Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Night the Fire Alarm Went Off

In the annals of Fisher history, there are a few nights that will never be forgotten.  Last night was one we can add to the list.  ;-)

As the evening wore on, I realized that I was really not feeling well; and when I finally decided to check my temperature (using an old glass & mercury thermometer, since our new-fangled battery-operated one requires a working 9V battery, which I didn't happen to have), I realized it was 100.7.  That's not a terribly high temperature, but as I've gotten older, I've become more affected by fevers--even low ones--and I felt awful.  So I did something I never do: I went to bed while there was still light in the sky.

For my Canadian and Alaskan family and friends, that's nothing unusual, since their long daylight hours in the summer lend themselves easily to such a feat.  But for me, even though it was the longest day of the year, it was still a far cry from my norm to go to bed when the hour was still in the single digits!

But to bed, I went, as soon as the younger four children were all in their beds, and I quickly fell asleep, hoping to escape the misery I was feeling and wake up refreshed in the morning.

It didn't quite work out that way.

A few minutes before midnight, I was awakened by the harsh sound of Jeff's recorded voice blaring from the fire alarm that hangs above Josiah and David's room door.  It's the kind of alarm that the parents can use to record their own voices, in hopes that it will wake their children more effectively than a beeping noise would.  (As an aside, I'll note that it did NOTHING to wake Tobin, Shav, Moriah, or Benjamin; they slept through the whole thing.)  Jeff, who was also not feeling well, and I were instantly alert, the adrenaline pumping through our veins as we raced to find out what was going on.

As I ran into the hall, I discovered that Josiah and David were still awake, both having stayed up late to read, and they were just as puzzled as Jeff and I.  Jeff took the alarm down from the wall; and we, of course, tried to find the fire.

Except, we couldn't.

There were no flames, no smoke, no extra heat.  Just a noisy alarm.

The boys had been doing pull-ups on the pull-up bar that hangs in their doorway below the alarm; maybe the vibrations had made it go off?  Jeff set the alarm on a chair in the hall, and we went back to bed.

Only to be pulled from it 10 or so minutes later when the alarm went off again.

This time, our search for a fire was even more exhaustive, leading us into all the rooms of the house, even the ones we had checked before--garage, cellar, porch, everything.  I looked in closets, opened the windows and smelled the outside air (and while I was doing it, I noticed how the lightning bugs were showing up brilliantly in the trees in our pasture--something I would have totally missed, if not for the alarm), checked the stove and everything else I could think of.  David even crawled into our suitcase closet and opened the door to the attic to make sure nothing was amiss there.

Nothing was.

What to do?  Jeff replaced the batteries in the alarm, thinking that old batteries might have been the cause of the malfunction, and laid down again.  I said goodnight to Josiah and David and urged them to go ahead and go to sleep; then I came downstairs and decided to sit up for a while, just in case something was smoldering somewhere.  I didn't really think it was, but I just couldn't go to bed right away after that.

I actually had an enjoyable, peaceful two-hour interlude in the middle of the night, doing some clean-up in the living room that I had neglected because of going to bed so early, reading a homeschool magazine, etc.  I didn't mind being awake, especially when I thought about the (teeny-tiny, extremely-remote, really-not-even-a) possibility that we might have a fire.

And all the while, I was praising God that we didn't.

I was also thinking, "At least I can have a nice long nap tomorrow afternoon. I'll have to get up early to take Shav to soccer camp in the morning, but we don't have any plans the rest of the day, so I'll be able to sleep when Benjamin does."

But then...

As we were eating lunch (and I was looking forward to my nap), the phone rang.  It was our local orchard.  "We have cherries ready for you to come pick," the friendly voice announced.

Oh, joy.

That wasn't at all in my plan for the afternoon, but fresh, locally-grown fruit is such a prized, looked-forward-to item in our household.  Plus, I had especially been craving cherries.  So in a moment, my plans were revised, and not too long after that, we set off for the orchard.

Part of the fun of this whole experience is not only coming home with delicious fruit, it's also the climbing-the-ladders part of the process!  :)  A special delight today for Tobin, Shav, and Moriah was getting to go up on a lift that was being used to pick cherries from up high on the trees--a first for our family.

I took a few pictures to document the afternoon's activities, but focused mostly on picking, because I was looking forward to getting home and trying to sneak in a little nap yet.  ;-)  Oh, and by the way, the cherries are a yellow wax variety.

Before we left our house for the orchard, I thought, "I sure would like to be able to pick enough to have plenty to eat fresh, as well as canning 7 quarts."  When we arrived, I saw how loaded the trees were with fruit (apparently, having a freeze like we did last year leads to the next year being particularly abundant in fruit); and as it turned out, we had no problem picking way more than my goal.  In fact, we ate a lot fresh today and have a big bowl in the refrigerator for tomorrow; and we also canned 22 quarts!

Oh, and I also did get to have a nap when I got home--not quite as long as the one I had originally envisioned, but still enough to keep me going for the rest of the day.  :)

And whenever I remembered that horrifying moment in the night when the fire alarm went off and scared the daylights out of me, I said another prayer of thanks to God that it was only a false alarm!!

1 comment:

Julia Witmer said...

What an unexpected adventure. Glad you got your nap. God is good.