Thursday, November 08, 2012

Mama's Shaking-Writers Workshop

DD2 was about 7, and athletically inclined.  She likes tether ball and the monkey bars at school, she plays her version of handball against the garage door for hours at a time. The '84 Olympics were in Los Angeles that year and she was entranced by gymnastics and Mary Lou Retton.  She is lobbying for  tumbling classes so she can be a star too.

This afternoon I am trying to get the girls together to go to the grocery store and DD2 is running back and forth between the attached garage and the house, busy with some important task in the bathroom. Being very secretive!  I finally get them in the car and and to the store, returning home after dark. We walk into the house and I immediately smell gas. It is strong in the kitchen, probably the pilot light in the old stove. I immediately go on a hunt for the leak. The stove, the water heater?  Nothing....!  DD2 is quietly staying out of Mom's way.  I call the gas company they will send someone.

Mr BC arrives home minutes later, the smell of gas is strong, all through the house. We get the girls out of the house and he prepares to turn off the gas at the source.  Going into the garage to get tools... Bingo, we opened the door to what would be a looming cloud of gas if it were visible.  I start shaking as Mr BC turns off the gas.  We sit in the car at the end of the driveway, while we wait for the gas company to come.   Feeling our panic, DD2 finally confesses that she is responsible, she had been swinging on a pipe in the rafters of the garage that afternoon, pretending it was her parallel bars. and something broke. "But I fixed it." she announces.  As the cloud dissipates, we ask her to show us.

I remember today, that I had chills when I saw that bar in the rafters. It was a narrow pipe hanging 2 inches away from its other side. Very neatly attached with band aids and adhesive tape still hanging to the roll in a childish attempt to repair.  She had fixed it alright!  I still shudder at the thought that a single spark of electricity from the garage door opener or pilot light or a light switch could have blown us sky high.  I also remember how scared  DD2 was because Mommy and Daddy were so frightened and yelling so loudly. I still shake when I remember  the repair man stating that it was not up to code..too small and I would not be able to use the gas until our landlord fixed it.  Most importantly, I should have followed the mommy instinct that something was wrong with DD2 sneaking around to fix the problem. I have never been able to laugh about it, I get chills thinking about it still.
This is the Prompt I chose.
4.) Tell us about a time something happened or something was said that gave you the chills.


  1. Very scary indeed! And sounds exactly like something my 9 year old would do.

  2. One night a spark from the fire set a chair alight. Thank God I stayed up late that night to watch TV. We could all have died. Please everyone fit smoke alarms.

  3. Oh, that's a good story, in a scary way. The bandaids are cute. Did the repair man at least laugh about those? :)

  4. As I read this I felt for your daughter, poor girl must have been trembling with fear over it.

  5. That is scary, the sort of scary I don't think I'd look back on and laugh over. Glad it turned out okay!

  6. that is a scary moment from your past. I'm glad everything turned out all right. kelley—the road goes ever ever on