The 911

So, yesterday we had a fire.

Josh had set out to go to rehearsal in Tennessee, and I was home with Dan and all three kids.

Apparently Max had been eager to burn the brush pile in the backyard, so Dan set out to oblige.

I should also point out that there was a wind advisory yesterday, and if I were a responsible person/mother/citizen of the state I should have put a stop to this idea before the last branch was flung.

Once the flames were going, it quickly became apparent that the fire was going to spread.

And spread it did.

Dan went for the water hose attached to the house, Max brought around some garbage cans to transport water, and Ava immediately began to plot who (whom?) she would live with when the house inevitably burned to the ground.

At this point I really didn’t think it was a big deal. There was even a guy fishing down at the pond, and for some reason that comforted me, like nothing bad could possibly happen while we had a fishing visitor. I figured Dan could douse out the rogue flames and things would be over soon, so Lucy and I went inside for a banana.

In about 35 seconds, Max burst in and said that “Dad said to call the cops, because the fire’s coming.”

Now, let me make something clear.

In all of my 31 years on this rock we inhabit, I have never actually dialed 911.

For a few seconds I debated on whether or not I should actually use THE 911. I mean, surely Kossuth VFD has a direct line, right? I stopped my Google finger, though, and decided it would just be quicker to bite the bullet and dial the 911 and maybe I should find a deactivated cellphone real quick because hey IF IT’S THE 911 IT’LL STILL GO THROUGH and that would be amazing.

I didn’t do that, though, because remember the “fire was coming,” so I dialed, talked to the lady, and I hung up at a bit of a loss. I mean, they didn’t congratulate me or anything.

Pretty soon the road and driveway were full of volunteers committed to dousing Kossuth fires. They were everywhere, and then more came. They also could tell which truck was coming just from listening to the siren, like “Here comes Cecil, he’s in number two.” There was also one car full of a mom and three preteens that I’m pretty sure was just looking for a good time.

That pretty much ends my story. Cecil arrived in full on fireman pants. They put out the fire, saved the woebegone abandoned trailer in the field next door from possible damage, and chucked Dan on the shoulder while chortling about brush fires in the wind. It kind of felt like the end of a barbecue once it was all over, which I guess it kind of was, but no one was drunk and there were no hamburger buns.

The moral of the story is to use common sense. Sometimes that’s asking a lot. If not, though, be sure you have a phone to call the 911. Even a deactivated one. It’s supposed to still work. Let me know how that works out, because now I’m always going to wonder.

Off to roast marshmallows,


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