A Christmas Fire, Family, and Finally a Husband!

There is never a dull moment in the Abbas family. My husband Tim made it here for Christmas, and after a wonderful day of nothingness (my fave!), food, and presents for the kiddos, we put the kids to bed (that glorious word “WE”!!!!). Time to sink into my rented Cort sofa and snuggle with my husband (woot woot) after three months of living separately. It is FINALLY time to catch up on some Breaking Bad together. I refuse to watch it without him. As soon as the show connects to the TV via Chromecast and Hulu, we hear the sound of a smoke alarm. We ignore it for a little bit. It is not ours because ours is temporarily offline after cooking bacon this morning. We took out the batteries. The smoke alarm hates bacon.

The smoke alarm continues on. Since the smoke alarm is not intermittent, I begin to worry. When I am burning bacon, the alarm is usually on again off again as my husband fans smoke away from the alarm and opens up a window. There is no shortage of second hand smoke coming in from the neighbors every evening and weekend (gee I REALLY miss California smoking laws).  I am not too surprised at the sound of a smoke alarm. With the kids tucked in their beds and the smoke alarm loudest by the wall between our neighbors and my sleeping children, I send my husband to investigate. While knocking loudly on the neighbor's apartment door, Tim sees smoke begin to come into the hallway. He comes back and tells me to get the kids out. He dials 911.

Trying not to freak out our children, I wake them up, grab their coats and put on their snow boots. Gee this getting dressed in Michigan thing takes a lot longer than it does in SoCal. I bundle them up as fast as possible. We evacuate. We get outside and sit in our warm car. The kids begin to cry and wonder if their Christmas presents are going to get burned up. A policeman quickly shows up to verify the call and the fire department arrive a few minutes later. Well done Grandville Fire Department.

The fire department won’t tell us what set the smoke alarm off. The police waiting around for the apartment occupants to come home makes me wonder. I suspect a drug cook gone bad or I've been watching too much #breakingbad. It was probably a pan left on the stove. As I was sitting in the car with my kids, our dog Boo and none of our personal possessions (not even my purse!) with us, I was grateful. Grateful for my husband nearby talking with some neighbors. Grateful for our little family together on Christmas. Stuff or no stuff. Christmas presents intact or gone up in smoke. We are together. We are safe. We are blessed.

After 20 minutes or so we get the all clear to go back home. To an apartment that smells even more like smoke than it did before. I am thankful we paid attention to the smoke alarm next door. No one else did. After the kids were back safely in their beds, we made a point to hang back up our own smoke alarm. Thankful this didn’t happen later on in the evening while we were all asleep with a disconnected smoke alarm (we do have 3 smoke alarms and only one was disconnected). I kissed my kids, hugged my husband and went to bed happy to be safely together.  All of us under one roof and living in the same state. 


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