that I am that I can place the care of my family into the hands of the CEO.  My thankfulness for His care and protection of my family is something there are not words enough to express.  I know that tragedies are not always thwarted and some things happen with His promises to carry us through, but this time we were spared any real grief and that in itself is gift beyond my deserving.  So.Very.Thankful.

Hope you each had a wonderful Merry Christmas and may this next year be the best you have ever had in terms of your love and service to the CEO and your fellow man!!   Then, CEO willing, Christmas in the great state of Oklahoma next year!!!  Six more months.....not that I am counting!! :)

A neighbor showing them where the flames were coming out.

Not sure who this guy was, but I wanted to show you how the many motorcyclist will often leave their helmets on unless they are going in somewhere and staying

The "stack" of firemen as they stood on each other's shoulders, this is the best pic I could get!
He must have thought it was funny too, he was taking pictures! Ha!


Crafty Cristy said...

Man. That had me on the edge of my seat. I am glad everyone is OK.

Zimms Zoo said...

I want to say i am so sorry that your house caught on fire, but that was SO funny!

I am glad that no one was hurt. I love Marhsall's expression in the one of him and haddon.