This time last year my family and I were living in a trailer without power because the trailer we had been living in had just burned. The inside breaker box overloaded and caught fire in the back bedroom. Thankfully, we were all awake at the time. Everyone was in the kitchen and living room at the time cooking and just hanging out, so all we had to do was get everyone out and away from the trailer. But we forgot all about Mr. FatChick’s gun cabinet being in that bedroom with all the long guns and ammo until it got hot enough for the ammo to start going off on its own.
Middle DS, his Pregnant GF, and a close family friend, Almost a Son, were sharing that bedroom at the time. Thankfully, the three of them were in the kitchen cooking when something made Middle DS look down the hallway that was covered by a thick curtain. He took off down the hallway, and later told us the door knob to the bedroom was glowing. All he could think of was the baby stuff they had in the room like the sonogram pics, the baby book she’d just filled in the family tree in, the outfit he had gotten the baby that said, “Daddy’s Girl” on the chest.
Although Middle DS was in the local volunteer fire department and knew better, instinct took over and he grabbed that glowing door knob and flung that door open in hopes of saving anything he could. Thankfully, as the door flew open, he hit his knees as fire shot down the hallway ceiling over his head. He realized then it was too late to save anything and the only thing left to do was get everyone out and to safety. That’s when he and my Almost a Son went into action.
Middle DS started yelling at the top of his lungs that the house was on fire, to get out and get out now! Almost a Son went into action trying to help Middle DS’s Pregnant GF out of the trailer. Youngest DS and Mr. FatChick headed out the door.
All I really remember is that I was sitting in the chair by the door still holding the phone because I was trying to call 911. I’d been sitting so long, I was stiff and stove up, so I was getting up and moving slowly, like the old fat lady I am. My laptop was sitting in front of me where I was working on an editing project for a client when all the excitement started, so I grabbed it by the screen and snatched with everything I had. Middle DS yelled at me not to worry about the stupid laptop, and I told him I had to finish the project and couldn’t work without it. It’s really crazy what goes through your mind at times like that, times when your world is literally burning down around your ears, but that’s what went through mine. I had to finish that project.
It’s my understanding that Almost a Son had gotten Middle DS’s Pregnant GF to her car safely, although she slipped and fell in the yard one time because our yard was like a mud bog, but she was there and safe at the car. Middle DS had come back for me, and I remember throwing the phone back toward the house as I walked across the porch on bare feet with my laptop dangling from my hand by the screen and unbeknownst to me half the cord trailing from it as well. He helped me make it to the steps, and when I stepped onto the first one, they tried to flip with me. Remember now, I’m a big girl, so this isn’t surprising, except for the fact that this is the first time they’d ever tried to throw me.
I handed the laptop to my son so I could hold on to the hand rail and ride these puppies down for eight seconds. On my way down, I started calling out common sense orders to the guys in the yard like, “Kill the power!” which Middle DS took off to do (not sure what he did with the laptop). By this time I’d hit the muddy yard with my bare feet and was trying not to slip-slide away as I headed toward Pregnant GF’s car. I have to give her credit, she started to come back across the mud for me, but I yelled at her to stay where she was. She was already safe, let me make my way to her. Just get into the car and sit down so we’d know where she was and that she was safe.
As I’m crossing the great mud bog a-slippin’ and a-slidin’ all the way, I’m still calling out orders like, “Get the propane tank away from the house before it blows!” We had one of those small propane tanks like you use on a grill hooked up to our heater at the time. Thankfully, it wasn’t a bigger one, because I found out later that the ammo in the gun cabinet had started going off by this time and Middle DS was trying to break the copper line going to the tank with his bare hands because he didn’t have any tools while dodging these rounds going off all over the place. That boy’s got skills I didn’t even know he had because he bobbed and weaved in all the right places getting it done and threw the propane tank on back in the yard away from the fire and heat. Little tip here: Don’t test the Big Bang Theory because it works every time.
