Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lost Pitcher

My parents divorced when I was about 16/17 years old. My dad worked during the day and left early for work. To make things easier for him when he got home, he would often partially cook the meat part of our dinner so when he got home, he would cook the rest and make the veggies and potatoes. There's one day that has stayed with me forever and I was especially reminded of it last night.

We lived in a 2 family home. My grandmother had an apartment upstairs, but mine and my sister's room was down the hall. One morning, I was awaken to the sound of the smoke alarm going off. My first thought was my grandmother. While she was not "old", she did once or twice leave the burner on with something on top of it. I ran into her apartment, but it was all clear. I looked downstairs and saw a cloud of smoke making it's way upstairs. Whatever was on fire, was downstairs. My dad had already gone to work and my brother was by himself downstairs. He was about 11/12 years old at the time. I ran into the kitchen screaming "FIRE". I was choking from the smoke I was inhaling and I panicked. I ran in to wake my younger brother and judging from his reaction, I knew he was destined to be the volunteer fireman he once was. He got down on all fours (below the smoke level) and grabbed the pillowcase off his pillow to cover his mouth. He followed me into the kitchen and we found the culprit. The oven was still on with chicken breasts still inside. We shut the oven off and took out the hockey puck size chicken. It was burnt to a crisp. My younger brother then went throughout the house to open all the windows to air out the house.

Last night, around midnight, I smelled plactic burning. The smell was so strong, it woke me up. I got up and checked out all the outlets, toaster oven, oven, microwave and basement. Nothing. I smelled the odor most in the kitchen, but I could not find the source. I went upstairs to check to make sure it wasn't coming from either Courtney or Brandon's room. They were both asleep and their rooms were all clear. I heard my brother's TV on, so I knocked on his door and asked him if he smelled anything. He did, but he thought it was coming from outside. He came downstairs with me, and together we began checking everything out. I had gone back into the kitchen again and leaned on the counter to see if I could get to the outlets behind our new washer/dryer and I realized my kitchen counter was HOT..... The dishwasher!!!! I opened the dishwasher and found the plastic lid to Mike's drink pitcher on the metal drying line. It was melted all over and under the metal line. It took me 20 minutes, but I finally found the culprit.

During the time I was searching, all I could think about was if there WAS a fire, what would I do with Mike. I couldn't get him out of the house myself while we waited for the fire department. I would have to stay with him. It was a reality I hope to NEVER have to deal with.

Today I had to go but another pitcher and I was glad that was all I lost.

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