It was Christmas Day 2005. This particular year Christmas fell on a Sunday. It was also mine and Brant's first Christmas together married. We drove to Logan Utah that morning to spend Christmas with all my in-laws. When we got there, everyone was in the mayhem of getting ready for church. My mother in law was in charge of the music program that day and had a lot on her mind. When everyone was ready, we went to church.
(Us Christmastime 2005 in our teeny apartment with our kitty "Rico Suave")
Since it was Christmas, church was only an hour that day. It was a beautiful clear, brisk, and sunny day. As we were driving up the street to come home and have Christmas dinner, we noticed a thin cloud of smoke billowing in the air. Those of us in the car (me, Brant, my father in law, and my brother in law) noticed it and said, "What is that?" Stupid, silly, immature me exclaimed "Wouldn't it be funny if the house was on fire?" As we got closer we noticed......the house was on fire!
My father in law jumped out of his car, and ran to the house. There weren't any visible flames yet, just smoke coming out of the top. My sister in law Holly ran inside to get all the Christmas presents and any personal belongings. My brother in law Shawn was hurling Christmas presents out the front door trying to salvage anything he could. A neighbor informed us that 911 had been called and the fire department was on it's way.
It was quite traumatic. We were most concerned about the family chihuahua who burrowed herself in a pile of laundry which saved her life. The whole house didn't burn down, but the place was uninhabitable. The whole top floor and attack was pretty much destroyed. A kind neighbor who was vacationing with his family in Hawaii heard the news and offered his home for us to stay. All the neighbors brought Christmas dinner, and the young men came to the house to move out any furniture from the downstairs that could be saved. It was truly an outpouring of Christmas spirit and service and love.
Here's what went wrong: In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for church, my sweet father in law decided to heat up the oil in the turkey fryer before we left so it wouldn't take as long to heat when we got back from church. Well, he forgot to turn it off when we left....and it was on a wood deck. The scorching oil splattered on the wood deck which caught fire and the fire spread up the side of the house to the attic and upper floor. THANK GOODNESS for Home Insurance because my in-laws were able to do a lovely re-model to the home.
Here are the morals of the story:
-Don't ever use a turkey fryer. PERIOD!!! I swear the news does a story every single Christmas season on how risky they are and show a demonstration with firemen on how they catch fire SO easily.
-If you do decide to take a risk and use a turkey fryer, don't put it on a wood deck!
-Christmas is about love, service, and caring just like the service given to us that day.
-The number one thing everyone was concerned about not getting burned was the family dog.
-Guess what the number two most important thing that didn't get burned was? The family photos! Family photos are precious irreplaceable memories, heirlooms, and keepsakes. Who gives a crap about the big screen when the house is burning right? They'll come out with a new model in 2 months anyway.
So, even if you have an unforseen holiday catastrophe this year, at least you have the opportunity to have a stellar Family photo with adorable Christmas cards right? (25 free holiday cards when you book a family session between now and November 15!)
Hopefully we're off the hook as far as holiday catastrophes go for the next few years. :)
This photo is completely unrelated. I just love it when Claire points that teeny little finger at all the things she sees on our drives together!