Just another glimpse into peaceful New Hampshire life.


When it is 29 degrees at night in May and you are on "vacation" alone in a big old house with no "heat", every moment possible is spent plastered to the fireplace. Sleeping happens on the sofa by the fire, in a death trap mummy bag/camp blanket combo. Which is fine because you are a big girl now and can make fires in your sleep.

Plus you haven't been afraid of being alone in a big, huge, freezing, creaky, ancient house since you were like 24, which seems like sooo long ago now that you're 25.


As you drift off to frozen sleep, you congratulate yourself at being so excellent at "vacationing". You are a pro at relaxing, even in sub-zero temperatures. You should do this all the time.

Then a loud explosion jolts you from the sofa. You vainly attempt to paw your way out from under 1,000 wool blankets and a sleeping bag. Umm.... There are 4' tall flames winding their way up the wall surrounding fireplace. Cue gut wrenching primal death scream.

You fumble with the zipper of your mummy bag. It's stuck. The next 5 minutes are the most terrified minutes of your life thus far as you tear through a pitch black house, looking for something to dump on the fire.


In the end you dump vases of flowers (ever the florist) on the wall and call 911 as the house continues to fill with smoke. 8 trucks arrive, which strikes even you as excessive as you huddle in the front yard wearing a down parka and not much else.


Good news, your repeated dumpings of vase water managed to put out the most of the uncontained fire and the house has very minimal damage. Bad news, there are now 40 New Hampshire firemen looking at you in your, ahem, parka.


Relief sinks in, as does shame and the fact that it is 29 degrees outside and you are technically not wearing actual clothes. You skulk towards the car to better document this shame on camera, which, unlike pants, you didn't forget to grab as you left the burning house.


Yes, you think to yourself as you snap away photos for the blog, you are great at vacationing. You should do this all the time.

44 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! Well, I am glad you are o.k!

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  2. GASP.

    THE ENTIRE EMERSON FAMILY HISTORY HAUS almost went up in smoke. Thank heavens for NH firemen. And your quick thinking with the arrangement of bleeding hearts or iris whatever is in bloom up there right now. Thank heavens all around. And I'm sure the firemen were especially cordial given that you were pantless, so not to worry on that front. In fact, I've heard the more leg you show the less likely you are to get lectured by the fire marshal, so good thinking.

    Glad both you and the Haus survived the ordeal unscathed!

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  3. EMERSON!

    GOOD GOD!

    I am so glad you're ALIVE!!!!
    That is seriously scary, that stuck zipper. Murphy's law, anyone?? I'm really happy a roaring, explosive sound occurred; and that now after the burned walls, naked legs, and gawking firemen, the whole situation is funny.

    So. In conclusion. You're my hero. Abstain from further firey destruction for us, okay? Hahaha.

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  4. OMG, how did that even happen? Were you injured? Is the house all right? Give us details, if you can. :O

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  5. I randomly stumbled upon your blog. Very interesting. Old homes can be death traps. NH is a crazy and beautiful place. Come have dinner at The Sugar Hill Inn and blog about us! www.sugarhillinn.com

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  6. OH AMY! What a story. Thank God you're okay. Thank God the house is okay. I love that you remembered the camera but not pants ;) Blogging, even in the face of near destruction!!

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  7. Camera before pants, now that's the sign of a true blogger ;)

    WOW Amy. So glad you're ok.

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  8. Oh nooo!!! How frightening! Great story though... :D

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  9. Amy!! But you said the firemen were cute, right?? I had to call 911 last weekend for a car accident outside my house. We heard a big tire skid, then a kaboom as the car hit a tree. I ran out in bare feet and thankfully the girl was ok except for a broken wrist. ouch. but she was hysterical. And for me too, every emergency vehicle in town showed up. i did have pants on, however. :)

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  10. sorry I laughed
    but it was a mixture of the sleeping bag, the pantlessness, the firemen, the camera......
    and that you are ok!

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  11. oh, honey! that must have been so scary! glad to hear you kept your sense of humor, and that everything turned out ok.

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  12. Whoa! What happened?? What was the explosion that woke you up?

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  13. worst nightmare ... at least you, and the house, remain intact. yikes!

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  14. I'm so torn! You're so witty that it's making me chuckle and smile, but holy smokes (no pun intended), that is TERRIFYING! I'm really glad you made it out OK and all of that. What a story to tell! Someday you'll look back on this and laugh? Maybe not?

