Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On Fire

School's out and my kids and their friends have moved outdoors. They set up a tent in our backyard and have slept out there two of the last three nights. Last night Math Man appeared in the kitchen and asked if the kids were roasting marshmallows. "I don't think so, I can't imagine they'd start a fire without checking in with a parent." (Actually, I can imagine them doing that, as teen brain has kicked in for one of the players, but I was pretty sure they didn't have any more wood out there!) "Well, I smell burning marshmallows..." I headed out to the back, ready to raise a ruckus. The kids are ensconced in the tent, enjoying popcorn and a movie on very small DVD player. No fire. No odor of burning marshmallows. Whatever.

Math Man heads back to the basement laundry, I go upstairs to retrieve my shoes in go for my evening walk. Our bedrooms seriously smells of burnt marshmallows. I peer out the window; seeing the neighbor's barbecue out front, I assume that's the source. But as I exit the front door, I can't smell anything outside, just upstairs. Huh? Back upstairs, I check closets, feel walls, worried that it's not burning marshmallows, but burning insulation I smell. I open my study door to find my desk aglow. It's on fire.

My screams for help rouse - not my household - but the neighbor's dog. She is no help. I grab the fire extinguisher (not having a baptismal font handy) and put out the huge pile of papers Crash had abandoned on my desk. Math Man finally appears, pulls out the lamp that had fallen on the papers. We drag it all downstairs to the front drive and I douse it one more time for good measure.

Denouement: Crash's 7th grade math papers are toast ("Well, I'd wanted to burn those anyway!"); my kids and their friends all learned how to properly use a fire extinguisher ("Cool..."); the desk is undamaged (there were a LOT of math papers); my nerves are shot and we're only 3 days into summer vacation.

If you're tracking the list of Fifty Fewer, now you know why a recently used fire extinguisher is number 200.


  1. Oh my goodness --- wow... glad you found the fire when you did.

    Hope you eventually got that walk in.

  2. I did get that walk...and I'm still enjoying the sense of relief that the house didn't burn down! Whew...