Monday, February 16, 2009

Fire One, Fire Two. . .

It's never really dull here. . . or normal. But life out in the middle of nowhere has its benefits. For example, if the mood strikes, I can do my best rendition of New York, New York in my front yard, in my nightgown, in the middle of the day, and no one's eardrums (or eyes) will be the worse for it. Or I can do my best interpretation of Beyonce's Single Ladies and no one will even know, except our dogs, and they love the way I dance. (I won't say if I have ever done this, but if I wanted to, I could!)


But living out in the country also has its challenges too. We deal with things like washed out roads, rabid skunks and gangs of deer just itching to rumble with any car which comes along. My son and my car's left front fender can testify to this fact. And once I even came home to find an angry bull in my front yard, and I promise he looked like he was thinking, "Go ahead, make my day. . ."

Sometimes living out in the country is hard work. Just last week my girls and I put out a fire in the woods behind our house which started when the transformer on the power pole exploded and sparked a fire. Living where we do, there are no nosy next door neighbors like Mrs. Kravitz checking up on our every move, so it's really a good thing that someone was home to intervene. Unfortunately my dear husband was not at home at the time so it was up to us girls to deal with the fire. And with the continued drought conditions in our area, the spark spread like, well, wildfire! The "girl brigade" managed to put out the fire before it spread too far, and before it became necessary to call the local Volunteer Fire Department.

This incident is a far cry from one we experienced a number of years ago, the last time the woods near our house caught fire. That fire came at the hands of my wonderful husband who is by no means a pyromaniac. On this particular morning he'd decided that it was time to get rid of every single scrap of lumber and every fallen limb which had accumulated on the farm for the past 18 years. This was a job for Super-dad and it needed to be done. . . and it needed doing that day. (No matter that it was the windiest day of the year and that we'd had no rain for weeks, and that the still, small voice of his reasoned and rational wife warned against such a task.) He and the kids worked all morning gathering wood scraps and twigs and and vines and logs and anything else that would burn, and soon they had assembled a pile of debris the size of Delaware in a clearing far enough away (so he thought) from the nearest tree. Super-dad called the Forestry department for the necessary burn permit, and then the fireworks (ha, ha, I love throwing in these puns! :) began. Literally, seconds into the decision, he realized it was a huge mistake. The fire leaped high into the air, and quickly spread to the edge of the clearing and then into the woods. Visions of Bambie and the ominous warnings of the woodland creatures, "Man's in the forest!" came to mind as we all began stomping and swatting at the spreading fire, to no avail. Our hose was too short to reach the inferno so we were forced to run back and forth with buckets of water to try to tame the spreading menace. Although the wind was blowing away from the house, it became obvious that things were getting out of control; so I dashed to the phone to call for back-up, i.e. the real fire fighters, and rushed back outside to help where I could. The ragtag group of volunteer firemen quickly arrived and fought the fire before it spread too much further into the woods. During all of the hubbub, my girls disappeared and I assumed they had gone inside the house to get more water. Within minutes the fire was extinguished, we thanked the firemen, and I returned to our (saved!) house, exhausted. As I walked through the basement door I stumbled over a large sleeping bag, and I noticed that it was filled with something. Apparently, the girls had decided that our house was surely going up in flames and they had rushed inside to rescue all of the family's most precioius earthly belongings. They had used the sleeping bag as a means of carrying the valuable family heirlooms out of the"doomed" house to safety. What a sweet, thoughtful gesture, I thought. But when I looked inside the bag, expecting to see all of our baby pictures, Grandmother's hand made quilt, and dear Great-Grandfather's pocket watch, instead, what I found was my girls' entire collection of Beanie Babies.

26 comments:

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I am gald everyone was and is safe. I like the part about the bennie babies...m.

Lori said...

well, for living in the middle of nowhere you people sure do get up to some shenanigans...hee hee...i'm glad your girl had their priorities straight:)

Sarah B. B. said...

I wish I could say I'd never experienced anything like that... That Beanie Baby story is HiLaRiOus. :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Too funny. How interesting to see the kids' priorities!

I bet it would be really different to have such privacy.
I'd still like to dance to your version of Single Ladies!

BittersweetPunkin said...

