How I Ended Up Buying a Fire Escape Ladder

This is sitting on my stairs right now.


It arrived in the mail the other day and my family has been laughing at me for ordering it.

Here’s how that happened:

I’m in that stage of life where about every 8 weeks I have to make a hair care decision.

I have gray hair induced by either starting a non-profit or my teen daughter’s closet. I’m not sure, both stress me out.

And yet, I’m thankful to have hair. #1000giftsbaby

I was contemplating my first world problem, trying to decide if I was brave enough to attempt home hair color again. The last time I bought the wrong color and had to have my husband repair it. Yes, that is a statement I never thought I’d type. And by repair, I mean I bought a different color to cover up the accident and made my husband put on the plastic gloves. We nearly ended up in marriage counseling and I had really highlighted hair.

My husband must have sniffed out my thought process because he insisted I go to a professional.

While I sat in her chair of ministry and let her bless my hair follicles (anyone else love a good head massage?), she worked her magic and all my hair was brown again. I casually mentioned how tired I was of blow drying my hair straight. My arms: they are lazy. What is it with all my real problems? She said, well, you have a lot of natural curl, why don’t I throw in a few layers and you can start wearing it curly. I have been wanting to grow my hair out to pony tail length anyway and thought WHY NOT. Clearly, I live on the edge.

So in a matter of two hours, I went back to my natural hair color and walked out with curly hair.

And when I walked into my house, my little girl burst into tears, my teen daughter’s mouth gaped and my son said, “Is this a joke?”

Nothing like your kids to snap you right out of a hair care induced high.

A week later I was shopping at my beloved Target and I was deep in thought reading the back of hair product bottles for curly hair. Who knew there were so many products? I was going for soft waves not stiff wet ones. So, you know, important stuff.

My back was to my cart and I never saw the pony-tailed guy dressed in black walk right behind me and take my wallet out of my purse.

It’s hard to pay for your FUNKY CURLS without a wallet.

I called my husband and retraced my steps. Long story short (aren’t you glad?), we watched the video surveillance tape of me being pickpocketed. I hope he enjoyed the three bucks and book of stamps. (It ended up being a nightmare because I had my kids Social Security cards in my wallet. Y’all don’t do that, okay? Learn from me. We know have Lifelock to protect their identity from being stolen because we’re nice parent’s like that.)

After we filed a police report, canceled credit cards, and spent two hours on the phone, we were exhausted. Seriously, it was a bad day and you hear all this stuff about identity theft and when it happens to you, it makes you feel violated and unsure about the world you live in. My hubby returned to work and when my kids got home, I filled them in on my day. My son wanted to know what the robber looked like. I had him at surveillance video.

“He wore all black and had a long blonde greasy pony tail,” I said.

“I think it’s my percussion teacher!” my son yelled. Oh, brother. “No, son, it’s not your teacher, although he should wash his hair more often.

That night I realized I never did get my hair care product so I opened up my computer to head to Amazon, but got distracted by a news story on my home page. It was a sad story about a family dying in a house fire because the mom couldn’t get to her kids upstairs. Just the kind of thing you want to read about after your wallet’s been stolen and your kids sleep upstairs.

And that’s how I ended up with a fire escape ladder.

Y’all can totally follow my train of thought.



  1. 1


    Don’t you love how one strange turn of events in a day can lead to a strange turn of thoughts in your head… and then something even weirder?? Glad your family can be safe now… just get that off the stairs and upstairs in a central location! I bought one several years ago when our oldest was 14 (she’s now 19) and we moved in our new house. She has the bonus room over the garage and wanted to ensure her safety. We talked about which window to use it from and how to get her little sister out (just in case). But, mostly I talked about when NOT to use it… as in to escape to see a boyfriend! So far, so good. Can’t imagine she’d do that now. Now, go be safe!

  2. 2

    Karen says

    I am SOOOOOOOO sorry about your wallet, but SOOOO appreciative of the early morning laugh!

    Hope we get to see pics of the new hairdo soon! :-)

  3. 3

    juliea says

    Yes! I can totally follow your logic! So sorry about your wallet being being stolen. My children are also just as “helpful” when I come home with a new hairstyle as well. Have a wonderful day!

  4. 9


    We definitely have one of those too. In fact, when we moved into our 3rd story apartment my husband spent a great deal of time searching for a escape ladder that would work from 3 stories up. Nevermind that we had a newborn and a small toddler at the time. In the event of fire, some how I’d be carrying my new infant with my barely recovered post partum belly, and he’d be carrying the toddler. Down a rickety rope ladder. Needless to say I’m thankful that our apartment has never caught fire and we havne’t had to use the $80 ladder we purchased 😉

  5. 10


    Ah! I’m afraid of having teenagers who will laugh at my hair!! When I read that part, I actually got teary eyed for you! I bet you looked beautiful. I always feel the most cute when I leave the hairstylist. Then add on the stress of getting pick-pocketed!!! AH!!

    Anyways, I live in a one-story house, but I’ll definitely be buying a ladder if we ever move to 2+ stories.

