So I posted some sweet little videos yesterday. And I thought I was done. Turns out the day was just getting started.
I go to work figuring it'll be a pretty normal day - after all, only one person in the entire school knows it's my birthday. But then I come back from making copies while the kids are at recess and now they're taking their spelling test. And as I walk across the room everybody starts whispering happy birthday . . . crazy, no? But I laugh and roll with it and tell them thank you and be quiet because they're taking a test . . . yeah, who'd'a thought I'd ever be all grown-up-ish like that? :-) Anyway, I sit down at the back table with my back to the class to do some stapling and suddenly it gets super quiet. Next thing I know they're singing Happy Birthday to me!! Sooooo freaking cute!!!!!!! Seriously, I melted. Then they asked how old I was. I told them to guess, fully aware of what I was getting myself into. I laughed off the triple-digit guess made in silliness. The guesses that began with 3s, 4s, and 5s made me feel a little old . . . but kids that age have pretty much no concept of age beyond, like, ten, right? So not too old. So I finally tell them I'm 26, and the initial response is "WOW! That's so YOUNG!!!" and I'm feeling pretty good. Then the comments of "you're the same age as my mom/dad/aunt/grandma's dog/pet fish/whatever!" started (although in the interest of full disclosure, I did make those last two up). I think those made me feel older than the grossly inaccurate age guesses. All in all though, totally made my day. After they finished the test and were getting ready to go everybody kept to me and happy birthdays and hugs abounded - even from the kids I don't work with! I don't think I've EVER gotten that much attention on my birthday . . . even the one two years ago when I officially got my engagement ring and Luke staged this re-proposing at the site of our first date and it turns out that since we were in front of a restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows everybody was watching us and then they totally started clapping and a couple of the managers came out to congratulate us and everything. (Didn't get a free meal out of it though, dangit!) Totally awesome. But this totally topped it. I still haven't figured out how Ms. Ingram knew though . . . Aunt Sharon, did you spill the beans? So . . . confused . . .
Anyway, I get off work and I head straight to paradise . . . I mean Coldstone. Because for my birthday I am getting my very first ever ice cream cake!!!! Hooray!!!!! Gotta say, I was seriously tempted to get about five cakes, and pretty much the only thing that stopped me is the fact that we wouldn't have that much room in our freezer even if it was completely empty . . . which it was not. Soooo many yummy choices!!!!!! And did you know that Coldstone now has an oreo filling ice cream? Tastes EXACTLY like the middle of an oreo!!!!!!! SO INCREDIBLY AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously considered getting an oreo cake, but in the end I went with Cookie Dough Delirium and I have no regrets. Well . . . I do regret that I couldn't get five, actually.
So Luke comes home from work (with flowers, woot!) and we have manicotti for dinner, and how's this for timing - the DVD we got from Netflix just happens to be Stargate SG1!! Seriously - did not manipulate that!!! We eat. We watch the awesomest show ever. We enjoy it all immensely. Come about 10:00 we are done, and preparing to crash since Luke has to work in the morning. And we faintly hear a smoke detector going off in one of the apartments above us. And it doesn't stop. So Luke goes up to investigate.
And this is where things get . . . good? Crazy? Intense? Hot, for sure. Apartment 19 is empty. Dark. And on fire in the bathroom. And this is how I found out: Luke goes upstairs. Lacey figures he'll be back in five minutes. Ten minutes goes by. Smoke detector still going off. Suddenly Lacey hears about five people pounding on various doors in the complex telling people to get out. Lacey thinks, "oh crap," grabs her phone on the way out of the room, her shoes on the way out the front door, and puts them on when she gets down. Sees Luke for about 2 minutes, first of six fire departments is already here, so she calls the manager while Luke goes off . . . who knows where. He was totally enjoying his in-charge status way too much if you ask me. Like, Percy Weasley levels. Everywhere doing everything. Grrr. I end up babysitting the manager's daughter who is sleeping in her car across the street and all the fire engines totally blocked my view, but I'm told at one point flames were quite visible and put on quite a show. And I heard an odd buzzing sound that I thought must be chainsaws and wouldn't you know it, I was right! They cut holes in the roof over 4 apartments to get to the attic where the fire was.
Round about 11:00 I finishing my minor freak-out about all the important/sentimental stuff we would lose if the fire did make itself all the way down to our apartment. The bits of chatter I can catch from the garbled-y radio of the nearest cop/fire/ambulance/whatever car (and seriously, how do they understand anything on those radios? I've worked with radios before and they were NEVER that static-y!!) says that the fire is completely under control. Yay! Then someone says something offhand about water damage. Oh crap. Anyway, I figure I better start making arrangements on the rapidly-more-likely chance that we won't be sleeping in our apartment tonight. Tremonton? Last resort due to length of drive. Aunt Tawnya? Has admitted to often not having her cell phone on, and that's the only number I have. Aunt Sharon? Probably asleep, and I would hate to wake them up because . . . I know for a fact that Drew is almost certainly awake, and probably still out playing or something. So I text her, and she's all set waiting to hear what happens. It's also around this time that the manager's daughter wakes up, sees me (a stranger), and freaks out. Manager's sister takes her home, and I'm left watching the darkness because I missed all the fun stuff from a spectator sport perspective. Blargh.
