I've decided that I am not allowed to write any more while I'm cooking dinner.
Yesterday, I fired up the gas grill. I usually give it 10 minutes to heat up, so while I was waiting I decided to knock off another page or two of revisions. Normally, the grill is about 350 degrees when I check on it. I came downstairs and headed out to the back deck. There I was met with 10 feet of melted vinyl soffit. Most or it was twisted, scorched and mangled over my head. Some of it smoldered on the wood deck. The lid on the grill was closed (thank goodness), and the thermometer on top was maxed out at 700 degrees. First thought, Turn off the grill! I reach for the plastic knobs to turn off the flame. It was only after I grabbed the knob that I realized they were melted. Next thought (besides %#$^ow!), Turn off the gas! Brain was not working well. I grabbed the metal, yes metal, cut off valve on the propane tank and gave it a turn. I immediately let go, slamming the top of my hand into the red hot drip pan. It was at this point that I noticed the eves were smoldering. I ran into the kitchen, grabbed a potholder, turned off the gas valve, ran into the garage, grabbed the hose and sprayed down everything - the deck, the soffits, the brand new lawn chairs (which survived).
Did you know that hot metal warps and turns rainbow colors at 700 degrees?
My husband came home as I was finishing the drenching. The look on his face was definitely a Kodak moment. He was very gracious (thank you!). We decided to get our neighbor, Fireman Jeff, who took one look at the roof and said, "Call the fire department." The fire truck and police came. Their lighted glory blazed through the block- much to the delight of the neighborhood children and Gladys Kravitts, who donned her binoculars so she could inform the rest of the village that evening of the day's events. One of the fireman crawled through the garage attic space with his portable water pack and spritzed down the last of the smoldering whatever was smoking. I invited them all to dinner. Strangely, they declined.
The good news - the house is livable, fixable, and everyone is okay. The other good news - I didn't have to cook. We ended up eating out at Chili's!