Monday, October 27, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch!

Sunday we took the kids to the Rock Creek Farm Pumpkin patch. We searched one of their many fields for the perfect pumpkin. Haven helped us look and tried pulling some pumpkins around. Avie stayed tucked in Dad's arms. Any time we sat her down she tried eating the vines. yum.

After we found our pumpkin we went down to see the animals. They had ponies, mules, pigs, goats, bunnies and sheep. Haven also got to play in some hay. By the time we left we were tired and a little itchy from the hay Haven was throwing everywhere.

We carved the pumpkin after dinner. We got Haven to pull out the pumpkin goo but it took a lot of coaxing. Enjoy the pics.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What a Friday!

I was getting my son out of the bath tub and headed downstairs to finish getting him ready. My dog was running back and forth in the back yard looking panicked. I heard a weird sound from the backyard and thought it was weird he wasn't barking. I opened the door to see what his problem was. Out of the corner of my eye I saw bright orange and I felt heat on my face. I look over and see flames. Huge flames.

It took me a second to realize what I was seeing. I just stared at first before I realized that meant something was on fire. I ran out my front door to my next door neighbor. The playground right next to their home and one house down from me was engulfed in flames. It had spread to their house. I ran inside for my phone and called 911. Apparently several people were calling about the fire at the same time. I ran back outside and started slamming on my neighbors door. The fire spread so quickly I didn't even know if they would know their house was on fire. They didn't answer. I started yelling for them and another neighbor joined me.

They weren't home. I remembered they have a dog inside who just had puppies a few weeks ago. I started to panic because the fire was just getting bigger. I tried opening the door to let the dog out. I was actually wondering in the back of my mind if it was considered "breaking and entering". The door was locked. I tried kicking the door open. All of my 97 pounds did nothing....surprisingly.

At that point I remembered my 2 year old was in my house alone. I ran back to check on him and ran again to the house. The fire had spread to a house behind my neighbors. Two other homes across from the playground had siding melting off from the heat and it looked like they were going to catch fire any minute.

At this point I realized this could spread right to my house. It was literally about 25 to 30 feet away. I ran inside and threw shoes on my son, grabbed the diaper bag and grabbed my daughter from her crib. All the things I thought I would grab in case of a fire didn't even matter. I didn't think of the pictures or anything sentimental. I had everything that mattered in my arms. I took the kids outside and set them down a safe distance from the fire.

Lots of neighbors were there by this point. I told a neighbor about the dogs in the house and he tried kicking in the neighbors door with no luck. Finally the fire department came. It took them 5 minutes. Amazing. It felt like an hour. They could not come soon enough. They immediately started putting out the fire.

One fire fighter broke the door in with an ax and Nani, their family pet, came running out of the house. She is just a little dog and so scared. She took off running leaving her pups behind. The firemen got the pups and finished putting out the fire.

The playground is obviously gone. Two homes have an entire side of siding melted. One homeowner couldn't be reached and will come home to fire damage. Two other homes were burned. My neighbors home had the worst damage. The side of their home is badly damaged and inside is some smoke damage.

I waited outside with my kids for my neighbors to get home. I hardly even know them. I didn't know what I was going to say. Their dog had run off and I couldn't get her to come to me. I tried treats and a toy. Now I couldn't even find her.

When they arrived they just stared at their house. I didn't say anything. They asked about their dog. I told them she had run off and I wasn't sure where she went. They were more upset about the missing dog than their home. I offered to get a list of dog shelters to call and start the search. Several hours later someone called saying they had someone picked up the dog several blocks away. About 30 minutes later they brought Nani home. Thank goodness!

Sounds as though two middle school age boys started a fire under the play equipment. The plastic from the equipment acted as an accelerant. The wood chips used on the play ground caused it to spread quickly to the homes.

So that was our Friday. Haven is gonna miss his slides, but praise God our home is OK and the damage to other homes was not as bad as it could have been. The fire department did an amazing job and they came so quickly.

So now I'm a little paranoid. Learn from reading this story. Check the batteries in your smoke alarm! I know I will...