I would LOVE to be in the middle of nowhere...for now I am surrounded by one Gladys after another......

meg said...

Thanks for the giggles- Super-Dad & the priceless Beanie Babies made my afternoon :-)

Charmingdesigns said...

OOOOH My husband loves to start those kind of fires at campgrounds...where he is always told...douse it...NOW!! LOL...I'm glad the girls know what is important.lol. Laurie

madrekarin said...

That's an awful feeling knowing that a fire is out of your control. Too funny about the Beanie Babies. That's such an innocent thought- save the toys. Their hearts were in the right place. :)

Artfulife said...

Thanks! I love your work too, as does my little 8 year old. We oohhed and ahhed over it last night. Hope it's ok I would like to add you to my links. Have a lovely week.

Joy at Cupids Charm said...

What an adventure! So glad everyone is safe and sound...and I had a really good laugh when your post loaded....my husband and I laugh all the time about our VERY nosey neighbor...we call her Mrs. Kravitz too. We live in a downtown urban area, so I would trade places with you in a heartbeat! Have a beautiful day ~ xo Joy

The Paisley Studio/Sarah McNamara said...

Beanie Babies! I just got rid of my almost 21-year-old daughter's entire collection (with her blessing. As always, I loved reading your story. And I envy you your farm!

Sarah

Jann said...

Thanks for another good, laugh-out-loud read . . . I love the picture of Gladys Kravitz--Smiles and giggles, Jann

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Beanie Babies then. . . cell phones and ipods now.

Suzanne said...

Oh, the priorities of children! Glad it didn't reach your house...either one! Go Girls!

Monkey-Cats Studio said...

This post made me laugh!! Of course they would save THEIR most precious possessions! HA!! You know, I was on a fire department for 10 years and everytime we had a grass fire call going into trees we would cringe. Those fires are not fun to fight. Sounds like you and your girls have had some fire fighting experience!! Goodness.

Have a great day Cathy!!
Laurie

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Good Morning
Men don't need to be pyros when it comes to the whims of wind. Glad that the real valuables were safe and that in retrospect the humor is still intact.
Always Blessed
Blondie

The Burp Cloth Babe said...

Priceless!

Amy said...

A very good post!!
When I was about 15 and was babysitting my nephews out in the country at their house they set a field on fire unintentionally when playing near a burn barrel. Of course they were not supposed to be anywhere near it. I thought I was in a panic and running around like a maniac at the time. But looking back on it all these years later, I think I handled it quite well and correctly and thank goodness they were not hurt!!
Thank goodness no one in your gang was hurt either!!! And -BEANIE BABIES_ that's too precious!
Amy

Amy said...

I forgot to say--I love Gladys. I wrote about her on my blog recently!!
Amy

cammy @ freckledfarm said...

I SO loved this post and the beanie babies.....absolutely priceless. I too live out in the country and have a tale or two about rabid groundhogs, however, I couldn't imagine myself anyplace else (most days).
Have a lovely weekend.
Cammy

Jacquelynne said...

Ummm... those Beanie Babies are going to be worth A LOT of money some day.... at least that's what I remember hearing during their heyday, when people were "investing" hundreds of dollars in a single rare pink zebra Beanie Baby. So maybe your kids really are smart. Who knows, with Wall Street going the way it is, that may be their college fund in the sleeping bag....

thedomesticfringe said...

We used to live in the country and now we live in the city. When in the country, my husband was a pyro. He burned EVERYTHING and loved doing it. Glad ours never too out of control.

The Beanie Babies made me laugh.

-FringeGirl

FarmHouse Style said...

Beanie Babies!!! I'll be laughing all day at that one:-)

Laughs aside though, I'm glad fire one and two were gotten under control before any serious damage was done.

Rhonda

Artsy-Craftsy Merchant said...

Loved this story...also grew up on a farm...have put out a couple of small grass fires myself. Hot memories!!

Little Dollings by Brenda O. said...

Hi Cathy! I wandered into your blog from Chris' -- stayed a while because it was such fun to read! Love the characters on your website, and am heading over to STJ to check out that out too....

Blessings!
Brenda

Shona Cole said...

LOL, what a great story :) very glad it turned out well. How smart to use sleeping bags to save your special things.
I like your writing style :)