Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful to be alive and back safe in our home...

Yesterday started out nice enough... I put the corned beef and new potatoes in the crockpot, looking forward to our traditional St. Patrick's Day feast... then I did a little shopping with one of my friends... next Jack and I started out on our daily Nature walk. As we walked past the house behind us, we could smell natural gas, really strong... (yes, I know it has no odor, but we could smell what they put in it so it can be detected)... I went to the neighbor's door as Jack thought it was leaking from their meter... they were not home, so we called the gas company and reported what we thought was a leak at their meter... they came out immediately and began checking for leaks... when we walked over to talk to them, they said there was a high concentration of gas but it would take a while to locate the leak, it was not coming from the meter... they said they would let us know...

Have you ever imagined in your mind what you would do if you were told you had to evacuate your home, grab what you could, and get out... NOW!... Well, that's exactly what happened to Jack and I yesterday... my thoughts were all over the place... of course the priority was for Jack and I to be out of the house, and we no longer have any little pets... they have all gone to animal Heaven... they would have been our number one priority as well...

I must admit I cried when I saw police tape cordoning off our home... and garage... and back deck...

The foreman told us there was a major leak in the main line and four of our neighbors and Jack and I were to be evacuated... the concentration level was at it's most dangerous, making for a high probability of explosion...

They told us we had just several minutes to grab what we could and leave... I never want to hear those words again in my life... we have literally a small fortune, wait, let's make that more like a medium fortune in everything we have in our home, besides our home itself... things we have worked an entire lifetime to now own... Jack began getting our vehicles out into the street, so we could load up whatever I could quickly gather... even though my mind was in a total fog at the news, I knew right what I wanted to take with us... the antiques must stay, as well as all of my collections, and Jack's model trains, planes, helicopters, tools, etc.... today, before I put everything away, I photographed what I had taken with us... the first thing I got was my family's Bible... this beautiful old Bible has been in our family for generations... when my daddy got so ill just before he passed away, he could not rest at night if this Bible was not right by his side...

Then I grabbed my daddy's favorite grey sweater and my mama's red sweater... mama and daddy are both gone now, but I swear sometimes I can still smell my daddy's Mennen aftershave and mama's Shalimar perfume... sometimes I will wear these sweaters when I am needing to feel safe... and warm... and even closer to my mama and daddy... they must go with me...

Then from the same closet I got my mama's old scrapbook, lovingly held together with lace ribbons as it is so old and fragile, and an old photo album of my daddy's full of pictures from when he was a child...

A small box of jewelry and little treasures my mama had saved over her lifetime, including little notes I made for my mama and daddy telling them how much I love them when I was just a little girl, and mama put them in with her precious trinkets forever...

Then I grabbed my favorite photo of my beautiful mama and daddy, along with the little American flag I keep by my daddy's picture... daddy was a Colonel in the United States Army and so proud of our country... I always keep a flag out for him... also I took a small little bundle tied with a ribbon of letters that daddy wrote back home from overseas where he served during WWII... also in the picture as well as the very top picture, I took my mama's rosary and my daddy's dogtags...

I KNOW the main thing is to get people and pets out... I do understand that... and I know that alot of material things can be replaced... but I would be a liar if I told you these things I gathered up to take with me did not matter to me... they do... they are a part of me... priceless... and can never be replaced... Jack and I spent the time we were evacuated out at my sister's home... she and my brother~in~law are on a vacation in California, so I called her to let her know we would be going there... I knew it was ok... we are sisters... but I still wanted to let her know... I also called my two nieces, as I knew they would worry if they came by to see us, which they usually do on a holiday, and saw police tape all around our home... and us nowhere around... it looked like a crime scene... today we are back in our home, safe and sound... they would not allow us back in until they came in first and checked our entire home for any gas and re~lit all of our pilot lights... they told us the leak was caused by a careless person they sub~contract work out to on the gas lines (which we never knew they sub~contracted), and a cap on a tee in the line that was not tightened properly... had we not phoned it in, and it was left undetected, it could have exploded and left about a five block area in shambles... Yesterday I admit, I was cussing the "luck of the Irish" (Jack's Irish)... especially since just this week my email account was hacked into also and rotten sex letters sent out to everyone in my contact list... now I have a new email account, new passwords, the works... I am totally drained today, but my thinking is alot clearer... my St. Patrick's Day post had been an Irish blessing... it read... "May God grant you always... A sunbeam to warm you, A moonbeam to charm you, A sheltering angel so nothing can harm you"... thank you, my sheltering angels... xoxo


  1. Oh, Julie, praise God that you and Jack noticed the odor! You saved not only your lives but those of your neighbors!

    I too couldn't imagine what I would gather in a nanosecond, Kodak of course and then I have no clue!

