Friday, October 3, 2008

A Memorable October 1

October 1 started out on a fun note. My friend Maura is turning 40 this week so her group of bike riding friends decided to make our Wednesday morning bike ride extra special for Maura. We made Maura a shirt that said "40 and Fabulous" and we all wore shirts that read "We're with 40". Someone had also given Maura 40 thongs for her birthday so as a joke we decided to wear them (just for the picture...we didn't wear them on our bike ride, TG)

After the birthday girl changed a flat tire for her friend and our ride was over, we took her to a very special restaurant for her birthday. Near our home, there is a "Biker Bar" where, on a beautiful day, motorcycle riders will gather for a drink and good food (the food IS actually good). It's one of only two establishments in Maryland that has an outdoor liquor license and they are open year round. We ride by there often and always joke about how we're bikers so we should go there for breakfast or lunch sometime. Maura's birthday was the perfect excuse!

The lunch was delicious and we met many friends there that day. The biker dudes were happy to have us with them and invited us back!

This is Maura with one of our new friends. He rides a road bike for exercise as well as riding a motorcycle. He told us that he's been riding for 30 years and has gotten more hurt on his road bike than his motorcycle!

That night, I was in the kitchen getting ready for dinner. I reached under my stovetop (I have just stovetop with no oven underneath) to pull out a baking sheet and it was stuck. I tugged and heard this whoooooosh!! I had broken the gas line running to the stove. The electricity from the outlet arched and within a second, I had a fireball under my stovetop. I knew I was in trouble and called 911. Everything that was stored in the cabinet had caught fire and the gas was just fueling it -- it was like a flamethrower. I pulled out the burning items and extinguished them but, because of the gas leak, the 911 operator told Jack and I to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!

It was an excruciating 8 minutes waiting for the 7 fire trucks that eventually showed up on the scene. We're fine, the damage is minimal, though there is black soot dusting the entire first floor of my house. I felt very very lucky indeed and was pretty shaken that evening.

My best friend and neighbor ran over when she got home and saw all of the firetrucks. She was relieved when she saw my husband, son and myself all safe and outside when she said, "What Susan, were you trying to cook again?". I laughed so hard I almost cried. But mostly from relief.

Lesson learned...Don't store stuff near your gas line and make sure you check the reading on your fire extinguisher (mine was 15 years old and empty)...

I'm off to take class from Robin today. Thanks to you all for all the many nice comments. I'll keep you posted when I can.


Lisa said...

Susan ~ heavens! I am so glad you and your family are safe and sound as well as your home. I lost my home and our two kitties at the time to a fire in 1999, so your tale is doubly scary to me! So glad all ended well and pray that the cleanup goes quickly for you.

Marty52 said...

Oh, man... I think you got super lucky, Susan... it could have been so different... gah!!

It think the thongs over the bike shorts were a nice touch. ;0)

Allison Ann Aller said...

Loved your lunch with the bikers! You have lots of great friends, don't you? That must be because you ARE one.
So glad you didn't blow up your whole house...scary indeed.

Heather J. said...

part 1 - What a fabulous group you gals are! I love the thongs and the bikers ... and I think the bikers would have loved the thongs too. :)

part 2 - I'm so glad your family and your house are safe! It must have been so scary.

verobirdie said...

Oh Gosh! So glad you are safe! It must have been scary indeed. A couple of months ago, the car of my neighbour caught fire at 5:30 in the morning. As I'm an early bird, I saw it and called the firemen. It took them over 30 minutes to find us... The dispatcher had taken the address wrong... Another neighbor had stopped the fire by then, but imagine that for your kitchen...
If I were sure you'd organize the same lunch for my next birthday, I think I'll start riding bike at once :-)
And do you realize you had bikers AND firemen on the same week? How is your husband dealing with that :-)

Pigtown-Design said...

1. How funny that you all biked to Daniels! My volvo guy is just a couple of blocks from there... you can just barely see it under the bridge in the photo.

2. Another good reason not to cook... seriously, glad you're all okay!

Barbara C said...

I'm glad you and your family are all safe and that you didn't suffer major fire damage.

And what a perfect 40th birthday celebration. I sounds like you and your friends know how to have a good time.

Elmsley Rose said...

What a wonderful 40'th birthday story, and then such a shock to read about the fire!!

I'm SO SO glad that you and yours are all ok.

Very best,

Jane said...

What an exciting life you lead!

But maybe just a little less excitment when cooking would be best.

Glad you are all ok.

Debra said...

I think the lessson learned is to stay away from stoves--like, far away. That's my motto & I haven't had any kitchen fires.

Although it was handy having a gas stove during the Hurricane when everyone else was "barbequeing" out of sheer necessity.

I envy your group of fun gal pals!

Glad you and the guys are safe!

Vicky aka stichr said...

So glad you are safe and well, and I will add your advice to my personal list of "Not to-dos"....

like finding a Babar book in your broiler oven under the gas jets, not a good thing either!

on another note.....Think of the friends you would have made if you had worn the thongs to the biker bar????

Carol said...

That was way too much excitement for ONE day!!

I love to see a group of friends having such a great time together. I have lost my two best friends (passed away) and am having a hard time, at my age, of finding someone I can connect with in the same way.

Glad the fireguys got there in time to contain the fire and that you and yours are safe.

Fun post and thanks for sharing.

jessi said...

I'm glad you and your family are safe! Sounds like you had an exciting day. :)

Guzzisue said...

Hi, just found your blog, love the stitching! and the thongs :-) made me smile. Not sure about firemen but give me bikers anyday ( after all, Ive spent the last 20 years with one)

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