A cozy fire
Winter is finally here in Texas.
Today it’s freezing out. I think it’s 50°. I have a nice fire in my fireplace. It took me forever to get it started. Nearly an entire 1991 Alum research book, tearing page after page and crumbling each sheet neatly under the wood as the starter. And what a wonderful book to use, too. Gee. It doesn’t help that I’m burning the silver maple “remains” for wood. What a fast burner. I’ll be out of fuel before nightfall.
Of course, you can’t use the fireplace if it gets much colder because the impracticable fireplace sucks all the air right out of the house. Then I have my neighbors who are always looking out for me. “Judy, Reba here. Are you using your fireplace or are you burning down the back of your house? Just checking.” And I’m grateful, too. Although once when we lived in Morehead, Kentucky, I threw out the ashes from our wood burning stove into the woods behind our house. It was a modest mountain, part of the Daniel Boone National Forest for crying in the bucket.
While I was upstairs changing the girls’ sheets, I heard this crackling. Odd, I thought, because it sounded like it was coming through the back wall. Once out in the back yard, there it was. A small rapidly moving fire crawling up the side of our mountain, right next to my stash of wood, just beyond the brand new “wooden” back porch my husband made with this cute little cut out SOMEWHERE for the hose hidden beneath the floor boards. Smoke was everywhere. Did anyone call me to see if I was okay? Nope. Did anyone call the fire department? Not me. I had to find the hose with the attached sprinkler and crawl up that hill in the freezing cold and put it out myself, running my hands under all the leaves to make sure everything was soaked. I could have cried but it was too cold. I had no graham crackers, marshmallows, or chocolate. A total bust!
“What in the world happened in the back?” my observant husband asked when he came home from work. I just shrugged innocently. It was better than when I put the ashes in the big plastic garbage can sitting on that new porch right out the back door. That was easily replaced before anyone saw me. Oh well. That’s why I live in town with neighbors.