Saturday, January 31, 2009

Panic on the Farm

Being that I can't keep a secret for the life of me and I love to talk ... I have to tattle on myself about today's happenings.

Late this morning I was putting dishes away in the kitchen and I kept hearing this weird cracking noise.  It was consistent and baffling and loud enough that I could track it down.  It came from within my pantry ... and from within the circuit breaker box.

Instant panic rose up in me, and all I could think about was saving my children.  Every thing and every scenario of my emergency plan played out in my head as I called Von on the phone and told him the circuit breaker box was cracking and sizzling.  I saw in my head that my house could explode or burn down before I could get my kids out ... the fear almost paralyzed me, but I knew their innocent lives were in my hands and I could keep myself together.

He was vaccinating cows at one of the barns down the road, and I was alone in the house with three four year old's.  They weren't dressed, and didn't have shoes on and it was snowy and icy outside and I knew I could not carry all three of them out of the house by myself.

I could hear him becoming short of breath as he was running to his truck to come home.  He'd told me to stay by the box and watch what happened.  No, I couldn't smell heat, and no, I didn't see fire ... and yes, it was still making that noise.  In the end, I couldn't just stand by that box.

The panic in my voice was evident to these little kids as I ordered them to get their boots on, and in between running to get their coats, and watching the breaker box ... they did what I told them to do.  They stood in a line at the back door, flattened against the wall and waited for the emergency that I was telling them was happening.  They didn't cry ... they just stood there with big eyes and were ready to run.

Within a couple of minutes of my phone call, Von came home.  As he listened to the box, I could the see the fear in his eyes ... when suddenly he said to me, "listen and tell me if it stops" ... then he went outside.  Within seconds, the noise stopped ... then started again.

As he came back through the door, all the fear that I had previously seen was gone from his face.

Then he said to me ....  "that noise is coming from the icicles that are melting off the gutter".

Then I said, "I knew that! I was just practicing my emergency evacuation plan .... and you passed!"

Well .... I really didn't say that ... but I did give a sick little laugh before I almost passed out  .... and told the kids that the coast was clear!