I Would’ve Rather Had Turtledoves

Hey folks! I’m sorry I’ve been missing in action on the porch this week. Excuses abound but I’ll refrain because y’all probably have just as many or more and I see y’all showed up to visit! I don’t have any eloquent lists or thoughtful resolutions either.  I do hope I don’t get shoved off the porch for this, but I figured I’d just share some randomness instead.

In the event that y’all didn’t see the latest Tomlinson drama roll by on Facebook, I will now be posting a status from last week…

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true gave to me, three startling greetings,


“The chimney’s on fire!”

“Call #911!”

The sheriff department officers were the first to arrive, followed closely by the fire truck. Phil and I already had water hoses trained on the chimney and roof line. Not far behind the fire2official help came our friends and neighbors. God love them one and all.

Drama details aside, twenty-four hours later our walls, furniture, floors, and accessories have all been wiped clean of soot and flour. (Yes, kitchen flour – the decision was made among the emergency crew to pour flour down my flaming chimney in an attempt to lessen the inside damage that water would’ve created. It worked. Bless them for their concern!)

My man and I have tired bones and grateful hearts.

I’d been busy taking down Christmas decorations when he came home from hunting, pulled in the driveway and noticed the embers spraying from the chimney. Had he not come home when he did…Well, neither of us like to think about the what-ifs.

We’ve been counting our blessings throughout the cleanup and we aren’t through. Among other entries, the list includes the Lake Providence Fire Department, the Sheriffs office, and those aforementioned friends and neighbors.

We love this community.
Phil and Shellie


And  now, for the record, while life seems bound and determined to contradict the statement I’m about to make, I do NOT like drama. Drama just seems to like me right now.  Case in point, remember the old laptop that died the week before because that sweet lady gave it a full cup of coffee at the retreat? Well, imagine the two-step my heart did when I realized the new computer was open and covered in soot and flour! I had to send up some prayers and set it aside during the commotion, and guess what? When I got back to it, I discovered that it didn’t seem to mind one bit. I considered that something of a Christmas miracle. (Thank you, Lord!) I just wiped it off and kept ticking.

Oh, now that I think about it I do have a lesson to share. The fire– well, yours truly had tossed in the tiniest bit of dried Cypress greenery in the fireplace immediately prior to the chimney catching on fire. Although the greenery flared up and burned out quickly and I had walked off thinking all was well, the consensus is that some sort of fire ball had broken off of it and traveled up further and caused the eventual combustion. Never, ever, ever, ever put dried Cypress leaves in your fireplace. Deal? Deal.

Let it be known that my intentions are to grow up, get organized, and act like the other responsible belles on this porch very, very soon. Just don’t hold your breath. :)

Hugs, Shellie

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is an author, speaker, and radio host known as The Belle of All Things Southern. You can find her trying hard to be responsible at her place where she shares the charm and heritage of the South on a weekly basis.

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  1. Lisa Wingatee says

    Oh, mercy, Shellie. I’m guessing it’s fair to say that 2013 went out in a blaze of glory, huh?

    Thank goodness you caught that fire in time!

    Glad the Tomlinson house is still in one piece. Sounds like when you’re done, you’ll have all the knick-knacks clean at once.

    Love ya, girl!


  2. Rachel Hauck says

    Oh Shellie, how scary. I was always concerned that would happen with my fireplace — when I had one.

    So glad you all are okay. Can you still use the fireplace.

    Fun times…


    • Shellie says

      Rach, we probably could use it but we’re waiting for it to be inspected to make sure there was no structural damage! :)) Thx for your concern.

  3. Julie says

    Shellie…I am so grateful you are all safe and that your house was saved in time. WAY too close a call, for sure. I’m certain someone was watching over you this Christmas season, and I have a feeling you’ll all remember this year as one Christmas miracle you’ll forever count among your many blessings. Hugs,

    • Shellie says

      Girlfriend, you are spot on! This season has been full of miracles from Weston’s close call to the chimney fire. THANK YOU for caring. I love the belles!! :)

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