    Sending you a BIG HUG!


    P.S. That contractor needs to be penalized!

  2. It wasn't the luck of the Irish, it was God looking over you. I would have been rather flustered myself. If I had only minutes to grab things, everything of greatest importance, the photos, the letters, the little drawings from young fingers are all in my hope chest. I would have grabbed them all. I am so glad you and Jack and neighbors are all safe. Oh my goodness what a week you have had.

  3. You actually DID have the Luck of the Irish with you yesterday! Thank God you smelled the smell and called the gas company. I can sympathize with your having to figure out what to take at a moment's notice, though I've never had to evacuate. When we had the horrible fires and family and friends in the area were being ordered to leave, I thought, 'what would I take if I had 15 minutes to pack the car and get out?' My cats (had 2 then), my sewing machine, my computer were the main things. After that, whatever I could grab would have gone. It's a good thing to think about, just in case. Anyway, I am so happy you are both okay and your house is still standing, as your neighbor's are as well. God and your sheltering angels were all looking out for you yesterday!

    Love and hugs,

  4. Thank the Lord all ended well, there was a reason you and Jack were heading out for your walk at the right time.
    It is amazing how only the really important things matter during an emergency. So glad you and all your neighbors are safe!
    Take care,

  5. Oh Julie! I am so glad you noticed that odor. Thank God for His perfect timing once again. Had you not taken your walk then...don't even want to think about that. Glad you are all safe and sound too!!

    You picked out all the perfect things to rescue. It makes me think I should put those types of items all in one place should I ever need to do that.

  6. Oh my goodness how scary!! I am so happy you both are safe and sound and smart enough to report a problem.How many people might have not bothered to report and look what could have happened.
    I really believe your angels were working over time yesterday.
    Something similiar happened when my children were little. I was in the shower and the children started crying that there parakeet had fallen off his perch and wouldn't get up.I jumped out of the shower and realized he was gone and then started to hear the pipe breaking outside our home . I literally threw on clothes and grabbed the children, my purse with my keys and id and money, and a dog, 2 cats. When I went out the door our local newspaper reporter was there and snapped a picture of me evaacuating with my entourage . I remember looking at the photo and being so surprised that I was carrying my large phone (back in the 80's) and the bird wrapped in a small blanket. Who knows what would have happened if the bird wouldn't have smelled the gas first. We thank him for giving his life all the time for saving us that day.

  7. Oh my goodness! At least all of you including your neighbors are safe and sound, that is very important. You got the right things, the ones that mattered and could never be replaced.
    At least you are safe and sound and can sleep again in your own bed.
    Take Care!

  8. Oh sweetheart, thank goodness it all turned out the way it did, you are safe and that's all that matters. Sadly, I do know what it feels like to loose EVERYTHING. When I was in high school, we had a house fire in the middle of the night. We lost pets and everything we owned. It was the worst thing I have lived thru. You don't get over something like that, it stays with you always. After the house was rebuilt, you could still smell smoke on a humid day, bringing back those horrible memories. I am thankful all of you are ok, Char

  9. Oh my, what a horrible thing to happen. It really makes one think doesn't it. I love that you took those irreplacible items. I too would run to my basement and grab all my photo albums: the history of my little family. I am so glad to hear it all came out okay. The good Lord knew what he was doing when he sent you along for your walk. :)

  10. GASP! Girlfriend...the hand of God was upon you and your hubby. I'm so thankful you are OK and your house.

    You really made me tear up as I read what you grabbed. The sweaters of your parents...WAHHHHHHHHHHHH

    You have a huge heart and I just love it to pieces.


  11. I am so glad you and your home are unharmed. It does sometimes take a big squeeze on us to show what we are and yours sounds like it is sweet as can be.

