Monday, April 20, 2009

The flaming tree, why I will never be a firefighter, and other stories...


The hubby and I have spent a decent amount of time outside in our yard, trying to clean things up for spring. This weekend we managed to rake half of the front yard (hey, we have a BIG yard, so we have to tackle things in smaller portions!) and we cleaned out the garbage, leaves, and other debris that had accumulated under and in between our large lilac bushes that shield our house from the busy street. We had a sizable pile of twigs and branches that we decided were perfect to burn in our firepit, so we had a bonfire later Saturday night. Sometime during this fire we started talking about burning down a Christmas tree that we've had sitting on top of our compost/yard waste pile for the past 2 years - which is orange because the needles have completely dried out, but it isn't decomposing at all. I suggested that we cut it into a few pieces and slowly add it to the fire, but my hubby decides to just put the top in and see what happens. He's a firefighter, so I figure he knows what he's doing...he grabs the tree, drags it over to the HOT fire, and sticks the top in. It lights VERY quickly and starts traveling quickly down the rest of the tree...towards his hands and the rest of his body. I freak out a bit (I'm not a firefighter, so I think I'm entitled to flip out as I see this flaming tree in our yard!), and tell David to take it out of the pit (so we can put it out or something). David pulls it out of the pit (meanwhile, I have to explain that our neighbors were also in their backyard having a bonfire, and I heard one of them exclaim "holy shit!" when the tree went up in flames), and calmly watches while the tree continues to burn - the needles and branches are going up in smoke, but the base of the tree is fine. I run into the garage, partly because I'm still freaking out a bit (I will also mention that I had suggested earlier that we should have a bucket of water around just in case the fire got out of hand, but David didn't think that was necessary - which it wasn't, until we started the Christmas tree on fire) - so here I am, running into the garage, away from the flaming tree, to get the dog locked into the garage and out of harm's way. I then proceeded to grab a bucket, watch while my husband calmly walks into the garage, grabs a rake, and starts to put out the coals - on our grass, of course. I head into the house to get some water, and when I come back the tree has already burned all through the needles and is just smoldering. David had moved the tree into Jonas's hole-digging area, which is all dirt and no grass, but the damage was already done to the lawn next to the firepit. So now we have a large dirt hole right inside the gate for our backyard (courtesy of Jonas, which he has already started digging in AGAIN this spring!) and a large black space where we killed the remaining grass with the flaming tree. Awesome. Thank god my husband is a competent and CALM firefighter, or it may have been a bit worse. And thank god it wasn't up to me to solve the problem of the flaming Christmas tree - although I will maintain that I suggested we CUT it up first...

Note: The picture I have here is NOT our tree, thankfully ours didn't burn quite as much as this one!

No comments: