Up in Flames

Grandma Kc wrote this on March 7th, 2014 25 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

My sister and I had walked downtown to get cherry phosphates at the drug store when we heard the siren go off. The little town in Michigan that we lived in only had a volunteer fire department. When there was a fire the phone call would go to the only gas station in town and they would blow the siren. You could hear it for miles and it would signal all of the volunteer firemen to go to the fire station.

When we heard that siren, my sister and I looked at each other. Could we have really set the backyard on fire — for the 2nd time that week? It was a Thursday afternoon in the middle of summer. The first time we’d set the yard on fire was Tuesday — two days earlier. We RAN! We did not run fast enough! The backyard was on fire and this time it had even spread to one of the old unoccupied dog sheds.

For the second time that week, we had tried to burn the trash out back. It was what you did with the trash back then and what you couldn’t burn you hauled to the dump on Saturdays. Burning the trash was a job for grownups. We weren’t supposed to do it but for some reason we had it in our heads to surprise our mom! Oh, we surprised her all right!

You would have thought we would have learned our lesson the first time but obviously not. I don’t have much memory of the first time but I sure remember that second time. I remember that fire engine coming up our driveway. My sister and I had the hose on but we weren’t getting very far. Thankfully there was a fire hydrant at the end of our driveway and they got the fire under control quickly. But when the fire was out the real fireworks began. The Fire Captain was mad and he was mad at us! We were in so much trouble and our mom wasn’t even home yet! We got the lecture of a lifetime about how farmers had dropped everything to come help a silly fire that we had set! Other volunteers had left their jobs to come help with the fire. Not once! Twice in the same week! I remember him telling my sister and I that if we ever caused another fire he was going to fine our parents! I don’t remember the monetary amount but that may have been because I knew in my heart we were NEVER going to burn the trash again!

Ever!

25 thoughts on “Up in Flames

  1. Sarah ~ Magnolia Surprise

    Oh my, I bet you were in trouble big time with your parents too! But being yelled at by the fire captain was probably much worse! Thank goodness this turned out to be a funny story, though certainly not funny at the time!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Big time trouble! Since we lived in a very small town where our family had lived forever, that fire captain probably knew them and that probably made it even worse!

      Reply
  2. Launna

    Oh my Kc…I remember the days when authority meant something and it scared us into behaving and not doing stupid things. We’ve all done those things

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I sure had my share of run ins and scares with the authority. But honest, our intentions were good ones. It was just our short attention spans that got us in trouble!

      Reply
      1. Launna

        It is funny how you get to know someone through writing, I never would have guessed you had any run ins with the law Kc from the first things I read about you. I love these stories of you, it is a great way to get to know you :)

        Reply
        1. Grandma Kc Post author

          Most kids wait to get in trouble with the law when they are in high school – but not me! But I guess it works as I NEVER got in trouble when I was older! I left that up to my sister. She got enough trouble for both of us and then some! I am glad you’re enjoying the stories.

          Reply
  3. Olga

    OMG. Hysterical. In the retelling. Serious danger at the time.
    I am so glad people mostly have given up the practice of burning garbage in a barrel in the back yard.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I think that town still allows for burning of leaves during certain weeks and times but it isn’t like it was and that is a good thing!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I read these stories and I realize my sister and I really did get in a lot of trouble and we really did do a lot of stupid things – but we really weren’t trying to be bad! It just worked out that way!

      Reply
  4. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    I shouldn’t be smiling but I am. This is fantastic! I love the stories you share. Cherry phosphates and burning trash out back? Yes, a different time, a more innocent time.

    THESE posts should be turned into a book. Keep ‘em coming, Kc, for you sure are making me smile. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Lisa. I am so glad you’re enjoying them.

      I was thinking how Amara never has these kinds of adventures, and her Mom only had a few. I think it is due in part to growing up in such a small town and because so much of our time playing was unsupervised. We just went out played or we went down the street and played. We had more opportunities to “go astray”! We also didn’t have any screens to sit in front of that would keep us out of trouble – had to find something to do!

      Reply
  5. Sandy

    I can just picture that big fire chief towering over you two little ones and giving you the lecture! Which, you did deserve … And I’m sure your parents were not happy either. Do you ever wonder how we ever survived our childhoods with all the crazy things we did?? LOL LOL LOL

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I don’t know who that fire chief was but I bet Dad knew him and I am sure that made it worse! That was the real disadvantage of living in such a small town, everybody knew everybody because they have all lived there for generations. Grandpa probably knew him, too! It is never good when they know your parents!

      Reply
  6. Judy@grandparentsplus2

    Who would have thought Grandma Kc could get into so much trouble. OMG I can only imagine that Fire Chief giving you ‘what for’ back in the days when adults scared kids to death. What a hoot of a story. Love it. Stay out of trouble this weekend. :-)

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Who would have thought! But honest, in most of my adventures I did not set out do misbehave. It just worked out that way!

      Reply
  7. Joyce

    Kc, you are certainly surprising me with the brushes with the law you had as a child! What an experience! I do remember the trash and leaf burning that was common. A face-to-face encounter with a no-nonsense Fire Captain would have scared me to death because, as others have mentioned, that was a time when kids respected and feared adult role models. Not so today. The Fire Captain would be sued for traumatizing “little Pookie” for life. Yeah, there’s lots of things I wish were still the same these days! And walking with your sister to the drug store without a GPS system attached to your little purse is another of these!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      My life was certainly not dull!

      It is interesting, since I don’t live in that small town anymore I was reading about their fire department today. It is still a volunteer fire department, the largest in the county with 25 volunteers! Some things haven’t changed a lot. I tried to find out if they still allow trash and leaf burning but I didn’t have any luck.

      Reply
  8. Kristi

    Your story reminds me of the story in this talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/obedience-brings-blessings?lang=eng

    Isn’t it funny that most of us have good intentions, but get into trouble sometimes anyway? I once “helped” my husband by assembling a dog house for him. Too bad I did it inside, instead of outside where it belonged, because after I assembled it, I realized it wouldn’t fit through the door. My husband had to take our sliding glass door off the tracks in order to get the dog house outside!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I did go and listen to the talk – very similar stories but I love YOUR story the best! That is so something that I would do! My roommate once went out and bought this beautiful antique sofa for our new apartment. Only problem was we could not get it up the narrow stairway to our apartment – and if we could have it would have never fit through the door either!

      Reply
  9. Vicki @ Grams Made It

    I know exactly how much trouble you were in, because my sister and I also set fire to the vacant lot next door to our house. Fortunately, we only did it once. We were trying to build a camp fire. The neighbors came running with water hoses and held it at bay until the fire department arrived. Let’s just say, we had trouble sitting for the next few days.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am so glad to know I am not the only one who got in trouble as a child! So is your sister younger or older than you? I do think some of our shenanigans were a result of being so close in age. Of course being one year and 2 weeks older I always got the most blame and it wasn’t always deserved!

      Reply
  10. lecheung

    That was scary. Especially being yelled at by the fire chief. Nothing worst than being yelled at by another adult that is not your parents. Happy WW!!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>