  6. 11

    mel says

    LOL. I have that same ladder. It arrived through a different, but just as silly, scenario. On a side note: I have very thick, too straight hair and I long for curls.. God’s children have a hard time appreciating their blessings. . don’t they?.

  7. 12


    Bummer you had cleaned out your purse! He may have not been able to grab your wallet so easily! 😉

    (Reason #345 not to clean out your purse.)

    …Now you have me feeling the need for a ladder. Your really bad day…leading to a ladder…leading to you posting about a ladder…just may save someone’s life. You never know! :)

  8. 13

    Jennifer C. says

    We have that same ladder sitting in our closet. I’m not even sure how to use it which wouldn’t be good during a house fire. And from one naturally curly hair person to another, I highly recommend Tigi Curls Rock. You can get it at Target or Amazon. Great train of thought. :)

  9. 15

    Mel says

    This is exactly (minus the pick pocket) how I ended up with $45 worth of lice remedy last week just to have on hand, just in case. ONE story about lice in a school 40 miles away, seen by chance on a news site when I had sat down to do something completely different on my computer. I have one three year old in preschool 2 days mornings a week. I don’t know where my mind was that night.

  10. 16

    Cyn says

    So sorry. On a different but slightly the same note. I too decided the blow dry hair thing was just too much so I started wearing my curly/wavy hair. Buy Kinky moves made by not your mother’s from target. Love it. Just get the beach spray too. Sometimes on second day hair I use the beach spray and LOVE the beachy hair look.

  11. 17

    Karyl says

    Oh, no! If it’s any consolation, and the police probably mentioned it, but the overwhelming odds are that the thief threw away the wallet after grabbing your cash (which is somehow worse when you have photos in your wallet). But now I’m off to buy a fire escape ladder, too. Tell the gigglers it’s better have and not need, than need and not have.

  12. 18

    Kelly says

    I too have a fire escape ladder –
    And by the way, your story is the same reason that my whole existence
    As a parent is a version of “if you give a mouse a cookie” for grown women

  13. 22

    Nancy says

    Perfectly logical. Does anyone else really think otherwise? My grown-up daughter moved out recently and now has a 2nd floor bedroom. She actually bought one of those ladders all on her own. Not sure if it had anything to do with her hair, though… 😉

  14. 23

    SunHon says

    I hate paying to have my hair professionally colored too. It’s just so painfully expensive. What I do as a compromise (with myself?!) is get my hair colored at the salon, but then I use root touch up at home as many times as possible in between. I end up getting it done professionally about every 3 months and using $6 at home color 3-4 times in between. Works for me :)

  15. 24

    Maureen says

    Kristen- I just love your posts. You are so honest and witty! You made me laugh out loud with the hair cut/color story. Thank you for your ministry on this blog and Mercy House!

  16. 26

    Amy Shier says

    I love you so much and I am so thankful for your writings! You bless my heart every single time I read your honest and beautiful and funny writings. Thank you, Thank you, thank you!!!

  17. 27


    My son looked at me like I had 2 heads when I came in with curly hair. I also have natural curl and would blow dry my curls straight then flat iron because I wanted what all those straight hair ladies have. But at my salon they are all saying curls are coming back so I’ve embraced them. I’ve finally reached the age that I really don’t care if anyone but hubby likes.

  18. 34


    Haha. What a riot. I was seriously wondering midway through the post what your fabulous new curls had to do with a fire escape but totally caught on at the end.

  19. 35

    Stephanie S says

    YES! I laughed and thought “all sounds very reasonable to me”. My husband wanted to know what I was agreeing with. I told him he wouldn’t get it since it’s more of a woman thing. He insisted I read the whole entry, which I did. Once finished he just stared at me with that “huh?” look men sometimes get when it’s something only a woman could understand.

  20. 36

    Scott says

    For anyone that has seen or watched Emerson Eggerich’s explanation of spider-webbing, this is it! Loved it and read your blog/emails to my wife all the time. Thank you!

  21. 37

    Angela says

    Garnier Fructis Style curl shaping spray gel is the best product for curls. Wish I could have been with you there to pluck it off the shelf in a timely manner, simultaneously presenting a united front to the greasy thief.

  22. 38


    YES, I totally follow that train of thought… it’s why I’m currently commenting on your site when I sat down 15 minutes ago to sort/edit photos for my daughter’s baby book… 😛

  23. 39

    anonymous says

    I am sorry about your wallet. That is such a pain. That said I love this story. Some day you will too. I love how one thing led to another. That is how my brain works all the time/ Anyway when my kids were younger I use to lay awake at night working on the best way to get them all out safely without getting stuck by the thorn bushes out side their windows. Why did they have flower plants with thorn bushes out side their windows you ask. Well I did not want anyone to break in through their windows. Haha Brilliant I know. Nothing like setting up a no win situation for myself. I guess that is why we should not worry and trust God completely.

  24. 42

    Melissa says

    We had one under my bed as a kid for years and years. One day, when I was a teenager, I was in the attic with my dad. The kind of attic where you have to bring in the ladder from the garage. And up in the attic was the fire ladder. I asked why it was up there…and my dad answered, ‘Oh that thing? Well, we never used it…’ AHHH, yeah, and I guess that was a GOOD thing!

  25. 45


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