Okay… alright-already, it was later than midnight, but ‘The One-Fifteen Miracle’ just didn’t have the same ring to it!
By nature, I am an early bird. Early to bed and early to rise. But due to the fact that every single other person in the family is a night owl, I have learned to suppress my sleepy evening tendencies, and stay up with the family a little later than I’d like to. My oldest son doesn’t get home from work until around 11:30 or 12:00 PM, and if I am not sound asleep (which I usually am), he will often want to come in and talk! I am NO GOOD past 11:00, but I can listen – for while, anyway.
Well, the night before last… after I got the younger boys off to bed… and after the older one was home & we’d had our “chat”, I was still up. Crazy. I know. I hate to stay up that late. I’m no good at that hour. For ANYTHING. But, here I was. Sitting on the couch – in front of the TV. Thanks to my friend Karen, I have been learning to draw Zentangle and was just “into it”! (Zentangle is like glorified doodling!) I Had Dog the Bounty Hunter on, and I was just doodling away. It’s therapeutic for me. Both are, actually. (Zentangle and Dog the Bounty Hunter!) 🙂
After I couldn’t blink away the blurry in my eyes anymore, and The Dog had caught his fugitive, I decided it was time to haul it in and get to bed. I went in to get my PJ’s on and before jumping into bed realized I’d left my cell phone in the living room, so went back to retrieve it.
As I passed threw the kitchen, I smelled pop tarts toasting. That was odd, I thought. First of all, everyone was in bed and the husband was gone on a trip. Second, we don’t have any pop tarts! (Anyway, their consumption is for special-occasions-only.)
Then it crossed my mind that maybe Darren (son 1) had some and was toasting them as a
midnight one-fifteen snack. He does work at a store and gets a lot of his own junk food, but as I got closer to the toaster to see what he might be cooking… I gasped in horror at what was in front of me.
My kitchen is small. Much too small for this big (as in numbers), giant-sized (as in actual physical size) family, and for as much cooking as I do. So when I have pots and pans to hand wash… there really isn’t any good counter space to put them to drain. There just isn’t much counter space period. Well, I have this small counter next to the sink that has the toaster in the corner. I had washed some pots and pans that evening, and had them propped up against the toaster to dry. I do that often. They had apparently slid down and pressed the lever on the toaster – and held it there. I won’t be doing it anymore.
Much scarier is the fact that I had thrown a bag of stale cereal on top of the toaster earlier that evening, to feed to the chickens in the morning. Special K, with strawberries. Hence, the (strawberry) pop tart smell!
Smoke was pouring out of the toaster. The cereal inside was on fire. The plastic bag was melting all over and into it.
I managed to unplug the toaster and get everything away from it quickly. (Not without dripping hot plastic on my finger.) Then ran over underneath the smoke alarm to fan and blow the smoke away so as not to roust up all the boys, at this ungodly hour. I could imagine the shrieks of the smoke alarm mixed with the shrieks of frightened boys and the time it would take to calm them all down and get them into bed again. (We even had an extra boy that night and I certainly did not want to traumatized him. He might never be allowed over again!)
I was SO grateful that I had stayed up to draw. That was a God thing. And believe me, I thanked him profusely!! It was very difficult to get to sleep after that. I kept thinking of all the other ways it could have gone. Even got up two more times to check and make sure the fire was really out. You know how your mind does all these weird things after something like that.
Well, I told the boys the next day, as they got up and found me cleaning the toaster, but I still haven’t told the husband. 😦 He is Mr. Safety, for crying-out-loud. This will not go over good. He may even throw out the toaster – the pots and pans – me, or… *shutter*… outlaw cereal indefinitely! He over-reacts a little sometimes. You know… near death type things that could have been prevented. They bother him. Occupational hazard?
Okay, okay… he won’t ban cereal forever. My kids would throw me under the bus before give up cereal, but I know I’m in for a lecture and then his watchful eyes on my kitchen habits for a while. :(Which is fine. I’m glad he’s into safety… at least one of us is. But it only works when he’s actually here!
I am glad that God was looking out for us that night. Glad He got me to stay up that late and forget to bring my phone in with me. I shudder to think of what would have happened if I’d gone to bed when I usually do.
So, that’s my Miracle at Midnight story.
Happy to have a kitchen. Small as it is… I’ll keep it!