I experienced my first somewhat significant home fire tonight. Prior to the toaster oven going up in flames this evening, I had been fortunate enough to only have dealt with small pan fires, usually of my own making (fancy gourmet chef that I am cooking with wine and all). It’s amazing how a most routine activity like toasting up some lavash bread for hummus and crisps can remind one of life’s fragility. When I saw the smoke billowing out from the kitchen, I could hardly believe my eyes. Then I saw the flames – big ones – and went into panic mode. I didn’t run around screaming or dare to open the oven door or do anything irrational, but I did momentarily forget how to unplug the toaster (in my defense, my MacGuyver boyfriend had rigged it so the cord is hidden behind the refrigerator at my request for “less clutter”). I eventually managed to pull the plug, and after a few more scary moments of staring down the flames, the fire subsided. As I sit here writing this, I’m in a wind tunnel with all the windows of my 29th floor apartment open, and from my clothes to my hair to my skin, I reek of smoke. I’m still shaking on the inside a little bit, but feeling thankful for the reminder to count my blessings. It can always be worse.