Last night I was sitting on the couch watching Secret Diary of a Call Girl when I smelled something burning. It was an acrid smell, electrical and hot. I sniffed around the TV and lamp but that wasn't it. I thought maybe my air conditioner was being stupid again, so I smelled around the vents, hmmm, not there. I decided to look out the window at the outside unit to see if it was running. As I went into the dining room the smell was stronger, but the a/c unit was whirring along. Hmmm, what is it?
I headed into the kitchen and OHMYGOD IT'S IN HERE! WHERE? WHAT? DID I LEAVE A CANDLE BURNING? DAMN 100 YEAR OLD HOUSE WIRING! I opened the oven, but that wasn't the source. The refrigerator was fine. I opened my bedroom door - nope, no candles. I looked in the bathroom - not there either. I smelled outside but no, it was in my house, and definitely in my kitchen. I could see a slight haze in the air. My mind is racing - where is the fire extinguisher? I need to put on clothes (I was in my pj's), I need to get Maddy, I need to get the dogs, I need to grab the silent auction stuff off my table, oh hell oh crap oh dear God are you KIDDING ME? You're going to burn down my house? Seriously? What the hell did I do to deserve this? You take my kids, now you're going to make us homeless? I can't BELIEVE this!
As I'm alternating between anger and outright fear, I open the dishwasher and discover that the lid from Maddy's sports bottle had fallen on the heating element and had melted. Mystery solved.
I was so upset by the experience I had to sit down. My knees were shaking, my heart was racing, and I was a little dizzy from the adrenaline rush. My mind was still running a mile a minute through all the What If? scenarios. What if it was on fire? What would we do? Where would we go? What would I save? I know the experts say don't save anything, just get out. I say to hell with that. The pictures, books, papers, and personal items of Jessica and Kelli are the only tangible things I have left. I couldn't stand there and just watch them burn.
When I finally calmed down, I opened my back door to let out the burning smell. I stood on my deck and looked up at the stars. I took a few deep breaths to get some fresh air, and said a silent Thank You to God for not burning down my house. I also apologized to Him for thinking the worst.
I also turned off my dishwasher's heating element.