The next morning we got up and headed over to the Cadillac Ranch. We had been there in 2009 during our Route 66 trip. It was so much fun, we wanted to make sure that we stopped again so the littler kids could have the fun of getting parental encouragement to spray paint their name on something. Something that does not happen in real life.
The Cadillac Ranch is just outside of Amarillo, in the middle of a field, sort of in the middle of nowhere.
As we pulled up, my cell phone rang and it was a local Georgia number from back home. I didn't recognize it, but thought maybe it was someone from church who didn't know we were out of town.
Instead, it was our security company calling to say that a fire alarm had gone off in our home and did I want them to cancel it.
(Um, no, I don't want you to cancel it....We are in Texas!)
So, I calmly told her that we were out of town and to please NOT cancel the alarm. I am not sure if they always ask people if they want the alarm cancelled. But, we have set off about 3 false security alarms in the last year or so - because we forget to turn it off sometimes in the morning and then the first one out the door sets it off.
I hung up the phone. Told Rainman what was going on and decided to call our next door neighbor who works from home to see what was going on.
She didn't answer.
I left a pretty calm message that sounded something like, "Uh, Hi, this is Kayla...you know, your neighbor. Um, yeah, I am just wondering if our house is on fire? (my voice gets a little higher at this point) We are in Texas right now, so, um, there is really nothing we can do about it....but, we are just curious. So, yeah, um, call us back."
Then I proceeded to hang up and encourage the kids to run on ahead and find a can of spray paint.
Then I broke down.
What if our house is really on fire?
What about all my photo albums and the kids baby pictures?
That is pretty much all I cared about.
My pictures and albums.
I did have a fleeting thought about my wedding dress....but not any thoughts about our furniture or clothes, or decorations.
At this point, Rainman took the phone from me and called our neighbor back. She answered this time and she had been out raking and didn't hear the phone ring. She said she didn't think our house was on fire since she had just been outside but would go check.
We had given her our garage door opener when we left so she could leave things inside for us while we were gone - but had neglected to leave her a key. She ended up meeting the fire department at our house and then everyone had to figure out a way to get in our house and see what was going on.
Rainman is not the greatest handyman in the world.
Who knew that would turn out to be a blessing? See, the door knob between our house and our garage had been falling off....like, in our hands. We would sort of piece it back together and everything was fine. Until one time, we couldn't piece it back together and we were locked inside our house. So, at that point, Rainman went to the hardware store and got a piece and "fixed" it....but as we were leaving for our trip....it still felt a little wonky.
Rainman got on the phone with the fire department guy and suggested that he wiggle the door knob a bit and, sure enough, it fell off in his hands. Voila! They were in the house.
The fire department guys and our neighbor walked through my whole house.
On a side note, I had made the kids clean the house before we left. Like, really clean. Because there is nothing worse than coming home from any kind of vacation to a messy house. Usually I give in and say things are good enough before we leave and then when am totally depressed when I walk in and it isn't clean....and everything smells sort of musty and gross.
This time, they were mad at me, because I was sort of ruthless. All the dishes were washed and put away. Counters were wiped down. Bathrooms were clean and fresh smelling. The floor was picked up and swept. Beds were mostly made. There were a few clothes that hadn't made the final packing cut.....but, really, the house was pretty good.
Isn't God good? Who knew that we would have people tromping through our house while we were gone? Not me. But God did and he knew how mortified I would have been if they had seen how our house normally looks! (Remind me sometime to tell you the story about the time our house was robbed when I was about 11 or 12 years old. It is a good one.)
So, short story, sort of long.....our house is still standing. Praise the Lord!
Looking for cans that still have paint in them....
At this point the kids are somewhat oblivious to why mom has been trying not to cry....
Visiting the Cadillac Ranch is a cool thing to do with your family. And it is free! Unless you want to make sure there is spray paint for you to use - then the cost of a can of paint is all it will cost! Can't beat that for family fun!