“Move the dogs away from the house so they don’t get burned!” We had our dogs out in the yard on chains with all the amenities; dog house, food, water, pool, sauna, Xbox 360 with 40-inch LED TV, I mean, these dogs had it made. Well, Mr. FatChick springs into action and starts moving the dogs on their chains so they hopefully won’t get shot or turned into doggy jerky by the fire. Thankfully, it worked and all the dogs survived and are happy and healthy today and will be competing for the big prize in the DogGone Down South Doggie Xbox 360 Video Game Playoffs to be held later this summer. They’re hoping to win 3rd prize: free WiFi for you and two of your friends for life. What can I say, they’re addicted to Barkbook and Growler. I thought they’d want 1st prize: surgically implanted opposing thumbs so they can text faster. Go figure.
And I’m still making my way across the mud bog. Yes, this is The Original Fat Chick in high gear folks, and it’s like I’m moving in slow motion… Seriously. About this time I hear Mr. FatChick’s truck crank up. Now I know it can’t be him because he’s moving the dogs, it can’t be Middle DS because he’s busy with the propane tank, can’t be Almost a Son or Pregnant GF because they’re at her car waiting for me to get there. Who does that leave? Youngest DS. What?! Yep, Youngest DS, who doctors have said isn’t the brightest crayon in anyone’s box, figured out all on his own that his daddy’s truck was full of gas and if it stayed parked next to a burning house it would blow up. So he decided it might be a good idea since everyone else was a little preoccupied, for him to take some initiative and move it before that happened. You know why he thought of it? Because I’ve always told my kids, “Don’t test the Big Bang Theory because it works every time.” See, it’s amazing what kids pick up when you least expect it, so be careful what you teach even when you’re not thinking about it.
I finally make it to the car and Almost a Son helps me get into the front passenger side seat. Next think I know, Middle DS shows up with my laptop and tells me to lean forward, at which time he puts the laptop behind my back in the seat. Why he put it there I still don’t know, but that’s where he put it, and that’s where it stayed till I got to my parents’ house probably a couple of hours later. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this post on it right now. Don’t know if I’ve ever said this to you, but I know I should have. Thanks son.
Everybody except Mr FatChick makes it into Pregnant GF’s car and Middle DS gets us the heck out of there so none of us will get shot by the flaming trailer. We’re going up the road for him to go get one of the fire trucks to try to save what he can of our trailer when he remembers Mr. Fatchick might not need to be there alone with all those burning chemicals that trailers are made with since he has a serious heart condition and COPD. So he stops in the middle of the road, jumps out of the car, and starts running back to the house. Almost a Son jumps into the front seat and keeps driving us toward town because all we can think of is getting to a phone since all our cell phones were in the house and are probably toast by this time.
Then it hits me. We’re passing houses. We live in the country. I bet some of these folks have house phones. Why don’t we stop and use a phone? Yeah, go old school. So we back up and pull into the last driveway we passed, drive up the little hill, and Almost a Son runs up to the door and calls 911. Then out of nowhere Middle DS jumps into the front seat and we’re off to my parents’ house to use the phone to call 911 like he doesn’t see Almost a Son on the phone at this house. ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and a bigger impulse control disorder do not go well with fear and adrenaline. But at least we are now headed to my parents’ house, people I know and that I know can help.
Thank you to the many people who came to try to save our trailer. Unfortunately, it and just about everything in it was a total loss. Thankfully, no one was hurt while fighting the fire. And here we sit almost exactly a year later staying with my parents again for other reasons. I should probably be ashamed of that, but I’m not. We’re all together. We’re safe. We’re alive and happy. We’re still here to love and be loved, and that’s what matters. God isn’t done with us yet is all I can figure, and we’ll be here till His plan for us is complete. So this Thursday I’m thankful for a strong family that can come back from anything because we put our faith and trust in God and let him lead and we follow. He knows what He’s doing, we just need to stay out of His way and let Him work.