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.