Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Turning up the heat

Today was not one of my most shining moments, friends, not at all. You should first know that we burn things out here in the country. Things like financial info, receipts, credit card solicitations (identity theft, you know) and large, unusable boxes, various other paper items. I struggle with what is the least harmful to the environment, my burning or the energy used and pollution created to transport and recycle paper items. So for now we burn paper trash. It's legal (certain times of the year) and saves trips to the dump. There is always a burn pile as well with yard waste. Just as soon as one is burned another takes its place and is quite large before we know it.

Above you'll see the barrel where the paper goes and the brush pile next to it and the large black area in the foreground is our vegetable garden, dormant this time of year of course. I lit some trash today, buried some food scraps for compost and set off to walk Sunny, my usual routine, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted low flames faaaar away from the burn barrel. I grabbed the nearest shovel and took off running toward the wayward fire (knowing full well it's illegal to burn open fires this time of year), with Sunny bounding along, twirling around and biting on her leash not making things a bit easier.

So I'm pounding away at the flames, adding good oxygen to them and wonder how in the h**l I'm going to prevent the brush pile from raging, as it had slowly started with dry leaves, thinking I sure could use some water right now and lots of it. I decided I'd better put Sunny back in the yard and ran to the window where Allie was and told her to bring me the phone, which she did and I frantically called Kevin who was luckily working in the barn next door. Of course he doesn't answer. So I call his Dad who is also working in the barn right next to him and I tell him to get Kevin to come help me, I've got an inferno going for goodness sake.

I see him coming across the field as I'm sweating and putting out flames and he's talking on his cell phone. He keeps right on talking, walks straight up to the hose bib which is next to the garden (some smart person put it there thinking we may want to water our veggies from time to time) and proceeds to calmly put out the fire all the while not breaking stride with his conversation on the cell phone.

It was right then when I remembered back a few years to a panicked Kevin who ran in the house shouting, "I've caught the woods on fire! Call 911!". I ran outside, saw an enormous fire ablaze, right under some trees (we still don't talk about why he lit it there), grabbed the hose out of his hands that he was sprinkling over the top of the flames and I aimed it right at the base of the fire and within 10 minutes or so I had the whole thing out.

I guess you could say we're even.


Pamela said...

Ah, a little brush with fire. A rite of passage I think. Mine was earlier this year when I dispensed half an extinguisher into the oven. Which fogged the entire house and settled on every horizontal surface. Not one of my finer moments.

Glad yours was limited!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Whew- glad that ended up ok. (was gonna say something smart-alecky about how don't ya hate giving up superiority points, but you and Kevin seem such perfect compliments to each other I just don't have the heart)