Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale. It's a true tale. A tale of horror, heroics and hedonism (OK, there's no hedonism but what alliteration!)
It all started on Friday night. We went to Billy's funeral Mass and then to Dana's (Conrad's first born sister). Conrad had already decided to spend the night out there and that was fine with me. However, he was in charge of bringing the brisket for the next day's get-together. So, when I came home I put the already-smoked-all-day brisket in the oven at 225 to cook all night.
Now, I know from experience that when you put the already-smoked-all-day brisket in the oven that it can have consequences. One, you'll end up with a lovely smoked brisket and all will be well or two, the brisket can leak juices all over the bottom of the oven and a fire is a distinct possibility. So, here I am at 2 a.m. with the briskets in the oven, children finally asleep in the living room (a bonus for them since Daddy was away) and me lying in bed figuring out my "in-case-of-brisket-juices-catching-on-fire-plan-of-escape". Once I had the plan solid in my head, I was able to fall asleep. And, in case you were wondering, the plan was to fling open the patio door and fling the children out said door while calling 911. Big plan, huh? It was enough for me.
Well, lo and behold, Saturday morning comes and we're all safe and sound and the house smells like yummy, delicious brisket that I can't wait to dig into. No fires. Whew!
Now, I notice when I take the briskets out that there is alot of run-off in the bottom of the oven so I tell Conrad on the way home from Dana's on Saturday that I want to do the "self-cleaning" option on the oven because we need the oven for Sunday because we're supposed to be having a fish-fry with Lisa and Phillip and I want make corn casserole so the oven needs to be clean. Not because I believe so much in a clean oven but because of the aforementioned fire possibility.
So, we get home very late. My children are hyped up for some reason and it takes forever for them to go to sleep (except Anna, who fell asleep on the drive home). So, Anna's in her room, Madeline's in the living room and Sadie's in her room because she just wouldn't go to sleep and I banished her to her room - oh the horror!
Finally, I feel like I can lay down then I remember the oven. So, I figure out the self-cleaning option and I crawl back in bed. It's about 2 a.m. About an hour later, I wake up and I can smell the self-cleaning thing and it's awful. For some reason I get up to check on it and notice that there is smoke EVERYWHERE. I have now breathed the very definition of acrid. It was stinky, smelly smoke. At this point I'm not too worried but it only took about 30 seconds for me to figure out that this was not a good situation. I think I wasn't too worried because the smoke alarm never went off. If figure if it's not enough smoke for that , then we must be OK. Wrong! I go open the front door, open the kitchen window, and turn on the exhaust fan on the stove. I woke up Conrad and told him the house was full of smoke from the oven. He gets up and starts doing something. I'm not sure why Anna was up but she was and I sent her outside (yes, by herself - what a great mom) then woke up Madeline and Sadie and told them to get outside. Everyone's outside except Conrad.
I go back in to find him and truly realize the depth of the situation. I can't go from the front door to the sliding glass door without feeling the effects of the smoke and, in fact, threw up outside the sliding glass door from the effects.
So, I went back to where the children were, not breathing in the air. It was then I realized all I had on was a tank top and underwear.
Now, I didn't think we would be calling 911 but at the same time, I don't really want my neighbors to see me in this dreadful get-up. So, one last time, back in I go to find some shorts. Successfully clothed, I go back outside.
Finally, we're all in one place. All the doors to the house are open, the oven and A/C turned off and so now it's just a waiting game. So we decide to sleep in the van. Can I just tell you that that was a good decision in theory. I don't think anyone but Madeline slept. Sadie moved and made noise the whole time, Anna may have drifted off after awhile, she was on my lap so I could tell she wasn't asleep. Conrad and I were not comfortable enough and I was just plain worried and feeling less than intelligent for the predicament we were in. Luckily, there was a nice breeze out and we had all the windows open so it wasn't too terribly hot.
Finally, about 5 a.m. Conrad went to check the house and he sounded the all clear and Madeline went immediately to the couch and fell asleep, Sadie and Anna went in Sadie's room and Sadie was reading books to her and Conrad and I feel exhaustedly into bed and promptly went to sleep. Much needed sleep.
So, my internet friends and family, that is my tale. I don't have a moral of the story for you just a caution. Don't decide to sleep in your van. It's not very comfortable. OK, it's really to check your smoke alarm. We will be checking ours today to find out why it didn't sound off.