False Alarm

As many of you know, our part of the state is currently in a state of fire emergency.  There is fire and smoke throughout the region.  We have been on high alert for a couple days and even hook up the horse trailer and hang halters next to the horses on the fence for a quick get away of need be.  This afternoon we began to see a break in the smoke and much appreciate blue skies.  Breathing a big sigh of relief, we decided to relax a bit and throw some salmon on the grill.  

There we were, enjoying the cool of the late afternoon while quinoa was bubbling on the stove and salmon roasting on a cedar plank in the grill.  In a second it felt like my whole world changed.  I heard the DNR trucks rolling down the road with what sounded like evacuation orders!  “What???” I screamed!  “Oh shit!  How close is the fire?  Oh my God, the horses and chickens!!”  As I was hysterically trying to assess the situation, I pulled out my phone and opened the pulse point app. This is what I see:

You see that blue dot?  Yup, that would be me!  You see the little bubble with a tree? That means fire!  “Oh Lord!  There is a fire right here!  How in the hell are we going to get our horses and chickens out alive??”  Then I clicked on that little bubble and it brings up an address…my address!  I see my address just as the DNR trucks pull into my drive!  I look and Todd and say, “It’s us!  Oh my God we are on fire!!”  As if I wasn’t already panicked enough…I was in full fight or flight!  There I was in flip flops wondering how quickly I could get two horses and 8 chickens loaded up and out of there because we were on fire!  Wait, WE are on fire?  I began to look around.  Todd not being the alarmist that I am slowly walked down the drive to see what was actually going on.  

I was walking down the drive and then it hit me…the gate is locked and the keys are in the truck!  I run back to the truck (let’s face it, I walked sort of fast because I don’t actually run…even when faced with certain death!)…grab the keys and head down the drive to find out where this fire is and why is says that we are on fire!  

I make it to the locked gate slightly out of breath from my sort of fast walking which I will blame on my poor choice of footwear….and Todd is hamming it up with the firefighters.  “Wait, they are laughing?  Maybe this isn’t the end of the world.” I whisper to myself.  

“It’s the BBQ, someone called in that we were burning our trash!”  Todd says to me with a smile!  I just laughed and said, “well, I don’t have a lot of salmon, but I am certainly happy to feed you all!” They laughed and thanked us.  I told them that it is funny that one of our oh-so-concerned neighbors took the time to call in a trash fire while we were making dinner but couldn’t be bothered to report the box van backed up to our shop door the other night!

It was about that time I see a vehicle flying down the road and screech to a halt at the end of the driveway in the road.  A little ball of fire (pun intended), comes stomping up our driveway wagging her finger and saying, “well, I am glad you are all laughing!  I don’t find burning trash at all funny!  What were you thinking?  I own almost all the land around here and I don’t find it a bit funny!”  I said, “well, I don’t think it is funny either since we were not burning trash, we were making dinner!”  She began to calm slightly, and Todd said, “it’s really nice to know that we have such observant neighbors who call in for us cooking dinner but not when we got robbed!”  It was then an exchange about how many other people have been robbed up here and that it is the people moving into the area who are doing the robbing…no offense…  I just laughed it off, but knew with 100% certainty that she was absolutely right.  Small towns are often ruined by outsiders…I grew up in such a town.  But, since we clearly didn’t rob ourselves and while I am not the greatest cook in the world, I was certainly not burning my dinner to the point that it should have been misconstrued as a trash fire!  I guess the old adage, “good fences make good neighbors” is true, our fence line is in a serious state of disrepair and it is time to build a nice big fence….preferably one that keeps nosy neighbors who want to jump to conclusions with out so much as asking before assuming or God forbid if we were on fire offering to help, out of sight!

If I learned one thing tonight it is that I would totally rock an emergency situation…the way I froze in place incoherently muttering “we’re on fire”, the fast walk (I pulled a hammy) to get the keys and the way I had the entire evacuation plan all ready in my head, while I totally forgot the keys to unlock the gate…yup, emergency situation…I got this!

Thank God it was a false alarm!


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