Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's only June, already

It's only June and we've had two fires up in the mountains. That sort of thing usually doesn't happen until October. This one was on our side of town, about 10 miles away. Fortunately, the fire took only one house before the fog started rolling in, turning the fire back on itself and sparing many other homes.

My mother used to tell us that when she was a little girl, two different houses they lived in burned down, a terribly scarey thought to me. Once, their rescuers actually carried the piano from the back through the burning house and out the front door to save it. Of course, it was easier to set your own house on fire 100 years ago, when everyone who lived out in the country had a wood or coal stove in which they had to bank the fire to keep it burning throughout the night in order to be able to quickly prepare and cook breakfast to get the men out in the fields as fast as possible in the morning. There were also those dangers of kerosene lanterns and candles before electricity reached rural areas. How safe we now seem to be in our own homes.

My grandmother must have been horrified when she found my young cousin in flames, having set his pajamas on fire playing with his father's cigarette lighter. Having been through those other fires, she remained calm and rolled him up in his blankets, extingushing the fire, saving his life and this time, saving her home.

On that sobering thought, I bid adieu. I never before put those incidents together. I'm beginning to have much more compassion for my deceased relatives.

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