Call 911, Your Shed’s On Fire…

I’m beginning this post with a little commercial clip that shows a glimpse of how our day went, about a month ago.  The only difference was our adventure involved a “He Shed” and a lawnmower…

It was Friday, June 21, and I had a nine o’clock appointment for a mammogram.  What a way to start the day, but that mammogram was only the beginning of unpleasant things to come–and that whole mammogram experience is a story for another day!

Ed decided to ride along with me for my appointment, so he was late in starting his chores that day.  Friday is often “grass mowing day”, and once we got home, Ed was anxious to get started.  It was already 11:30 when he started, so I asked him to stop at 12:30 so we could eat lunch.

Ed parked the lawn mower and came inside at 12:30, just like I’d asked.  He quickly changed his clothes and we sat down to make  sandwiches for our lunch.  While making the sandwiches we heard what sounded like a car door slam.  One of us asked, “What was that?”, but kept on making our lunch.  A couple of minutes later, our daughter came running over from next door, yelling “Call 911, your shed’s on fire!”  The look of terror on her face was something I won’t soon forget.  (I later learned that our daughter thought Ed was involved the fire.)

Ed jumped up and ran outside with our daughter, while I quickly dialed 911.  After I gave the information to the 911 dispatcher, I ran outside, too.  I was not prepared for what I saw.  Our tool shed and the adjoining shelter were already engulfed in huge flames!  Flames were climbing two trees next to the shed, as well!  I turned around, came back inside, and called 911 again to tell them the fire had spread to the woods, too.

The dispatcher assured me the trucks were on the way.  By then, Ed had the water hose stretched out and yelled for me to turn the water on, while Brandy rushed to move our car away from the fire.  (Our carport/utility house is located around twelve feet away from the burning shed).  I stood powerless as I watched all of our lawn/garden equipment go up in flames.  That was one HOT fire!  Meanwhile, Ed kept spraying those huge flames with his garden hose. (and yes, he looked somewhat like the man with the pitiful water hose, in the State Farm commercial)

It seemed like forever, but was only ten minutes until the fire department arrived.  I’ve never been so happy to see a fire truck in my whole life!  A couple of fire trucks came, as well as several cars of volunteers.  Friends and neighbors also began arriving to see what was going on.  Within a few minutes, the fire was extinguished, and only a pile of rubble remained.  Anything related to lawn/garden had been burned to a crisp!

Upon inspection, the firemen told us the fire originated with our lawnmower, where the fire had burned the hottest.  It was then we realized what the explosion was that we heard while making our sandwiches!  Within ten minutes after Ed had shut the mower off, it exploded and burst into flames, which leads me to believe it may have been smoldering when he parked it.

At first, we couldn’t believe how quickly this fire burned or how hot it was! When I first saw the shed, the inside of the it looked like an inferno, with flames  shooting up the two massive pine trees on either side of it!  Afterward, we remembered, that Ed had bought extra fuel for his mower, his tractor, and the pressure washer, and all of it was stored inside of the shed!

In retrospect, Ed and I have several things to be thankful for, to God, regarding this fire.  First of all, I’ve never given Ed a time to stop mowing–ever.  He always mows on his own time table.  If I had I not asked him to stop, he’d have finished mowing the grass before he stopped for lunch, therefore, he could have been on the mower when it caught fire and exploded (with a full tank of gas).

Next, we are thankful that our daughter is vigilant, and has a little dog who barks at everything.  It was because of  Jack she went outside to investigate the explosion and subsequent noises that quickly followed, therefore discovering the fire before it had a chance to spread.

Third, we are thankful for our fire department, who was able to respond so quickly and efficiently!  Thanks to them, the fire was contained and extinguished quickly.  From the time Ed shut off the mower until the time the fire department finished their work and drove away, was exactly one hour.

At first, Ed was a bit bummed about losing his “He Shed”.  He lost a very large collection of garden tools (many of them special because his daddy had given them to him).    He lost several grills, a smoker, several ladders, a wheel barrow, a garden wagon, and a lot more. Of course, the most important [and expensive] item he lost was his zero turn lawnmower.

Fortunately, Ed was able to find and purchase a new lawnmower within a week of the fire.  (The frantic search for a new mower would also make another good post!)  So far, he’s mowed the grass two or three times with the new, bigger and better mower, and he really seems to really like it.

Recently, after exploring all options, Ed decided to replace his “He Shed” with a pre-built “Handi House”.  The house was delivered yesterday, and Ed’s already beginning to make it his own.   I guess we’ll call it “Ed’s Handy House”.

They say, “all’s well that ends well.”  Thankfully, nobody was hurt in our fire, it didn’t spread far, and the shed was insured–although filing an insurance claim could cause a person to have a ‘stress induced’ heart attack!   Ed’s still in the process of replacing items and filing, but life is slowly getting back to normal.  Normal is good!

 

Advertisements
Published in: on July 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

A Birthday, A Root Canal, And A Cancelled Trip…

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged here.  In fact, it’s been so long, the site actually made me sign in with my username and password!  But here I am, and the title of this post could easily sum up the past three weeks of my life!

Yes, I had another birthday.  My sixty-fourth, to be exact.  Way back in the days when I listened to the old Beatles song, When I’m Sixty-Four, I didn’t think much about ever being sixty-four, but here I am.  How did that happen?!

Although I hadn’t felt well for several days prior to my “sixty-fourth”, I actually felt pretty good on my birthday.  Early that morning, Ed and I threw our lawn chairs in the back of the van and headed for St. Simon’s Island!  All I really wanted was to spend the day lounging in the shade of my favorite oak tree, while enjoying the view.  God blessed me by giving me a “good day” and Ed made sure I got my birthday wish!

my birthday view

The day was as close to perfect as it could be.  A gentle breeze blew, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and there were no annoying people around.  In fact, there were very few people around at all!  When we got home, that evening, I even found a freshly baked pound cake waiting on my kitchen counter–courtesy of my daughter-in-law, Jennifer.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Two weeks after my birthday, I celebrated again with family.  Yes, I said, two weeks after.  That’s how long it took our family to coordinate schedules to celebrate mine and daughter-in-law, Jennifer’s, birthdays. (Her birthday is two days before mine, so we celebrate together) 

 

We celebrated our birthdays at the new home of our oldest son.  (This was their first ‘official’ get-together since moving in.)  We all celebrated with bar-b-que spare ribs and all the trimmings, plus cake/ice cream, and lots of gifts.  It was a nice evening, and we all had a big laugh when Jennifer opened one of her gifts–a witches broom!  Being the good sport she is, she immediately hopped on it and galloped around the room 🙂  (There’s a story behind this gift, but I won’t take time to explain today.)

Just a week after my official birthday, and a week before the family celebration, I experienced my first root canal.  Happy sixty-fourth to me!

 

I’d been dealing with this ‘bothersome’ tooth, since my last checkup, six months ago.  I’d mentioned this tooth to my dentist during that visit, but he suggested we leave it alone for as long as possible. When I went back for my regular cleaning,  x-rays finally showed trouble was brewing, and the dentist said it was time for a root canal.  Fun times!  The procedure was not fun, but wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d thought it would be.  In fact, the most painful part was paying the bill!!!

You see, way back in June, on a whim, I signed [Ed and me] up to take a bus trip to Key West during the first week of November.  If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that visiting Key West is on my bucket list.  In fact, it’s the only thing on my bucket list!

 

So, I’ve faithfully saved money for the past three months, in anticipation of our upcoming trip.  Little did I know I was saving up for a root canal, instead!!!  I was actually planning to mail the large final payment for the trip on the day I found out I had to have the root canal and crown.  Cost of the root canal and crown?  The same price as the trip to Key West!  Long story made short, I tearfully cancelled our trip, three days later.

Yes, I could have put the root canal or the trip on our credit card, or even taken the money out of our savings, but I didn’t feel like either of those things was the right thing to do, at this time, because six birthdays are coming, plus Christmas, and yearly taxes will soon be due, as well.  Also, for some unknown reason, I’d already been having second thoughts about this trip, so I took the ‘unplanned expense’ as a ‘sign’ that maybe I should just cancel.

Perhaps there will be another travel opportunity sometime in the future.  Who knows?  In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming of Key West–while wearing a new crown on a very old tooth!  Year sixty-four has certainly started out with a bang!