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  15. I will say that I think it is very prudent to bring your camera (even if you didn't bring pants) I hope your next trip to NH is more...restful.

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  16. the things some folks will do for a little attention!!!!

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  17. "If you sing in the night,
    you'll be all right."

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  18. oh noo! i was just looking through the pictures you have of the house the other day. everything is so lovely! i hope you are alright and the house won't be needing much repair!

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  19. How brave of you to share this! When I had an experience with fire (don't ask), it took me several weeks and many heart palpitations to finally get the story blogged. It's amazing how difficult it can be to relive these traumatic experiences!
    So much for not being afraid of old houses; how are you ever going to comfortably snuggle down in front of the fireplace again? I'm glad you're OK, and I'm glad the house is OK, though!

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  20. haha! That's a great story. Glad you are okay.

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  21. ...Wow! I am so glad to hear that you are okay and that your family homestead survived intact...what a scare! Gosh girl, you need a vacation from your vacation!

    ...So happy you're okay and thanks for taking photos in lieu of donning pants, such a dedicated blogger you are! ;o)

    ...Blessings... :o)

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  22. Good grief, thank heavens you were not hurt!

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  23. I am so very glad you are alright. And that the house survived mostly ok. And in true awe that you would remember the camera - and right there with ya on the pants thing! Redo on the vacation minus the fire.

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  24. Remind me to tell you sometime the story of my dad starting a chimney fire. Let's just say it involves my mom wandering around the house in: A polar fleece hat, a fur coat, purple pajama pants tucked into white socks and high heels.

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  25. Oh my goodness! I'm glad you're okay and there wasn't TOO much damage!

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  26. Holy crap! Thank god you're okay! Good job with the vase dumping!

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  27. oh my gosh... I just found your blog and laughed out loud all at once. I am so glad you are okay.

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  28. Oh, my God...
    I'm so glad that u're OK...

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  29. oh my god. this made me sick to my stomach. hand to mouth, eyes wide in horror. i'm glad the outcome was that you are safe, and that it didn't spread. i'm seriously still sick to my stomach.

    phone call tomorrow first thing in the morning. i'm so sorry :(

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  30. i keep re-reading it to try and get a good laugh, but i still can't find anything funny. not in a mean, i'm judging the other commenters kind of way at all, but my heart is still pounding for you and what you must have felt. ugh.

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  31. Egads. Sorry about your screwy vacation, glad you made it out alive. Fire, much like the ocean, is not to be trusted. It is alive, and waiting for you to turn your back or go to sleep. Never turn your back to the ocean if you are on the beach, and (as you now know) never sleep with a live fire going in the house - even a candle. It's not that these elements are malicious, they just don't care whether you live or die. To them, everything is the same. Stay smart, stay watchful, stay alive!

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  32. OMG. This shouldn't have made me laugh as much as it did (THANK GOD YOU ARE OK), but forgetting pants and bringing a camera? You are SO a blogger now. xoxo

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  33. What a nightmare! Thank goodness you (and the house) are safe! I'm not sure I'd have the guts to post about this. So glad everything turned out ok!

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  34. I bet you made the firefighter's night with no pants, taking pictures :)

    glad you & your house are safe -- it does make an excellent story!

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  35. Poor Amy! Only you could make such a great story out of such a frightening ordeal. I share everyone's relief that you came out of this at least physically intact. Don't stay there alone again in fire(place) season even if you are a big girl of 25 now!

    And yes, how about a vacation from your vacation?

    judith b.

    PS Matthew's "Pants are overrated." is the best comment here!

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  36. wow.. what a story and with a good happy ending.... 'oh-mygosh' I wonder if it made the local papers?? ... . glad it all ended well..

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  37. Good lord, child!

    Gives whole new meaning to the pick-up line, "you're so hot, you start fires."

    Next time, take me with you to New Hampshire. I'll be on fire patrol.

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  38. Ahahahahahah! I love this story! Obviously it is only funny because you are okay. And naked. (Don't take that in a creepy way)

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  39. This is an unbelievable story. The fact that you captured photo evidence is even more unbelievable, and awesome.

    amy @ http://alstubbs.blogspot.com

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  40. Thats the funniest post I've read in a long time!!! You made my day.....although I hope not too much at your expense.

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