On Fire

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Fire Alarm
Photo via hellosputnik

A couple of nights ago, in the wee hours of the middle of the night (3:30am to be precise, the fire alarm went off in our condo complex.  It’s always a quick walk down memory lane, bringing me back to the days of college dorm life except now it’s not drunken coeds setting  off alarms (I’d tell you here who is setting them off nowadays but we never seem to find out who the culprit is).   We bundled up the girls and made our way downstairs but luckily ran into a firefighter before we faced the cold.  Our hero in uniform kindly informed us there was no real emergency and to head back home.  Thankfully the girls went right back to sleep without a fuss but I was up in bed for another hour.  This is what was running through my mind:

-When the alarm went off I didn’t scurry to take a ton of prized possessions with me.  Jeremy took Dessa and I took Farrah.  I paused for a split second to put on my wedding ring and we were out the door.  There isn’t one other single thing in our home I’d care to take with me.  Well, my giant diaper bag/purse came with me, too, but only out of necessity (cell phone, credit cards, cash, etc.) and it was right by the door.  Made me wonder why we have so much shit in our house if the only thing I care about is my wedding ring?  I think it may be time to do some spring cleaning.

-Random fact about me: I don’t sleep in PJs.  Not in the nude but not entirely dressed.  While the fire alarm rang, I wasted a few precious seconds throwing what was within arm’s reach – sweatpants from the dirty laundry and my nursing tank.  I covered up my stylish outfit with a big coat and giant, furry winter boots.  I know, quite the sight.  And, yes, I know how I look doesn’t matter for didley squat but that split second putting on dirty sweatpants could have meant life or death.  Note to self: invest in some cute PJs.

-If there really had been a fire, any and all pictures we’ve ever taken of our daughters would be gone.  G-O-N-E.  Sure we’d have photos other folks have taken but none of the moments we’ve chosen to capture.  It might seem insignificant to some people but it makes my heart hurt a little to think the possibility exists my girlies would have no pictures of their baby days.  Each picture is a story, a moment in their lives.  I’m feeling super guilty I haven’t done anything to carefully store our photos.  Add to the to do list – back up photos – ASAP!

-We’ve lived in our condo for 5 years now and this was the first time my husband willingly left the house.  Every time the fire alarm has gone off, he is confident it’s a false alarm.  Me?  No way.  I’ve left every single time.  There have even been plenty of times when I left him sleeping in bed and walked outside (not without encouraging him to leave first).  Not sure why but this time he rolled with it.  But he’s not the point.  Whenever I’ve gone outside for a fire alarm, I rarely run into anyone.  Outside I might find half a dozen neighbors but not nearly enough to fill the building.  Does everyone just ignore the alarm?  Do they just not care?  I never chance it.  I ain’t going out like that!

-When the fire alarm went off, my husband and I got up right away.  Our girls kept on sleeping.  Soundly.  Not a stir.  Not a flinch.  It’s nothing new; any fire alarms we’ve had in the middle of the night has never woken up either of our girls.  It’s, well, alarming.  It reminded me of a special I saw on Dateline or some similar show which said young children don’t respond to the sound of a traditional fire alarm.  I’m not sure what the reasoning is but they’re just not wired to respond.  They will, however, respond to the sound of a human voice.  I’m not sure of the science of why children don’t respond but it has something to do with the state of sleep they are in.  Sad on two levels – for obvious reasons in the event of a real fire and because I think it means adults just don’t get to that stage of sleep as often.

So some questions for whoever might be reading.

  • What items would you grab if your home were on fire?
  • How do you sleep?  If the firemen arrive to find you on the sidewalk, what would you be wearing?
  • How do you store your photos?  How many back up systems do you have?  Any word on Smug Mug?
  • Why do you think so few people leave their home during fire alarms?

And with that, my dears, I’m off to enjoy this rainy, rainy Monday.

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  1. How scary! Im glad it was a false alarm and all of you were fine! I bet you looked good in your outfit ( :

    I subscribe to mobile me with my mac, and backup my stuff whenever I remember but I really should back up atleast weekly.

  2. I have some of the years of photos backed up on plain old shutterfly, I have all of my images on a portable hard drive, but those would go down with the house.

    I think paul would grab the laptop if we were running out, sad, but true. Me, babies. I truly worry if my kids would be the ones that hide; I have talked them through a fire so many times to make sure they don’t, but my gut tells me they would. Luckily we live in a small house, where are they going to go?

    My clothes would not be pretty. I wear old yoga pants and a tee shirt. I’ve been on the search for cute, functional pajamas since we stopped nursing, but I haven’t made the plunge yet.

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