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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Freezing day off

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I haven't seen this much snow combined with this cold of weather since when we lived in Colorado. Despite the majority opinion, I do love the snow and chilly temperatures. It's December. It should be cold with snow. However, this kind of weather recently reminded me of a morning that happened to me almost 12 years ago now.

I was pregnant and overdue with my oldest daughter, and it was my first day of maternity leave from my job. I was SO excited to be home and not have to go to work, and just be able to wait for the arrival of my first baby.

We were living in Colorado and it was a freezing cold, gloomy, snowy day in February. I got to sleep in a little and was thrilled to know that I'd have the whole day to myself to do whatever I wanted. I wouldn't have to rush around, getting dressed up for work and braving the crazy city drivers in my long commute. It was an awesome feeling.

Being overdue, I was huge pregnant, all swollen up and feeling a little miserable, so it felt great to just keep my jammies on and lounge around. I started some laundry, got a big bowl of cereal and then settled in to watch some morning TV, some shows I always missed because I was at work. My hair was still a rat's nest, and with my glasses on and no makeup, I'm sure I looked fabulous, but I didn't care. It was the perfect lounge day and I was going to soak it up.

I was half way through my cereal and enjoying some 1970s sitcoms, when all the sudden I heard a loud banging at the front door. It wasn't a courteous knock, but more of an "I'm about to break your door down" knock. All I could think was, "What the heck?" I glanced at the clock and it was barely past eight a.m. Who'd be banging on my door?

I was scared at first and thought, "I am NOT answering the door. What if it's a serial killer?" The loud thumping came again at the door, this time several bangs over and over. I snuck my big self over to the front window as best I could and peeked gently behind the curtain.

Obviously I didn't want it to be a bad guy, but if it was the mailman or some delivery guy, I certainly wasn't answering the door looking like death warmed over.

I just kept thinking, "Go away! I'm majorly pregnant, it's my first day off and you're ruining it."

Then, I finally got a glance at who was out there. I saw two men in uniforms so I quickly threw open the door to see what was wrong. Standing outside my frosty screen door, was two masked firemen dressed in their full garb.

Over their shoulders I could see a fire truck and some other firemen, as well as a sidewalk full of neighbors, all staring at my house.

As hideous as I'm sure I appeared, I set that aside and opened the screen door and asked, "What's the matter?" The manly fireman announced, "Maam, your house is on fire! You gotta leave now!"

I replied, "What? Where?" The fireman pointed to my front basement window well. I stepped out and took a look. Waves of what appeared to be smoke was billowing out of the window well.

For a second, I thought he might be right, but then it hit me. I looked back up to the masked firemen and smiled, "That's not smoke. That's steam from my dryer. I'm doing laundry downstairs." The below-zero temperature caused the dryer steam to look exactly like smoke.

The firemen lifted their masks and asked if I was for sure and then asked if they could check it real quick. I let them in to confirm all was well, and gave my neighbors a smile and wave, assuring them that I was not, in fact, about to burn up, but was just trying to catch up on some laundry on my day off.

As much as I appreciated the concern of my neighbors to call in, I was thoroughly embarrassed that I'd caused such a commotion and even more humiliated at how awful I'd looked.

It was my first morning home and now my cereal was soggy and my TV show was over.

Guess I should have saved the laundry for a warmer day.

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Jennifer Morgan
Motherhood Moments
-- Jennifer Morgan is the mother of three girls and lives in McCook.