Friday, October 21, 2011


I usually wake up about 5:30. I've begun to set the alarm for 5:30 even though I don't really need to. My oldest friend Mary and I have a pact. We pray for our children at 5:30 every morning. I pray for hers. She prays for mine. It is hard being a mom. Your emotions tend to cloud things sometimes, but whenever we talk about our kids, she always sees clearly what I can do, or what I should do. It works vice versa too.

It was her idea, actually, and I think it's a good one. I like the idea of starting the day with prayer, knowing that my friend is praying from her little house on a whole 'nuther hill. She's strict too. You have to get out of bed and on your knees. I'm generally a 'pray where I'm at' person. But I get out of bed and on my knees and I pray. Because I love my friend.

That's one heck of a sacrifice too, getting out of bed. We still have not lit the woodstove and it is cold in here. Unless you talk to Tim. He'll tell you that it's not cold in here, but let me tell you that man is full do you start a post talking about prayer, and then have it take a turn like that? You don't. And so I won't. But I'm darn tired of being cold, let me tell you true. It is in the 30s outside, wet and raining. I'd just start a fire myself, but he wants to clean the chimney first, and sure as tooting, about the time that I stubbornly go on and start a fire, something terrible will happen.

Did I ever tell you about the time we did have a fire?

I'd headed down to pick up Dylan from wrestling practice. He was 16 and just got his permit, so he was driving. We watched the firetrucks go speeding past as we waited to turn right at the stop sign at the top of the hill. "Oh," I said. "Somebody's got a fire. We should pray for them, whoever they are." And Dylan turns right, and we are following the fire trucks. They begin slowing down where we'd be slowing down. Much to my shock, the firetrucks pull in our driveway. There is a flagman standing in the middle of the road flagging us through, and getting a bit impatient because we had just stopped. He angrily snapped his flashlight, motioning us to get going. I leapt from the car, and said, "This is our house!" to the flagman and ran through the front yard.

All I could think of is that I had thrown wood into the stove before I left. I was horrified to think that maybe I hadn't shut it properly or something, and set our house afire. I left a boy with a learner's permit in the road with no responsible adult in the car, too, but that never dawned on me until later. So I'm bolting through the yard in the dark, praying "Oh, please, oh please, oh please!"

Suddenly I notice that the activity is taking place in the driveway. I also notice that Tim's truck was a smoldering heap. He was standing there studying it with a herd of volunteer fireman. I was so relieved that I burst out with "Oh, thank God it's your truck!" Which sounded kind of crappy.

Turned out, Tim had arrived home shortly after I left. He parked his truck, walked into the house, picked up the newspaper, and sat down in his recliner. He said, later, "I don't even know what made me get up and go to the window, but I looked out and my truck was on fire."

Cara picks up the story. She was in the bathroom, had just stepped out of the shower. She heard the front door open. She heard the front door shut. She heard various cars being moved. (We had at least four other vehicles out front.) As she was heading out of the bathroom, she heard the front door open again. She heard the front door shut again. From her bedroom, she heard Tim talking to someone on the phone. She then heard the front door open once more. She then heard the front door shut once more. She didn't pay any mind.

The phone rings, and she takes the call in her room. Her grandmother says, "What's on fire?!!!" in a frantic sort of voice. Cara says, "Nothing." Her grandmother said, "Well, a call just came across the scanner that there's a fire at your house." Cara said, "OUR house?" Her grandmother said, "Cara? Where are you?" and Cara said, "I'm in my room." Her grandmother suggests that she look out the window. Cara does and sees firetrucks. "Ummmm. Grandma? I gotta go. Right now," and she hung up.

Later she complained, "Tim needs to learn the proper use of an emergency voice!" It's the truth. He never gets rattled. His voice is always careful and quiet. He would tell you that your head had exploded in the same calm voice that he would ask you to bring the ketchup from the refrigerator please.

Anyways, Tim's truck was a total loss. We never found out for sure what started the fire, only that it was electrical in nature.

Now, where was I? Oh. I was talking about how cold I was.

Tim and I are going to have a long discussion about fires tonight. It's cold.


Kelly said...

Wow - that's quite a story! And yes, it's time to fire up the wood stove. It's cold outside!

jeanie said...

Well, its quite balmy here, but I would say you need at least a rug for your knees at 5.30 in the morning (great idea, BTW).

Your fire story brought to mind the Farmyard Tales story that is on pretty high rotation here at the moment. Its like a song, only in a very English accent (I think Lancashire or something regional) with "Barn on Fire" (and to give away the punchline, some campers were cooking sausages on a fire they had built the other side)

Scotty said...

I'm just glad nobody was hurt.