Sunday, April 10, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

Hey all you men out there who read this blog, want to test your marriage?  First, go outside and light the backyard on fire.  Then, give your wife (who is sitting on the couch inside, completely oblivious to the flames outside) a phone call from outside telling her to get out to the backyard NOW!  Sound frightening?  This is what happened to me yesterday.

It all started because we have about an acre and a half of land that we grew sweet corn on last year that Joey wants to grow hay on this year.  Well, all the corn stalks are still up but Joey doesn't have the kind of tractor implement he needs to go out and cut it all down.  So, he thought he could do a controlled brush fire and burn it all away.  Note the imperative word: controlled brush fire.  Well, let's just say that things got a little out of control.  I was on the phone with my friend who lives in California when I received 3 calls from Joey.  I said to her, "Hold on a second, I have to figure out why Joey is calling me, I thought he just went outside...Oh my gosh!  Kar, can I call you back, our field is on fire!"  The part he wanted to burn was doing fine, but it had started to spread under the fence into the pasture that the ram is in.  He wanted me to help him stop the fire from encroaching onto the pasture.  So I ran and got a hoe and we fought it from spreading.  I got the hose and sprayed it to prevent it from starting again.  Then Joey went to the back of the field where our property backs up to another property at a line of pine trees and brush.  I thought everything was under control, so I took the dog inside so she wouldn't step on the burnt grasses.

When I stepped inside, I heard Joey's firefighter radio going off, calling Vermont volunteer my address!  I ran back outside and Joey was way in the back along our property line.  He had called 911 because he thought the fire was getting out of control.  The fire had spread to our neighbor's property and was heading straight for the pine trees!  I grabbed a bucket and started to fill it with water from the hose.  Joey was screaming at me, "Get back here! Bring the bucket!  I couldn't run with the bucket full of water, so he yelled to me, "Dump it out!"  I ran back as fast as I could.  There is a pond on the other side of the pine trees and Joey ran down there to fill up his bucket with water and got stuck!  He couldn't get up the bank of the pond until I pulled him out!  He dumped his bucket on the fire and I filled up mine at a spot on the shore with a rock to stand on and then ran up the slope to drown the fire.  We made a two person bucket brigade, filling two buckets in the pond and running up the hill to the spreading fire.  We almost had it out when the fire department came roaring back through our field in a four-wheel drive truck with a tank of water on the back.  The big fire engine roared up the street and waited in front of the house. It had only been a couple minutes but I was completely out of breath, from my cold, the smoke and from hauling buckets.  I was glad to see them arrive.  They got out and started to stop what was left with a rubber shovel that they used to stomp it out and then sprayed a little water on it.     It was out in less than a minute.  

Joey was a little embarrassed since he is on the volunteer fire department himself.  He told the guys, "I was the first one on scene!"  They laughed and said, that was it?  I guess with a couple more bucketfuls Joey and I probably could have put it out ourselves, but he wanted to be safe.  The guys on the fire department are going to give him crap for a while but at least we didn't burn our neighbor's trees down.  Or the sheep pasture.  When we went back into the house we were covered in soot and smoke.  I wasn't prepared for a controlled burn, so I was wearing regular clothes.  The firefighters probably took one look at me in my white top and my red flowered rain boots I had thrown on and soot on my face and probably thought, who the heck is this girl?  Well, I'm just the girl who pulls on her red rubber boots, pulls her husband out of a pond, and throws buckets of water on a grass fire, that's who.  I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder trying to put out a prairie fire.  

So, we gave the neighbors something to talk about.  I feel like there's always something crazy going on around here.  But Joey learned his lesson, with a little embarrassment from his fellow firefighters.  This was his first fire, ironic it was at his own house.  And now we know how quickly the volunteer fire department responds.

We had a little excitement, but we're all OK.  I still have a miserable cold.  I spent the rest of the weekend on the couch, basking in my disgustingness and surrounded by wads of used kleenex.  This morning, I stumbled into the kitchen a couple minutes after waking up, looking like the Crypt Keeper, and our friend Josh was at the back door to return a pie pan.  I'm sure he regrets that.  He'll probably never be able to look at me the same way again after he saw me this morning.  And that's my weekend in a nutshell.  How was your weekend?
Don't worry Dad, we moved the grain binder.  It didn't get burned.

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