I walked out into the living room, hazy with smoke, and identified the smell as "electrical fire". So I called the farm and asked Matthew to come home.
He did, and we wandered around turning things off and touching outlets and trying to figure out what was going on. (We crossed the refrigerator off the list of possibilities early since it sounded like it was still running fine.) Not being able to find anything, we started to get more worried about the possibility of fire inside a wall.
So we called the farm and asked them to bring over the fire extinguisher from the combine and Matthew went out to the shop to get the ladder.
While he was gone, a whole crew of brothers and brothers-in-law and nephews armed with hoses came bustling in and went to work.
(I know MJL has a big family, but it still surprised me to see so much help come through the door. It's awfully nice to have so many big strong men and boys come to your aid).
We searched the attic, the basement, moved the piano, climbed up to check the lights, and still found nothing. (I saw "we", but mostly I just tried to keep my big belly out of the way. It's harder than you might think).
Finally we narrowed the smell to the kitchen, and sometime around 1:00 Matthew found the burned out wires on the back of the refrigerator. It was really really nice to find the problem, though losing the fridge and freezer the night before Christmas was not ideal. Anna slept through the whole thing.
We spent a happy Christmas ignoring the problem and throwing some stuff into a cooler.
We spent Sunday identifying the problem (compressor), pricing parts and repairs ($), and convincing cranky Betsy that the best option was to buy a new fridge, even though her parent's fridge has lasted 35+ years. hmph. Anna passed the time playing "Christmas Eve" in her new doll house - where all of the dolls run around saying "The fridge is on fire! The fridge is on fire!"
We spent Monday picking it out.
Merry Christmas! Would you like a cold glass of milk?