 

Published in: on September 19, 2018 at 9:35 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , ,

Encounter With An Ark (part two)…

Our travel group spent our first night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but our visit there was brief.  We had to be loaded and ready to roll by 7:30 the following morning, so most of us were having breakfast by 6:30!  The hotel provided a continental breakfast, complete with fresh fruit.  As we usually do, Ed and I each picked up a banana, to save for later in the day.

Soon we were on the road, again, retracing a few of our steps from the day before…

There was the upside down building

 

and King Kong!

and even a car on top of an awning!

Before long, we were on our way out of Tennessee, headed toward Kentucky.  The tour host pointed out several interesting places along the way and told us the interesting history of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame.

As we neared the Kentucky state line, and our next scheduled rest stop, the tour guide made an announcement.  He told us the Department of Agriculture often stops vehicles crossing the state line.  He said they’re really particular about fruit being carried across state lines–in particular, bananas.  My eyes grew large, and my throat grew tight!  What in the world was I going to do?  I had two bananas in my purse!   It turned out that another lady on the bus had bananas in her purse, as well, and her son had put the tour guide up to playing a joke on her!  (Little did the son know his mom wasn’t the only one carrying bananas from the hotel!!!)  Our group is still laughing about this joke, but it sure wasn’t funny [to me] at the time 🙂

As we rolled on through the hills of Kentucky, I quickly discovered I could easily become a “Kentucky Girl”!  I quickly fell in love with the blue grass and rolling hills of Kentucky.  Of course, my view of the landscape was limited to a bus window, flying down the interstate at 75 miles per hour, but I certainly loved what I could see!

Before long, we arrived in Williamstown, Kentucky, and at The Ark Encounter.  It was shortly before eleven, and would soon be lunch time.

 our first glimpse of the ark

 One of my biggest complaints at The Ark Encounter was finding something to eat in a timely manner.  They could definitely use more eating places, since there were only two places to choose from, and both were very crowded!  Ed and I settled on a pulled pork sandwich from the small vendor, but it took us almost thirty minutes to get it!

Once our stomachs were filled, we began exploring the replica of Noah’s Ark.  The ark is the length of one and one-half football fields, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high.  It contained three different decks, which meant a lot of walking, but you can move at your own pace.  There are lots of things to see.

I can’t begin to describe all of the things we saw, but they were interesting!  Since there’s so little information in the Bible, regarding the Ark, most exhibits are designed from pure speculation.  There are many exhibits depicting rooms on the ark (such as living quarters, kitchen area, etc.), as well as models of animals, their cages, and feeding/watering methods that may have been used. Pictures simply do not do it justice, but I’ll share a few of mine anyway:

a glimpse of the ark’s inner construction

living quarters

garden area

the aviary (notice Noah sending out the dove)

animal replicas (in cage)

I enjoyed visiting the ark, but felt like some of the living quarters were a bit over-decorated.  I found it hard to believe that such elaborate furnishings would have existed in Noah’s time, but I could be wrong.

After about five hours of touring the ark, we boarded our bus, again, bound for The Chart House, a restaurant located beside the Ohio River.  We weren’t able to see everything in The Ark Encounter within those five hours, but we hit the high spots.  I believe a person would need an entire day to truly see and enjoy everything available at The Ark Encounter, and  I wished we’d had a little more time there.

It turned out, our tour group was a bit early for our dinner reservations at The Chart House, so the bus driver took us across the Ohio River and into Cincinnati, for a brief tour of the city.  It appeared to be very busy and very crowded, like most large cities.  Our bus soon crossed back over the Ohio River and back into Kentucky, where our evening meal awaited us.  (to be continued)

 

 

Published in: on April 24, 2018 at 10:19 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , ,

Encounter With An Ark (part one)…

Our journey to the ark began on the day after Easter–early on the day after Easter.  After months of waiting, and weeks of planning, the big day of our trip finally arrived!  Taking a bus tour someplace was something Ed and I had always wanted to do.

packed and ready to ride

Ed and I did our usual morning chores, then loaded the car and headed toward the church about 7:30.  The bus was scheduled to pick us up at 8 a.m.  When we arrived, the bus was there, and already half full! In all, about forty of us would be making the journey to visit The Ark Encounter, in Kentucky.  As the trip progressed, I soon figured out why so many folks had arrived early and filled the front half of the bus.  The front of the bus gets to unload first!

