For the second year in a row my family and I packed up the day after Christmas and headed to Gulf Shores, AL.
My husband and I both work way too much and the ability to be able to pack up for a week and tune out has been one we’ve both looked forward to all year.
This year, we were more ready than ever to hit the road.
Flash back to the week before last when the temperatures plummeted to an unspeakable -30 degrees.
I thought we were doing ok, all day Thursday our house stayed “warm” ish.
When you live in a 100 year old house, it’s never warm.
Anyway, we made it through the day staying comfortable.
Then it turned 8:30 p.m. and I swear, all hell broke loose.
Our water froze mid-stream.
My husband who had already crawled into bed for the night got back up and spent the next two hours trying to unthaw the pipes, however to no avail he eventually gave up to try again in the morning.
Morning would prove to be nearly fatal.
We woke up to everything frozen.
The hot water tank.
The dishes in the sink that had water.
The freaking coffee pot water.
ALL LIQUIDS WERE FROZEN.
Cold doesn’t even begin to describe it.
In an attempt to dethaw the kitchen, my husband brought in a propane blower heater and came into the bedroom to grab his coveralls from the dryer to head outside.
In less than 10 minutes of the heater being on it caught on fire.
My house filled with smoke.
The alarms went off.
I jumped out of bed and screamed for my boys, two of them were still sleeping upstairs.
They ran downstairs, half asleep and not dressed (my oldest in only his underwear and my youngest in just shorts) sprinted outside to take shelter in our camper as my husband acted quickly to put out the fire.
I ran back inside to find them clothes and shoes, covering my face from the thick smoke that had filled my entire home.
The following two hours were a blur of cold, soot, heart racing adrenaline and shock.
What little heat we had in the house was gone as we opened all the doors and windows to try and clear the air.
My husband said “take the kids to Holiday Inn, at least it’s warm and you can shower”
So, two days before Christmas the boys and I packed some bags and took a pre-vacay trip to Holiday Inn.
If you’ve never stayed there (because who actually stays in their local hotel?) it’s very nice, very clean and I could have hugged the sweet lady behind the desk for letting us check in well before checkin hours.
Needless to say, after working on the plumbing for two days straight, by Christmas our house was smoke free, mostly soot free, and unthawed. We served a Christmas meal of salmon and pork tenderloin and packed our bags with more excitement than ever to go on vacation.
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