Best! Week! Ever!

Last Thursday afternoon, my friend Kim had just arrived for a visit with me and the dogs. I went out to let her in from the guest parking area, and as we returned to my apartment we could smell what we thought was incense. Within minutes, I was calling 911. We grabbed the dogs and ran through a hallway filled with dense black smoke to safety. The whole episode was swift and terrifying. But we were fortunate; no one was hurt, or worse.

Several apartments were destroyed in the fire, which started in the unit adjacent to ours. The fire burned up, but the smoke filled our place, coating every square inch of everything with acrid soot. Walls, floors, furniture, clothes, rugs, art, electronics… the smoke found its way into closed closets and drawers. But again, we’re fortunate to have insurance that will cover the restoration or replacement of these things.

We stayed with friends for a few days over the weekend. Their upstairs neighbor just happened to be spending this week with family in Boston, so here we are, taking care of her chocolate lab, Luna. Our dogs Charlie, Bernardo and Tiger are rolling with it – but I know they are wondering, What the hell is going on here?!

That same thought has crossed my mind once or twice in the last few days. But we managed to find an apartment to sublet for October and half of November, just a few blocks from our smoked-out mess of a home. And hoping that will be enough time to get it all shipshape. There have been a few other mini-dramas along the way, but I am too tired to conjure them for you tonight. Perhaps another time, when I can see more of the humor in it all.

Today was kind of funny, though. I was scheduled for a colonoscopy and was tempted to cancel, but the prospect of being zonked out on high-grade anesthesia was too good to pass up. I asked them if they could wake me in November.

Some wisdom I earned this week that I can now pass along to you:

1. If you smell smoke, get out. If Kim and I had waited even one more minute, it might have been too late.

2. Things are just things. We all know this. When we are reminded, it can be an oddly comforting lesson.

3. If you are old enough to be needing a routine colonoscopy, stop worrying about it. I would rather have ten colonoscopies than one teeth cleaning. You do the ‘cleanse’ the night before by drinking a month’s supply of laxatives mixed in a gallon of fruit juice. Catch up on your favorite Netflix series and be prepared to hit the pause button. Frequently. The next morning you go into the hospital, lots of very kind people fuss over you, and the next thing you know you’re waking up and being given some cookies and apple juice. It’s over. And then you can pig out on lunch – you’ve earned it.

Best week ever? Hardly. But the thing I was dreading wasn’t so bad after all. And the dreadful thing could have been far worse.

The End (so far)


  1. Pingback: Sideways | The End
  2. Steve- I am very thankful that you and Kim had the good sense to evacuate when you did. Situations like this can help give you perspective on the “stuff is just stuff” attitude, but that doesn’t stop it from being a colossal pain in the ass (unlike the colonoscopy). Hang in there. Please call if you need help with anything. XOXOXOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Along with being very grateful that you and your friend, and apparently others, were not harmed, I am still truly sorry to think of all the work that is ahead of you. The business of filing insurance paperwork and then the cleanup and inconvenience of relocating is hardly simple. You have a great attitude, and I hope you can hold onto it throughout the length of the restoration process. Your perspective on a colonoscopy is equally helpful. I’ve been putting one off…you have made it almost sound like fun. 🙂 I hope the dogs handle change well. It must be hard for them, too. I’m glad you shared your situation. I hope that calm is quickly restored, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Debra. Calm… yes. If I found a lamp with a genie inside, calm would be one of my three wishes. In the meantime, I am trying to breathe lighter. Spending some time over at your beautiful blog is something I look forward to this weekend!


  4. I miss writing to you as I read your wonderful bits. But this one makes me sneak out of work for a moment to say “Bravo” on both acting so quickly to save you, Kim, the doggies and all your neighbors. You are a hero. And thank you for getting out safely, that is crazy scary.

    I also agree, such a “near miss” is a good reminder that most things are just “little things”, inconveniences, although we often act like they are important dramas. I must say I had my first colonoscopy last year and I am dreading my next. But mine was without the blissed-out-drug part, so I am clearly missing out. I got to watch mine on a TV screen though and took a full tour of my digestive track – so that made it worth it, but like any good vacation – I don’t need to go back to see the same old stuff again.

    Can we ship anything out to help? It must be hard to be homeless for these weeks and we are happy to help. Just let us know what you need.

    Hugs and go have some fun now – you all have earned it.
    Much love, ty

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny how life can throw us a curve ball unexpectedly and everything changes because of it. Suddenly losing your home is right up there on the OMG scale.
    I loved your line *the thing I was dreading wasn’t so bad after all. And the dreadful thing could have been far worse*. It certainly puts things in perspective. Surely things will get better from here 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank goodness you guys and the dogs were unharmed, that you got out when you did. That was terrifying that the fire happened right next door. I hope your neighbours weren’t home and that they’re alright too.

    I checked out what a colonoscopy is after reading your post. From Wiki: it should be done every 10 years after 50. So I’m going to ask the partner who is in his 60s, whether he’s had his done. Glad to read yours went well, Steve. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like it only because if the ‘happy’ ending, Steve – otherwise I’m terrified in retrospect. I just sucked in my breath in a huge sigh of relief. X!
    Colonoscopy. That awful stuff you drink has the most astonishing effect: one sits there in a kind of harmless fuddlement and eventually arises, to gaze down and think “How did that happen ??” It makes me laugh like anything: it’s a kind of evacuation by osmosis. Frankly, it’d be good if we did that all that time, really – WITHOUT, I hasten to add, the frequency …

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