noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration



Some local construction has changed my daily drive-anywhere route to run right past this poor house. To me, this scene in both spooky and intriguing, terrifying (as a parent) and fascinating (from perhaps a trespassers point of view… and because it’s not my house) I cannot help to slow and stare every time I pass, play it down to the kids I inevitably have in the car.
This scene is particularly haunting because my greatest childhood fear was our house burning while our family slept. I was way more afraid of our house burning down than getting kidnapped- for sure. It plagued my nightmares regularly. The only nightmares I remember having as a child included fire.

My fear, I have concluded, came from a plethora of fire awareness and preparedness activities and the knowledge that the fireplace flue was just on the other side of the wall from my headboard. Was it just my family or just the hot topic in the late 70’s and early 80’s? We had family fire drills all the time. We had a map, meeting place, secret stranger-picking-me-up code, and I had one of those metal fire ladders under my ready- we actually practiced using. Perhaps it was a Mormon family preparedness thing, or my parents slept easier knowing us kids had the skills to escape a burning house if necessary.
In any case, it’s time to check the fire alarms, give my own children the fire safety skill checklist Family Home Evening lesson (just not every week ;)) and get some general preparedness in order. Fire is a messy business, I hope the homeowners are OK and everything not lost.

On a happier note, but no less intriguing- you can find some really groovy, tiny, haunted (but not scorched) houses by a local Utah artist by looking here.


  1. Daybreaking Dickersons

    March 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Who knew that we shared the same fear growing up. My parents would consider taking me out of school during Fire Safety Week, because I’d be so freaked out. I can remember in all of my houses growing up, several escape routes. I still lay in bed thinking about it, just not to the same extend. Thank you for helping me not sleep tonight. 🙂

  2. Dallin and Janelle Lewis

    March 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Hi! I’m Valene Hulme’s niece, and I like crafty things so she pointed me to your blog.
    That is so funny! My family did drills like that too, I had a ladder under my bed, and I sometimes tied my favorite toys to my nightgown so if there was a fire they wouldn’t get left behind. I guess I wasn’t totally terrified of fires, it didn’t keep me up at night, but I thought all of my toy-tying was an excellent precautionary move at the time, you know, much like the ladder and meeting place. : )

  3. Jenna

    March 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    This is my neighbors house- three houses south of mine. I’m also like you, totally fascinated and somewhat enjoyed watching the flames lick the treetops and the cloudy smoke billow out into the sky. Even more fascinating? The fact that my neighbors directly to the north had just put up their home home for rent, desperately seeking tenants, and sure nuff, things worked out… a family suddenly without a home now had a place to live just houses away and another family who had to move out of state for a last minute job opportunity had renters! Pretty cool if you ask me. Cheers,


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