This is a rather personal post for me, similar to my very first blog post about my “Tiger Mom”. I’ve always believed there to be a God or a “Higher Power”. I believe that because I’ve lived a life that most people read about in books. I won’t go into the micro details, but suffice to say I know what a strong faith can do.
Yesterday, I got two more demonstrations, well for me anyway. I was supposed to be on vacation this past week, but for me, vacations are in name only. I had some landscaping work done and the darn landscaper on the second day did not secure the gate when he left as he had on the first. I was busy running errands and saw the gate closed at a distance, and paid no more attention. Let the pups out yesterday morning, with the exception of Chipper, who decides for himself when he’s ready. I step out on the deck to call them inside, when, OMG, the gate’s open and no pups in sight.
I run outside through the garage, and call the girls, and they come running in seconds, as I think they were only next door investigating the neighbor’s lawn. But no Spunky, and knowing Spunky as I do, he probably took off exploring. I rush back inside, change clothes faster than I ever did in my life, grab my jacket, collar the girls, grab Spunky’s harness and leash, phone, and away we go in search of Spunky.
Spunky, Spunkman, Spunkums, but my favorite is Spunky360 –if you can’t see him, he’s into something. Life is anything but dull with Spunky. The little guy is fearless. He loves to explore. When he’s absorbed in some new find, you can call him 20 times and he doesn’t come. You have to walk over to where he is and physically pick him up.
So with this in mind, my heart is pounding. What if I can’t find him; what if someone finds him, and they don’t want to return him; what if he’s “absorbed”, what if the coyotes get him; am I searching in the right direction; if I can’t find him, I’ll have to post fliers, notify and check local animal rescues and shelters. What if, what if, what if…all the while calling Spunky!! Spunky!! and growing more frantic. Please God, please God.
I turn and search in another direction, and my neighbor is getting ready to leave for work. I tell him what happened, and he’s willing to help me look. Then he happens to look toward the end of the street further down, and sees SPUNKY!!!. I turn and there’s little Spunkman running like lightening toward me. I call out to him, and I run with the girls toward him, and then scoop him up in my arms and walk back home. There weren’t enough hugs and kisses for everyone. Thank you, God.
But if that wasn’t enough. I’m sitting at the computer with some coffee, recovering, when I hear some sharp popping noises, two or three of them. I turn to look in the family room, do a head count, all present. Then my eye goes to the floor and I see sparks flying out of a floor outlet, and the smell of what I’d call electrical burning. Another OMG.
I immediately get the pups out the door into the back yard. I turn back into family room, and still sparking, only this time I see fire. At first I see a flame and I thought it died out. But no, another higher flame, and I race to pull away the wing chair that was standing over the outlet. By that time my mind is racing. Then I remember, the former owner had fire extinguishers throughout the house, and there’s one on stairway wall leading to the basement. Is it still there or did I foolishly remove it? I rush over to the door and IT’S THERE!!!. Pull it off the wall and read the gauge, FULL. Never used a fire extinguisher in my life, but I see a ring, so I pulled it. Then I’m pressing levers, and nothing. Oh great. When I finally push down, and swoosh, vroom. Out comes the retardant. Contents under pressure has a whole new meaning. I press again and aim at directly at the outlet and could care less about the mess. Flame is out.
Now, I start worrying. The flame may be out here, but is there something smoking or burning elsewhere that I don’t know about. Call 911, and minutes later, three fire engines arrive. The firemen come in with heat meters and other gauges, ask questions, and start checking ceiling, walls, in the basement. They check the electrical panel and show me that the breaker tripped the way it should have. They shut off the electricity to the family room and advise I call an electrician as soon as possible to check the wiring. Then the crew chief looks at me as they were leaving and repeated what another fireman said to me earlier, “ma’am, you were lucky you had that fire extinguisher, and the presence of mind to use it.”
I have a good friend who once told me back in 2001, when I was having angst over just having bought my home, “Melanie, if God gave you the means to buy that house, he’s going to give you the means to keep it.” And whenever I get anxious or nervous, I remember those words. But up until this time, I always equated means with money. Now, means has taken on a new meaning, “the presence of mind.” Amen.