Thursday, January 19, 2012

Three Alarm Fire



Being a quilt whisperer, I just love it when a quilt quietly whispers its sweet name to me. But sometimes, a quilt doesn't whisper...it screeches...and sometimes that screech involves me building the morning wood stove fire.

Because of life's challenges, DH has been staying with his mother as much as 17 hours a day. He's been amazing with her..and can lift and otherwise carry her..when I cannot. He can also build fires in the wood stove with ease.

And while I grew up in territorial Alaska, and was both a Brownie and a Girl Scout and earned many merit badges......well, do I even need to mention they were all in sewing and wildcrafting and not in camp fire activities?

In my childhood, no one camped out except if their car broke down on the Alcan Highway, traveling through Alaska and Canada for weeks at a time on a gravel road to head south to Seattle or north, back to Alaska. And my memories of that experience are 14 flat tires on one trip alone, and my father having to wait days to catch a ride with a long haul trucker, and hitchhike to the nearest garage hundreds of miles away.

We slept..absolutely freezing...in the back of our station wagon...five little kids and one frantic mother who was convinced my father had already been hit by a truck and died. Because of bears, we weren't allowed out of the car ..except to ...well..... maybe put out a fire if we could have found one ;)

So, now when I wake up freezing cold and put on my rubber boots, hat, two coats, a knit muffler and head out into the pouring rain to get wood from our woodpile..well, more than my hands are frozen, soggy, and not working up to par. I not only set the copious amounts of newspaper, kindling, and logs on fire...I try my best to make the whole house warm up in a hurry! I open all of the stove drafts and pull out the ash drawer to speed things up.

Three smoke alarms all blaring at once later, and me not having the slightest idea of which wires to pull free from their connections on the two wired (and not battery powered alarms)......well, you can only imagine.

The sound of three smoke alarms at once is so loud that it made my tinnitus goes into hyper drive and my brain into a hyperbaric chamber of what to do first, much less next. I didn't think I was actually going to burn the house down...although I did realize I hadn't read the directions on the smoke extinguisher in years, and would no doubt need a magnifying glass(at this stage of my life) in order to read it.... should that need actually arrive.

Just finding a chair to stand on that wasn't piled decoratively with quilts or cradling a cat, or was too heavy to pull into the hallway, much less too soft to stand up on, was challenging enough. Do I bring the darling wood rush chair with the sagging seat and two short and two tall legs? Or maybe the antique chair with the embroidered seat? Or wait, how about the rocking chair..it only has one quilt on it and the rocking back and forth might soothe me as I stand on it to inspect all of those wires and melt my brain with sound waves.

Thanks heavens all of my country neighbors sleep in past 3 am...unlike myself, who is up long before the chickens...or I'm sure the screeching from my house would have necessitated a call to 911. And of course, that would be me screeching... and not just the alarms.

Yep, I'm moving right along on my orphan blocks quilt and its sheer vibrancy is enough to light up the house and shove the gloom of my morning trek along our flooded driveway to the mailbox and soaking wet pajamas..yes, I wear pajamas, two coats, a hat and my scarf to check the mail, too.

Yep, country living is the place to be...green acres is the life for me!


Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are changing the world...one little quilt at a time.