our bus for the next four days

Ed and I added our suitcases to the pile, then headed for a seat toward the back of the bus.  One of our favorite couples from church took the seat right behind ours, so we knew this was going to be a fun trip!  Soon our bus was rolling and headed for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Everyone was excited, as the open highway lay before us.  We chatted and joked among ourselves.  Before long, the tour guide popped the first [of several] movies into the dvd player, and everyone settled down to watch Courageous.  About an hour into this movie, I began to realize that I might have a problem–motion sickness!  I’d never watched a movie on a bus, therefore, it never occurred to me this might happen!  Sitting in the back of the bus probably didn’t help either.

Fortunately, my daughter had suggested packing some Dramamine, which I promptly took at the next rest stop.  However, once motion sickness occurs, it’s difficult to shake as long as you’re still in motion.  Sadly, I spent a good portion of Monday’s trip riding with my eyes closed!

We stopped at a large mall, about four hours from where we live, and ate lunch at their food court.  I was able to eat, and actually began feeling better while we were stopped.  Unfortunately, the queasy feeling kept coming and going for much of the trip, that first day, even though I didn’t watch any more movies.

Thank goodness, I was finally feeling almost normal by the time we reached Pigeon Forge–nearly nine hours after leaving our church!  THAT WAS SOME BUS RIDE!!!

Our bus pulled up at the “Dolly Stampede” (formerly known as the “Dixie Stampede”) about 5:45 p.m.  The dinner show was scheduled to begin at 6:00, so we were cutting it close!  The guide quickly took a group photo, then herded us into the building to be seated. (I apologize for the quality of the few photos that I took. It was dark in there.)

a glimpse of the show at Stampede

Ed and I had never been to the “Dolly Stampede”, so we didn’t know much about it, other than they put on a show for you while you eat dinner.  We didn’t know they don’t furnish you with eating utensils or that they bring your meal one item at a time!  Imagine our surprise when they brought our soup to us, and we didn’t have a spoon!  However,  we quickly figured out why that handle was on the side of the bowl 🙂

The show soon began, with an assortment of horses, riders, cattle, covered wagons, and even some buffalo!  There was a story line behind the show, of course, and even a little friendly audience competition.  At one point in the show, they solicited volunteers, from the audience,  to participate in part of the show.  We soon discovered that our pastor and his wife had been selected to be participants!  (This was actually their second time going to “The Stampede” and being chosen as participants!)  How exciting that they participated in the bucket relay race, and won a medal!

our pastor and his wife participating in the bucket relay

While the entertainment in front of us played out, the servers continued to bring food to us–one piece at a time!  Following the soup and biscuit, a Cornish hen was served, again with no eating utensils!

 What?  No fork and knife?!

This was later followed by a slice of pork, one half of a baked potato, an ear of corn, and an apple turn over!  To say our stomachs were stuffed and our hands were very messy would be an understatement!  Fortunately, they did provide us with a warm, wet towel at the end of the meal, but I’d much have preferred a fork, knife, and spoon!

After our meal was over, we exited through the Stampede gift shop and boarded our bus which took us to our hotel for the evening.  Ed and I got separated in the gift shop, and lost from each other for a bit, but that’s another whole story!

Once we made the short journey to our hotel for the evening, we exited the bus as they called our names and presented us with our room keys. Happily, mine and Ed’s names were the first two called!

upper view of  our hotel lobby in Pigeon Forge

Imagine our surprise when our room key didn’t work!  In fact, nobody’s room key worked!  It turned out our keys hadn’t been activated, but within a matter of minutes, everyone was finally able to enter their rooms.

I’m told some folks soon went to the pool, but the only place Ed and I went was to find the place where breakfast would be held the following morning, then off to bed we went!  We were exhausted! (to be continued)

Published in: on April 20, 2018 at 7:18 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Six Word Saturday– or Kathy & Ed’s Excellent Retirement Adventures…

Enjoying week two of Ed’s retirement!

