Monday, October 7, 2013

Where there's smoke, there's grown children...

With cooler weather coming on, I'm excited for the first fire of the year (the kind that heats our house, not the kind that destroyed the canyon). I read this post from my family blog and thought I'd repost it here in anticipation (and maybe also as a warning...LOL)

Last night I was exhausted from a long weekend of writing, church, and cleaning up after 3 adult children who should definitely begin cleaning up after themselves, but that is a whiny story for another day.

Lately I’ve been waking up at least every other hour, sometimes every hour. This allows for little REM sleep but lots of crazy dreams including, but not limited to, all my teeth falling out; and a large house with secret but messy rooms I didn’t know existed, but must clean now.

Anyway. Last night I actually fell asleep about 9:30 and didn’t wake until midnight. I handled the water-related activities required and fell immediately back to sleep (another miracle!). The next time I woke, it was 3:00 a.m. and I could smell smoke. Since our home is heated by a wood stove. That is not too unusual, and when a fire is first built it always smells like we are sitting around a campfire.


But it is 3:00 a.m. and who builds a fire at that hour? Also, I looked at the fireplace and it was lit, but it was an ebbing fire rather than a newly roaring one. And things looked blurry. But they often do when I am sans spectacles. So I laid back down, and started coughing. I still smelled smoke and didn’t dare go back to sleep. I rolled out of my down comforter- covered water bed, donned my glasses and went downstairs again to check things out. I flipped on some lights this time. The blurriness was definitely smoke, but I checked the fireplace door and it was snug. I walked down into the freezing basement. No smoke. I walked out on to the porches. No smoke.

Definitely inside. Definitely getting worse. But I could find no source! No candles, no burners left on, no incense burning. I stumbled back to bed. No sleep. Turned on TV and half-watched an old 20/20 that ended up being about tortured women in some creep’s basement. I changed the channel to an Oprah rerun.

I woke Lloyd up. Now it was 4 a.m. He repeated my efforts at tracking down the smoke. As I heard him creaking around downstairs, our 19-year-old, (unemployed and playing Xbox until the wee hours, then sleeping till afternoon) son came out of his room and said, "oh BTW when I opened the fireplace door, a burning log fell out so I pushed it into the hole under the stove.

Hole? Under the stove? Hmmm, sure enough. The hole was there. But where did the hole lead? Detective Lloyd walked all over the house, into the garage, around the outside. No outlet where smoldering embers could roll safely outside into the snow.

Lloyd came back upstairs and poured water into the hole-that-leads-nowhere. (We are crossing our fingers for no water damage.)

We stagger back to bed thinking about how having children is a little like having gremlins. Cute at first glance, but let said offspring be exposed to bright Xbox lights, and give it a midnight snack? Well, watch out!

Where there’s smoke, there’s grown children! And possibly gremlins.