  12. Reading this with goosebumps. The items you took were priceless indeed. SO glad you are safe and sound, Please be careful sweetie.

    Big hugs from the Netherlands

  13. Oh my goodness Julie!!! This is terrible! What a blessing that you and Jack detected that smell! You saved the neighborhood, lol! WOW! How scary. I would be freaking out if that happened to me. And I dont blame you one bit for grabbing the things you did, I would have to! There are just some things that cannot be replaced! I am so glad you are back home safe and sound!!
    Love you sweetie, get some rest!

  14. Thank God you are both ok, I sounds like a very scary sad and stressful tim. I am just happy you and Jack are safe and sound.
    I sent you an email..I think I have the correct address?

  15. Hi Julie, Wow what a scare that would be. I know I would have froze and would not be able to think straight on what to take.Thank goodness they were able to fix it- you saved so many homes and lives by calling it in .Things happen for a reason and your walk was for a purpose that day. Im so glad you and Jack are well and safe and your beautiful home and collections are fine. Sincerely Jonny

  16. Oh my, Julie Marie. I am so glad that you and Jack are safe. You pulled the same kinds of things out from your home that are on my top-10 list.
    Living in the woods, we need to be able to evacuate in a matter of minutes if there is a forest fire, so I have my most precious things ready to go if need be.
    Again - I am so glad to hear that you are safe and back home.
    Sending you BIG HUGS,

  17. I'm so glad you and Jack took your walk when you did, you my have saved you and all your neighbors a lot of pain and suffering when you detected the smell. Bless your heart. And I'm so glad you're safe.

  18. Hi Julie Marie,
    So glad to hear everything turned out well....such a scary day!

  19. I missed this post, Julie I came back to read what you were referring to in your recent post. Oh wow, I try not to think of the worse case scenario for you, but that you and Jack were so fortunate. I don't know what I would take if I had to evacuate, except my pets. I have never given it much thought. You have so many precious memories and their significance is incredible if you took the time to gather things up when your life was in danger!

    I am glad everything turned out okay for you and Jack. The angels were on your side.


  20. Oh Julie, I cannot even imagine that. As I was sitting reading your post, I was looking around at all of my things and thinking what would I take? Of course Renoir first...but after that...I have so many treasures here that really have so much special meaning to me. It would be so hard to decide. I think each thing you chose is so sentimental and heartfelt...I loved seeing each and everyone. The sweet notes to your parents from you are darling...and amazing that you still have them...I think my mom has a bunch of notes and things my sister made for her stashed away somewhere...she got them out on our graduations and I couldn't believe the stuff she saved! ;) Well, I am very relieved you are safe and sound...and still have your beautiful, precious mementos...

  21. Oh my gosh Julie Marie, I am so glad that God used you and your husband to detect the smell, and that everything turn out OK, otherwise it would of been a terrible thing. Count your blessings girl.... I know if I had to evacuate my home it would be a very Big Ordeal getting out all my birds.... no time for anything else.


  22. Julie,
    I am so thankful that you and Jack noticed the odor and did something about it - you are heroes!

    I love your list of precious things - and I know we all have our own lists; your post makes me think that it's good to plan ahead, just in case. It would be smart to have these things readily available (not up in the attic - for example) where I could grab them and r-u-n-n-n-n-n.

    Thank God you are safe.

  23. Praise God you made that phone call when you did and that no one was hurt. I know exactly how you felt. Several years ago when we had our townhome I came home from work, called my hubby at work (he was working nights for Radio Shack, told him I had a really bad headache and was going to bed. He would call and worry if I did not answer. I lost my hearing at 39, have a cochlear implant to hear now, but when sleeping I don't have it on so never heard the polic pounding on our door. I woke up to see my husband pulling me out of bed and "signing" to me to get dressed NOW. All I had time to do was get my Cochlear implant and my purse and run down the stairs to see a police women standing in our entry. There were 6 units in our condo building and the man 2 doors from us had rigged his apartment with bombs so his wife could not leave him. They evacuated all the building around us, but me. My husband came home and saw my car and knew I was still in there and they let him get me with policy escourt as at that time they were not telling exactly what was wrong. It took over 15 hours until we could back home and I know exactly the feeling Julie Marie, when you walk back into your home after a scenario like that. God Bless you and Jack lived to tell us the story, as did everyone else.