A Little Scare Last Night
I had fallen asleep around 10:30 p.m. and my daughter came in to wake me at about 11:30. "There's a smell of smoke in the house." I got up, not too worried. Probably a burned out lightbulb or something that was too hot. But when I opened my bedroom door all the way, it smelled like REAL smoke - like a fire.
My heart started racing. My dad and sister (who were living together at the time) lost their home and all their belongings in an awful house fire several years ago, so I've seen first hand what a fire can do to someone's life.
I'm racing through the house looking for the source of the smoke. It isn't smoke you can see, but it smells "woodsy" and seems to be getting worse. My husband is running around too looking for what it might be.
I start to think about calling the fire department and evacuating the kids. I make my daughter put some clothes on and I start grabbing things: medicine, journals, some momentos of Joey. And still no reason for the smoke!!
Finally we realize that it might be our furnace. We had heard it making strange noises earlier in the evening, but didn't think too much about it. So he checks it. (He's turned it off because he suspected it first.) There's some ash and it's hot. And some of the cool air returns smell HORRIBLY of smoke.
So the house starts to smell better, but I'm still worried. Do we call the fire department just in case? We keep inspecting. It smells even better. We decide that whatever it was, it was probably the furnace and to keep it shut off during the night. Brett stays up all night continuously checking on us and the smell. All appears well.
It's morning now and SOOOOO cold in the house--around 53 degrees. (I've got the water running in the faucets so our pipes don't freeze.) It's only in the mid to low 30's as the high right now in Utah. Brrrr.
It was an awful feeling thinking you're about to lose your home, lose things you've accumulated, the home you've established for your family. Katelyn asked me if that's one of my worst nightmares. It's not! I don't care if the whole house burned down and nearly everything in it. I would want my kids to be safe and not scared. And I would really like some photos of Joey if possible. Losing a house and belongings is NOTHING compared to losing Joey. Not even close.
So I think we're going to sit down and create a list of things to grab in case of a possible evacuation. We used to live in a hurricane zone and would have needed the list then too.
So . . . what would you take if you had five minutes to evacuate? (which is about what people had in the California fires and you would have less time if it was a house fire)


  1. I'm so glad that it turned out okay...get that furnace checked out!

    My grandma lost her house in the CA fires in October, she had the presence of mind to run around grabbing all the framed pictures and the US flag from my grandfather's casket. She did not get to the photo albums and that is the main thing she wishes she had gotten to. Most everything else can be replaced.

  2. oh my what a scary thing you went trough, thankful it is OK. After taking my kids of course the only thing I would want to bring is my photo's and personal letters, but like oyu said those are just material things.


  3. When living in CA we were threatened with a wildfire. Very scarey!! It came within 3 miles of our home but we had plenty of time to pack up. I grabbed photos albums & photos from off the wall mostly. One thing I learned is all my financial info & kids immunization cards, birth certificates, etc. These now are all in 1 large 3" binder in a bookcase right on the way out the door. And it can be grabbed in case of a rapid evacuation.

    So glad you all are safe!!! What a blessing. Thank you for sharing your life and talent with those of us who do't know you personally.

  4. Well, as you'll see in the next day or two on journaling junkie, I had a similar experience. A fire scare...no fire though. :) My first thoughts were honestly about my cat and dog. I was scared to death of losing them! So they'd be first on my list...then my purse. And I guess E's baby scrapbook, I'd let the rest burn! ;)

  5. I have a time capsule full of letters and photos that people put together for my son's 1st birthday, for him to open on his 18th. I have it under my bed in case I ever have to evacuate that quickly.
    Glad everything is ok at your home!


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