Tag Archives: fire

The Perils of Pauline (Or Liz)

29 Sep

My blog posts this summer might suggest my life is starting to resemble an episode from the 1914 show, “The Perils of Pauline”.  I’ve been behaving like the drama queen damsel in distress title character with all my hand wringing and complaining.

Any of you who have tuned in to my posts have read/heard about (1) our impending move to Baldwin Park and the process we have undergone to ready our current house for the real estate market, namely beige-i-fying our colorful house, stripping it of art and personality; dealing with the aftermath of shoddy contractor work; the stress of insuring no remnant of last night’s dinner remains in our kitchen sink prior to an open house or showing; and finally the ego blows from the rejections by strangers evaluating your home of 31 years.  These are fairly common complaints from people trying to sell their homes (except from those who boast about selling their house within minutes of posting it on MLS); (2) the fire that occurred in the midst of our Chicago vacation. The late night phone call advising me firemen were breaking down my front door. A smoldering dryer was the culprit setting off our alarm and summoning the Maitland Fire Department. (3) of fairly minor consequence was arthroscopic knee surgery.

Well, I’m adding one more (and hopefully the last) episode to my summer of feeling sorry for myself.  Last week Central Florida experienced torrential downpours as people were making their way home from work. The storm was so aggressive roads and sewers could not accommodate the rapidly rising rainwater. My husband was driving our newly leased BMW to get a hair cut in the midst of this Noah’s Arc-like flood. (Perhaps the real issue here is why I feel a need to move from a perfectly good house to a townhouse and lease a red BMW when all we have ever owned are practical cars. Aging issues, perhaps?) Self recriminations aside… as my husband turned from a highway on to a side street, a wall of water engulfed the car, stalling the engine. Afraid to open the door for fear of flooding the interior, Jim sat for two hours awaiting rescue. Who knew AAA won’t touch a submerged car? As the water subsided, he optimistically assumed he could put the car in neutral and push it out of the middle of the road. As he pushed the starter button the ignition caught fire. Fire trucks and police were dispatched.  The battery was removed to avoid future fires.  I was finally able to reach him just as all the rescue vehicles were leaving.  “No problem, a tow truck will arrive shortly to transport your car”, we were advised.  My totally traumatized husband, who had been sitting in the car since 5:15, was forced to sit for another 6 hours awaiting a tow truck.  Finally, one of Casselberry’s finest arrived around 10:30pm.  Officer Stewart called their emergency towing company who arrived in short order to transport our car home. We were his ninth customers since 7pm.  “You know it’s totaled, right?” he asked.  No, the thought had not occurred to us.  It looked in tact.  “You’ve basically drowned your car”, he said.  “These cars are so computerized they can’t survive submerged in a puddle for a prolonged period of time”.

Seriously?  A house fire and a drowned car?  Within a month of each other?  I feel like a James Taylor song-  “I’ve Seen Fire and I’ve Seen Rain. I’ve seen sunny days I thought would never end…” It’s been feeling a little cloudy around here. I keep hoping for sunny days to return soon… (See, the drama queen in me has raised her head yet again. Oh well…)

Drowned BMW

Drowned BMW


Boomer Cafe

18 Sep

So happy my article was published on Boomer Cafe-http://www.boomercafe.com/2014/09/18/boomer-asks-house-fire-sign-god/

Does God Really Care If I Move to Baldwin Park?

21 Aug

So, my husband and I are happily enjoying our vacation in 70 degree Chicago for the past 2 weeks when I receive a late night phone call from a neighbor.  With hesitancy and dread in her voice, Sarah tells me there are 25 firefighters in our front yard and are in the process of breaking down my front door.  Apparently a smoldering dryer was the culprit setting off our alarm and summoning the Maitland Fire Department.


Dryer Fire

Dryer Fire

My hands shake and my heart-beat quickens as I write this post thinking back to the shock we felt and the efforts expended to get home.  Three days hence, as 2 giant ozone generators and multiple air scrubbers inhabit our home instead of us, I’m feeling incredibly grateful.  The damage could have been far worse than a bad smell, battered door, and incinerated dryer.  My sweet dogs were vacationing elsewhere; all the remodeling we had completed does not have to be re-done; we are safe; we have a beach place to which we are able to escape smells, sounds, and inconveniences.

We put our house of 31 years on the real estate market over a month ago with the intention of moving to Baldwin Park, a kind of live, work and play community.  I think we have good intentions for moving.  My husband is tired of crawling on his belly fussing with pool cleaners and hoses.  For the first time in our tenure there, my home no longer shelters kids, adult or otherwise, and our neighborhood with its great schools, has become younger, filled with the sound of squealing young ones cannon balling into pools and playing on swing sets. Our house should be owned by a family. The reason we bought it so many years ago is that I had a 3 year old and a baby to be.

So why, I ask, have people been saying, “Your house catching fire is a sign from God you shouldn’t move.” “Really?!” I want to say. “Do you really think God actually cares whether I sell my house in Dommerich Estates and move to Baldwin Park?” If God really paid attention to human happenings, wouldn’t God be more focused on the Ebola virus or genocide in Iraq? Me moving from one neighborhood to another can’t be high on God’s priority list. At least I hope not. The religious tenants I believe suggest God is presents when people attempt to find the goodness in potentially bad situations. That is my plan. I’m not quite there yet. I’m still a little shell shocked. But, please, no more finding omens among the ashes. It feels a little raw yet.

To visit the new Be Brave. Lose the Brave website click here.