Monday, October 26, 2009

Gratefully Watching a Pot of Water Boil

So we have big news. After THIRTEEN DAYS with limited power and daily pleas (sometimes avec tears), we finally have our power back to full strength. Granted we still haven't been able to pay our past electric bill - nor can we even find out how much we owe. How very Belgian, is all I can say! The ironic part is that the power company's administrative headquarters is literally across the street from our apartment so every morning at 8 AM I have been on their doorstep to make my case and decipher our plight. When we gave our dishwasher and stove a trial run this morning and the power didn't cut off it was like pennies from Heaven, I tell you!

Now with one thing seemingly fixed, we had another terrifying scare last Friday. We awoke to this scene outside our apartment windows....
...I jolted out of bed and into the hall where indeed I smelled smoke. With the ladders outside our windows and not knowing what was happening, Kirk felt the door and as it was not hot opened it. Billows of smoke came plunging at us. That was when my heart went into manic mode, we awoke Connor, opened all the windows and got dressed. We weren't sure what would happen. Two firemen wearing oxygen and all their gear pounded at our door and told us to stay put and that there had been a fire in our cellar. Gulp. I tried to remain calm, but it was hard. I mean is it wise to stay put with smoke surrounding your only exit?
Not long after that another fireman on this ladder literally popped into our open window and told us we were all clear to leave and that everything was ok. We found our neighbor, Brigette, and breathed some relief. Emergencies do have a way of bringing neighbors together. Connor can't stop talking about all the smoke and the man on the ladder coming in our window. The common areas of our building still wreak of smoke 3 days later, and I am going to make a beeline to the Brico to invest in some type of fire ladder ASAP, but right now I am trying to keep my chin up and focus on the positive....
....the positive being that we can finally boil water again!
...and now I can start on that mountain of laundry we accumulated over the past two weeks. It might take me 20 loads and countless hours with our tiny machine and slow dryer, but I AM NOT complaining. I am not sure I have ever been so grateful and excited to do laundry!
Such are the challenges and strange joys of living in Belgium.
P.S. - Potty training worked, even without electricity! Connor is a potty pro now and we just returned from a weekend in Rome where she wore big girl pants the entire time. She pooped on her little pink potty each time we went to Vatican City. Like clockwork. Not sure what that says about the Pope, but we are elated to be transitioning officially from diapers to undies.
P.P.S. Thanks be to God for keeping us safe and watching over us during the fire. And to the Belgian firemen who saved us. Not sure I have ever loved firemen more - even with the French/English divide I trusted them and knew they would keep us safe. Bravery is international.

1 comment:

Dallas said...

So know this little issue you had in this post? About the unknown bill? I think that's why we no longer have hot water... Supposedly we do have a gas bill to pay despite what we were told. Oops.