Small fire, big friends

When the husband is away the strangest things happen.

There was the “Summer of the Zoo” several years ago when he was off on a training mission. We lived in a charming old house built in the 1880’s, and that summer we discovered bats were living in the attic. (Ugh, I can’t even write that and not get the heebie jeebies.) Yeah, that alone should have been enough. While trying to solve the bat problem we learned that a fox was living in the compost pile in our backyard. Rhema had a habit of streaking in the backyard and she loved to sit on top of that compost pile. I was convinced the fox would find her a tastier treat than Little Red Riding Hood. Brandon missed out on the live exclusion bat removal process and me with a pitchfork and a bottle of coyote urine, scaring away Mr. Fox for good.

Then there was the time he was deployed to Iraq, and the kids caught swine flu. While I cared for our feverish children a hawk crashed into the glass of our screen door. And got stuck there. My neighbor helped me “remove” the hawk and later replace the glass.

Also during that deployment Rhema developed lead poisoning from gnawing on the window sills. The whole house had to be de-leaded which meant packing, shrink-wrapping all the furniture, and moving into a hotel for six weeks.

Now we live in a newer home. And Brandon spent the last few weeks ensuring everything was in good condition. He did everything he could to ensure I would not have to deal with any major house issues while he was gone. Bless his heart.

On the day of his departure -on his way to the airport in fact –

the outside unit of our central air system caught fire.

Yes, yes it did.

I called him at the airport. Brandon has a special ring tone for me on his phone. It’s “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys. How fitting.

When I told him the news he protested, “But I haven’t even gotten on the plane yet!” Surprised the crazy show didn’t wait until he’d at least left the country.

Long story short we have to replace the entire central air system.

That of course won’t happen for another few days.

Meanwhile there’s another heat wave on and, sing it with me, This girl is on fire. I cannot begin to tell you how hot I am. (Ha!)

So yesterday I called my friend Lori and asked if she had an old AC unit I could borrow. She did not. So she called our friend Lynnette who asked all of her friends. Within minutes I was talking on the phone to Kathey – someone I’d never met. Turns out she’d read the blog before so she kind of “knew us.” She had two window units and offered to bring them over right away. I was so grateful and touched by her kindness. We were fast friends, and she even got a “Hi” and a “Yeah” out of Rhema!

My neighbor Steve (and friend from church) installed the ACs and – oh joy! – we cooled off.

Later I sat in the living room and thanked God for friends and the kindness-of-a-stranger-now-friend. I pigged out on a bag of serious comfort food, gifted to me by Lori:


And ahhhh. I feel better. 😉

16 thoughts on “Small fire, big friends

  1. What a blessing! Yea for God’s provision and willing hands.

    The only thing that could have made those chips better would be dark chocolate….oh, yum!

  2. As much as I hate the problems you’ve had to endure, I have to admit…I laughed through this entire post. (well…except the part about the lead poisoning….that was terrifying!) Your strength is in your faith and your excellent sense of humor. Best wishes for this deployment!

  3. Whenever my husband goes out of town, the smoke alarm inevitably starts chirping – in the middle of the night. Uugh!

    I’m so glad you guys got some relief!

  4. Ha! Lets hope that is the extent of the dramas that happens on this deployment. Glad to know all are safe and you got some air con in the end. PS… chocolate covered chips? There’s one I’ll have to try!

  5. You’re not going to believe this, but our air conditioner went out on Friday! We didn’t have a fire, but I totally relate. And of course the property management office is closed for the weekend. We are supposed to hit 101 today. Definitely a good day to go to the river! Or maybe Trader Joe’s, to pick up a bag of those chips 😉

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