It’s kind of hard to believe, but Ed and I have made it through his second week of retirement, already.  Time is passing quickly.  Ed has also discovered that time is irrelevant when you’re retired.  Most days are pretty much the same, and only the growling of our stomachs keep us in touch with what time it is.  No more clock watching for Ed!

Although we attempted to plow through some of our forms and paperwork, this week, we didn’t get very far.  We need a final date of Ed’s benefits from the hospital, and, apparently, these days, nobody there seems to know what’s going on or when that day will be!  When ten percent of a hospital staff is suddenly terminated, it leaves things in a bit of disarray, to put it mildly.  (This thought really makes me hope I don’t get sick!) Did I mention we’re also waiting for Ed’s paycheck to arrive in the mail?  I do hope someone there has mind enough to mail the paychecks of those who were terminated!  In the meantime, we’re living off of our ’emergency fund’.

Ed was able to sign up for his Social Security payments on-line, this week, but, for some reason, they needed a copy of our marriage license.  We decided to take this document to our nearby Social Security office instead of mailing it. The Social Security Administration office is where our latest ‘excellent retirement adventure’ began.

Since neither of us had ever been to this Social Security office, we had no idea where it was located.  The nearest SS office is located in a town 30 miles away from us.  Thanks to ‘Google’, we were able to get directions and drove to the office with little difficulty.  Did I mention that the office happened to be located near one of my favorite stores, known as ‘Hobby Lobby’?  (Yay for making side trips on our ‘excellent adventures!)

Upon walking in the entryway of the SS building, we proceeded to try to open the double glass doors, but were quickly stopped by a female security officer!  She quickly pointed out that we needed to ‘register’ the reason for our visit, on a huge computer screen, located in the left of the entryway.  So Ed registered (with the security officer trying to help, for some reason),  Ed took the slip of paper, containing the number the machine spit out at him, and, only then, were we allowed to come inside and take a seat!  The registration process took almost as long as our wait to be served, so we were in and out of the SS office quickly.  I’m still trying to figure out why they have a security officer at the SS office!  Perhaps the old folks get rowdy, at times?!

After a quick stop by Hobby Lobby, our adventure continued when we visited the new ‘Wal-mart Neighborhood Market’ for the first time.  Apparently,  Wal-mart is starting to build these huge grocery store/pharmacy combinations, for those who want to take advantage of Wal-mart’s low prices, but want to skip the hustle-bustle of a regular Wal-mart.  Believe me, Ed and I are all for skipping the hustle-bustle of Wal-mart, anytime we can!

Ed and I happened to be traveling in his mama’s 1997 Lincoln Towncar because Ed enjoys driving it.  So we pulled up to the Wal-mart Neighborhood Market, in what I commonly refer to as our ‘old folks’ car.  As we were getting out of the car, I noticed two young men gathering up shopping carts in the parking lot.  One of them was about to ride a parked shopping scooter back into the store, when he quickly turned to us and asked, “Do y’all need this?” ( Oh, my!)  I quickly replied, “No, not yet!”  I remember thinking, it must have been the ‘old folks car’…or, perhaps, Ed’s snow-white hair that made him ask such a thing!  Surely, it isn’t me!  Although, come to think of it, I’ve been off of my arthritis meds for over a week, and I am moving kind of slow and stiff…and I’m letting my hair color grow out, which now means random spots of gray for me, as well!  

And while I’m on this subject of being treated like ‘old folks’, let me mention  how we’re now being called ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ at certain places–like the restaurant where we go for ‘senior citizen’s’ buffet on Monday nights!  This is a totally new experience for me, and I can’t decide if I like it or not!

Anyway, Ed and I managed to pick up the items we needed, without the use of a shopping scooter, I might add!  We also managed to make it home with a few dollars left in our pockets, something that will continue to be a challenge, no doubt!

For the rest of the weekend, we’re planning to stay home, relax, and attend our daughter’s Super Bowl festivities. Who knows what adventures we’ll find to do on Monday?!  We might even make another trip to the ‘senior citizen’s buffet’…  I might even decide I like being called ‘sweetie’!

*** It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this meme, but today I’ve joined Kate and many others @ Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.  To find out more about this fun meme, click Kate’s button at the top of this post.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 31, 2015 at 11:01 am  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , , ,