Friday, March 26, 2010

Gas Leak

Yesterday I wanted to laugh and cry and scream all at the same time. I was boiling some eggs on the stove and started smelling a rotten egg smell. At first I thought, “That’s strange.” Then ten minutes later the smell was really strong and really bad. That’s when I realized it wasn’t rotten eggs, but a gas leak. The flame had been extinguished for some time, and gas had been pouring into my unventilated house. I started to freak out!

Despite a heavy rainfall outside, I opened all the windows in our house. (Later I mopped up huge puddles of rain water.) I told Meredith to stand in the garage and opened the garage door so she could breathe clean air. Clara and Sophia were napping upstairs and had not been breathing the gas, thankfully. It was time to feed the baby so I took them upstairs to the kids room, which did not smell at all, and opened the window (just in case). I started feeding the baby who was frantic with hunger by this point. Then I called the gas company. I explained what happened and that it wasn’t a big deal and the gas was not leaking anymore.

The man on the phone started screaming at me to get all my kids out of the house as quickly as possible … they would come check my house … wait across the street to let them in … do not make any more cell phone calls because I could cause a spark … and do not light any matches … and do it on the double … and this is serious ma’am, get out of your house immediately.

Did I mention it was windy and cold and pouring rain outside? And I was breastfeeding an extremely hungry baby? And my kids were running around half-naked because I just got out their spring clothes and of course they wanted to wear them that day?

I got my kids dressed while breastfeeding, got the kids in the van and drove across the street to wait. Meredith was very helpful. She told Clara, “Hurry up Clara! This is our first big emergency!” Cute.

Kevin’s mom came to wait with me and help with the kids. Meredith and Clara climbed in the front seat to wait with us. Sophia started crying. So I crawled in Meredith’s carseat (next to hers) to get her out and try to burp her.

Suddenly I burst out laughing. Never do you think things like this are going to happen in your life.

I never thought I would be sitting in a four-year-old’s carseat, trying to calm a baby, parked across from my own house, in the pouring rain. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Finally we were given the all clear. We decided to meet Kevin for dinner at Panda Express. The wait was long so we got dinner on the house! (I didn’t think it was THAT long of a wait, but I wasn’t going to refuse free food.)

We had a lovely and very relaxing dinner as a family. A great end to a hectic day.


Carrie said...

Oh wow! I'm so glad you all are ok. That sounds like an adventure I'd rather like to avoid, thank you very much! =D Sounds like you took it all in stride. I'm glad to know you had a free dinner at the end of the day though!

Anonymous said...

My gosh, Amy. I am glad I did not
know all this as it was going on.
I still don't quite understand what
caused the gas leak.....G Ma S

the Joneses said...

Oh, Amy! I probably would have been more distracted by the hungry baby than the gas leak, also. But Meredith was right -- that was a real emergency! A few years ago, a guy here tried to commit suicide by filling his house with gas and then lighting a match. The explosion was heard and felt for a ten-mile radius (including us).

You've got a great story, and here's hoping I don't have nightmares about what COULD have happened.

The free meal was a nice happy ending. :)

-- SJ

Heather L. said...

I'm so sorry! What a week for people in our church. :)

We had a gas leak when we moved here -- but it was confined to the closet where the water heater was. I finally called about it a few weeks into our living here after I was convinced it really was something and had the same experience with the lady on the phone!!! I was like, "Um no, we've had this for several weeks. I am not running out of the house." Obviously ours was not as bad a leak as yours -- the lady did ask if I was running a daycare :) She probably thought she should turn me in if I was -- since I wasn't grabbing the kids to get out of there. Fortunately, the plummer easily fixed it and no trouble since. I did think the "don't hang up the phone" was a bit much. But, I guess I don't know enough about gas.

dozenhalls said...

The free dinner was a reward from God! Phew! What excitement to your day :) I've sat in car seats too. Never thought I'd admit that on line but tis true. Happy to hear all ended well and you are safe. How long did it take them to respond? considering it was such a huge emergency to the gas people, they should have been there in less than five minutes, right? Did they call the fire department too? exciting to your girls for sure :)

Rachelle said...

Wow! I'm always stressing that I won't notice the smell and we'll all die. I'm less worried about that now and so glad you're all ok.

S. Mehrens said...

Wow. Quite the adventure and truly life can be stranger than fiction! Glad the day ended up to be a good one and nothing bad happened.

jennie said...

It would be great to get the story from the kids point of view. It is amazing to me how God brings these memories about!

Monica said...

Oh, Amy, you could write a book. Who says being a stay at home mom is boring?