Saturday, September 26, 2009
This afternoon, the power went out abruptly. This is not a terribly uncommon occurrence here, and I thought nothing of it until I started smelling something burning and looked out the window to see a column of smoke rising in the sky and lots of people in the street. We went outside to see what had happened, and discovered that a house not 100 yards away from our own had gone up in flames. As I watched it burning and the firefighters arriving, I joked to Susan, "I think I'm going to start packing my suitcase." And then I suddenly realized that I wasn't joking after all. I ran back into the house and threw my most valuable items, like medications and the computer, into my backpack in case we needed to leave in a hurry. I then headed back out, and we went over to help people who were moving all items of value (and also lots of random crap) out of the house that was closest to the fire, in case it caught fire, too. It was very chaotic. Some guys removed a hutch that was too large for the door by banging it into the doorframe until the top of the hutch broke off, also smashing an electrical outlet located right above the door. It was a small miracle another fire didn't start. The exercise turned out to be unnecessary, as the firefighters got the fire under control before it spread to any of the other houses (quite fortuitously for us). The power stayed out for a while, and Lee was quite a sight to see, chopping garlic with his flashlight that straps onto your head.