Round about midnight some fire dude with a very in charge demeanor gathers everybody who lives here. It was a pretty small group because a lot of people had left town for the weekend (including the ones in the apartment where the fire started . . . good thing we heard it!!!!!) and some had already split figuring they wouldn't be getting back in tonight. Which is what he told us. He took down names and phone numbers and stuff, and made sure we all had somewhere to go for the night. And said that the only reason we couldn't stay was because the power was shut off and they couldn't get it back on until morning. (well, that's probably not the only reason, but it's the only one he gave. Good news: we can go back into our apartments to grab stuff for over night, and we'll be able to get back in in the morning. So Luke and I go up, and I'm totally bracing myself for the horrors and the carnage and the flooding and the smoke and the ruin. We go in. We look around - well, as best we can with just a little flashlight. It smells funny. But only a little. And . . . that's it! No smoke damage, no water damage - again, as far as we can tell with a flashlight. So we grab some stuff and head out to my car with our new best friend (at least for the night, lol) Kristin who had no where to go. And we go to Aunt Loretta's. And we CRASH.
We all slept well, all things considered. And had a thoroughly enjoyable/entertaining morning. And pancakes. With absolutely delicious plum syrup and cherry syrup. Holy to die for!! We're figuring it'll be a somewhat lazy morning and we amble ourselves back over to our place around eleven or so and see if they're letting people back in yet. Then Luke gets a call just before ten from some fire dude or other asking him to come down because he's the on-site in charge man (and loving it) and pretty much the only witness. So we finish eating and dressing and all that fun stuff at record speed and head back. Where we meet the Logan fire marshal, who, in a crazy small-world twist, lives next door to Aunt Loretta . . . or something like that. So we have some fun swapping "crazy Loretta" stories (KIDDING!!!!!) and then Luke gets pulled into a dark corner for some good cop/bad cop style interrogation. KIDDING!!!!!! They just start asking him a few questions, and there were actually a few that he didn't know that I did, so I got to feel all nice and important and special too. Yay. And they've got the whole place roped off, a feat which was made about a hundred times easier by the construction to replace the canal wall, because it meant only running tape across half a parking lot instead of the whole thing. And Luke gets to be all important and duck under the rope with the fire people (Logan fire marshal, state fire marshal, and someone else who is also presumably important but who's fancy-schmancy title I've forgotten) while Kristin and I have to just chillax at the rope. Good news: the power is back on in all but, like, three apartments and they say we'll be going in in probably a couple of hours. Better news: 45 minutes later they take the police tape down and let us in. So Kristin and I go exploring. This time I brace myself for minor carnage. And . . . there's . . . nothing!!! It doesn't even smell!!! (well, it does a tiny bit) So I open up the windows to let the place air out a little.
Okay, backtrack: for the last two weeks I've been kind of kicking myself for not taking pictures of the canal thing everyday. Just for some fun documentation, you know. And of course, while I do wish I had pictures of last night, grabbing my camera . . . kind of not so high on the priority list when you hear people banging on doors and the last time you saw your husband he was going to an apartment where the smoke alarm was going off, you know? So no pictures. Sad day. But then - Kristin grabs her camera and we head upstairs to offer our assistance to the guys in 20, who've been given permission to get their stuff out. And, you know, to check out the place. Kristin took pictures, which I will totally be ripping from her facebook page and posting here in another post later today. I looked around awed that this was the apartment we were living in just over a year ago. The apartment we briefly considered staying in instead of moving downstairs. And now it is covered in ashes and has a really nice skylight. Good times.
And now, here I am. Most. Memorable. Birthday. Ever. And here's the sitch: all I know is what I've overheard the important people saying to each other, so my details may be a touch inaccurate - but: at first word on the street was that 19 & 20 were both a total loss, with 17 & 18 in pretty bad shape too. Turns out 17 & 18 have fancy skylights too, but other than that are in comparatively good shape. 19 (I believe) has been condemned. Right now absolutely nobody goes in or out until the insurance guy comes on Monday. Which kind of sucks for the guys from 19 who were called home from a weekend at Bear Lake with the news that their apartment had burned down. The good news is that while the apartment itself is in, obviously, terrible shape, apparently their stuff is about 97% fine, just covered in ashes. 20 is in bad shape, but not as bad as 19 and as we speak those guys are finishing moving their stuff out. Also: we made the front page of the Herald Journal, as we discovered when we got up this morning. And about 5 minutes ago Kristin called me to tell me that we are currently number 1 on the local section of the front page of yahoo news. We're number 1! We're number 1! Also: in the spirit of making lemonade out of life's lemons and screwdrivers out of life's oranges I am (in case you couldn't already tell) laughing about everything (well, a lot of things) because it's more pleasant (and more healthy!) than crying and really, since nobody was hurt and the damage was pretty minimal all things considered there's a lot to enjoy about this whole situation.
Like the fact that at this rate Luke and I will not be paying rent for months. Seriously. Within a week of us fully taking over on-site maintenance duties the canal wall collapses. 12 days (TWELVE!!!) later there's a fire. I'm thinking it might be us . . . and this whole "be the maintenance people" thing might have been a bad idea. But in the meantime, I am sitting in a camp chair outside our apartment surfing away and soaking up the sun. So what if little bits of ash fall down on me now and then. I just had the best birthday ever. And my awesome ice cream cake didn't melt while the power was off over night! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Addendum: Can't believe I forgot, but Luke totally got interviewed a couple of hours ago. For those of you in Utah, make sure you watch the 6:00 news tonight on ABC (channel 4)!!
P. ost S. cript
This one just seemed appropriate. And hysterical.