Tuesday, December 2, 2014

She Keeps the Home Fires Burnin'

-posted by Jayne

What an exciting past week it has been.  We've been absent from the blog for a little while, but for good reason.  Let me give you a little re-cap.

First, Isaac left last Friday to travel to Philadelphia, PA to run a marathon.

Finished with a time of 2:42:15.  A pace of 6:12.  Not a bad time for an old man who turned 39 on Friday.  Happy birthday old man!

I was left to hold down the fort all by myself.  Have you ever heard the song by Ronnie Milsap, "She keeps the home fires burnin"?  We heat our home with wood, so quite literally, I was keeping the home fires burning.

I took all 4 kids to Pizza Hut all by myself, and I was pretty proud of that.

Thanks to BOOK IT! we all get to eat greasy pizza again.

I got everything packed up for market Friday night, and only made a few minor messes when one of our valves malfunctioned.  Nothin' serious.

Not my fault!  Valve malfunction!

And then I almost burned down the honey house.  No, seriously.  There were at least 8 firemen, a sheriff, two large fire trucks, and several family members that came to my aid.  But the honey house is still standing.  So the story has a happy ending.  Isaac was traveling back from Philly when I snapped this picture.  I thought about texting it to him, but then I decided that wouldn't be very nice.

Thank-you Williamsport Volunteer Fire Dept!
The crate that caused it all.  Do you like your bee pollen... uh... toasted?

So I'll do my best to re-cap what happened.  I was in the honey house with our daughter Eden, working at putting the farmer's market "stuff" away.  Mostly just crates filled with honey, soap, and candles.  We have a stove right at the entrance to the honey house, where we commonly set things like crates.  (In hindsight:  STUPID!)  I had one or two crates setting there all weekend.  I was just finishing putting things away when Eden started to get fussy.  So I decided to take her in the house and put her to bed so I could come finish up without her.  I must have moved one of the crates back on the stove (I don't even remember doing this).  It bumped the knob on the stove.  And when I returned 30 minutes later, I found the honey house filled with smoke, and water rushing down from the ceiling.   I had no clue where the water was coming from.  We don't have a sprinkler system, and although it was raining outside, there was much more water coming down than a leak could cause.   I ran back in the house and called 911.  The older three kids were happily watching TV and Eden was asleep.  I went back out in the honey house to try to find the source of the fire.  I called my father in law and brother in law, and they rushed over.  

I expected to find a much larger fire in the back of the honey house, but after I inspected the area: nothing.  I looked in another front area where we store honey supers in the summer:  nothing.  I was scared to go in where the water was rushing down because I thought that the combination of running water and electric and a fire might not be a good combination.  So I turned off the electric in the honey house.  I never saw any flames.

My brother and sister in law helped me figure out that the source of the fire was the stove.  And the water? The fire had gone up the wall, and caused the water pipe above to burst.  Nothing short of a miracle:  IT PUT OUT THE FIRE!  When I came out to find the honey house filled with smoke, the fire had already been put out by the spray of water from the pipe.  We could have lost the entire honey house.  The entire year's supply of honey, all the infrastructure, the soap, the pollen, the candles.  Countless hours of time and work that can't be replaced.  Yes, we have insurance, but it wouldn't have covered near what it was worth.

So you won't likely hear many people say they were "lucky" when they had a fire.  But I will say it.  We are so lucky the fire started beneath a water line, which burst and put out the fire.  Thank-you Lord.  

Here you see the damage caused by the stove fire.  Not pretty, but contained to one small area.

We didn't take a lot of pictures because when you are on the brink of destruction- you don't exactly want to remember it all.  The stove was pretty charred, and the walls covered with soot.  In just a few days, we had everything wiped clean and painted.  The honey house looks like new again.  Thank-you to our family and friends who pitched in to help us out.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to blog about this event, because it was so stressful.  But this is where we document the happenings on the farm, and this is a pretty big "happening."  So we move on.  

We celebrated a 3rd birthday with a combine cake...

Happy 3rd birthday Bridger!  The boy got his combine cake.

We managed 74 online orders over the past week.  Thank-you!  We are continually inspired and motivated by our loyal customers.

Eden loves to try to eat the starch packing peanuts, which makes our job packing up boxes even more challenging while she "assists" with our orders.  Even though it can be difficult to work with little fingers getting into everything, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I feel so grateful to do what I do, live where I live, raise these children with a husband who loves life, and create the products we make. 

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We have plenty to be thankful for here at Honeyrun Farm.

Let this be a public service announcement:  Don't ever set anything on a stove-top!!


  1. To think that authors sit around trying to make stuff like this up.....you are proof that truth is stranger than fiction! Glad it ended well.

  2. I'm so glad you're ok and that your water pipes were looking out for you!