What an odd day!

Published 5:16 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wow! Did you ever just have one of those days? You know the ones — the days that turn out nothing like you had planned? One of those days that gives you something to write home about, or in this case to write a column about? Well, today was one of those days.

I’m taking over my friend’s inn again. She has called me a couple of times since I’ve returned home to Mississippi asking me to come back and help her out for a while. I haven’t been able or had the inclination to trek back to Tennessee until now.   Since I hadn’t seen my Tennessee grandson and daughter for a few months I decided to take her up on the offer while she traveled a bit. There was only one thing different from the last time I helped out, but it was a pretty big one thing. Her husband was traveling with her this time so I would be in charge of the whole property.

That intimidated me just a bit, but I figured this was the slow season for tourism so I probably wouldn’t be exceptionally busy. It has been relatively easy, until today. I rolled out of bed early, showered, dressed, and headed out the door. The frigid air hit me as I hurried to my car. Several minutes passed while I worked on defrosting my windshield and windows enough to drive safely.

Upon arrival at the inn, I worked as quietly as I could preparing breakfast for the guests. Soon a mother and daughter from Wisconsin joined me. We enjoyed conversation during breakfast, but I soon realized that the young couple on spring break were probably planning to sleep in again.

I smiled to myself as I cleaned up the kitchen remembering how my kids liked to sleep late when they came home from college. Lisa, the mother from Wisconsin, mentioned that she liked oatmeal so I put some on to cook. I busied myself with other preparations for tomorrow when my nose picked up a strange smell.

I sniffed around the kitchen and couldn’t find where it was coming from. Then I walked through the dining room where the smell grew much stronger. I opened the back door to get some fresh air circulating and continued on my quest for the source of the increasingly acrid smell.

Then I spotted it! In the storage closet I saw smoke coming from the electrical panel! I called the owners immediately, but they seemed unalarmed. “Really? You’ve got to be kidding,” I thought.

“But I don’t think it’s safe. Are you sure you want me to leave and go to lunch?”

“Yes. Go ahead. We’ll call the electrician.”

No sooner had I down to eat my hamburger and fries than my cell phone rang. “Jan, the electrician said to turn off the main breaker right now. He said this could be serious.”

I called Mike out on the road in his truck and told him all about it. He said sharply, “No way! Don’t you touch that electrical box. It could have burned wires in it, and you could get shocked!”

Long story short, I told the owners that I wasn’t going to touch it, and they needed to get someone out there ASAP. Several hours later all is well, but the smell lingers in the air, reminding me of what a day it’s been!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.