In The Meantime Mom Wants To Help – Oh No!

Well, since the hives were about gone from the allergic reaction to the chemo, I was beginning to feel human again.  We had spent the weekend in Kansas City at the rental home since I was a mess and John was working extra to help with all the bills.Mom was at our home, which is about three hours away, as we have an apartment for her there and it is great to have someone to keep an eye on everything.  With my physical therapy every week and all the doctor’s visits it seems like we go home less and less, so I can see why mom tries to help all she can.  But, may be just a little too much this week.

You see we live on a lake, a beautiful lake home that we have worked so hard to build for our retirement…but what if you don’t retire?  I mean live long enough to retire?

Mom is in her 70’s and a real spit fire.  At that time she drove a school bus (they said there were nine drivers before she came along, little did the kids know she had driven a bus for many years and the last 17 years managed a bus barn up north, she had half the bus empty with suspensions in her first week).  She loves yard work and several people still have her do their yards, which very few can be mowed, mainly weed eating hillsides.  She even insists on doing ours including raking and burning the leaves.  Which is where this story is going…

They had dropped the lake water and that leaves a lot of drift wood along the shore line.  The weather was beautiful, a nice warm February day.  Mom had decided to head down to the lake after her morning bus route and do some burning.  We prefer she does not burn when no one is there, but again she was just trying to help.  She and John had stacked several small piles of wood and she had them all burned by noon just in time for a bite of lunch and a little time to read her book before her afternoon route.
The next thing she notices is the smoke outside her windows…it seems the wood had ignited some leaves under the rocks and burned a trail to the next door neighbors.  Now the neighbors are in Florida for the winter and their yard has unfortunately not been raked, so the leaves that have blown under their steps to the dock, have now caught on fire.  Like this has ever happened before…NO IT HASN’T!  Well, their steps are now on fire and the leaves have burned a path over to the neighbors next to them and you guessed it, they haven’t raked their yard either and they are now on fire…You’ve got to be kidding right?…But no it gets even better, or should I say worse?…By now they have also burned a path over to the next door neighbors who are in Texas and do I need to tell you, are their leaves raked?  No, so their steps are on fire…three sets of stairs on fire, the next three neighbors!
She tried to get the water hoses, which are unhooked for the winter and drag them down to the fire, but they won’t reach.  Everyone’s water is shut off for the winter because most are what we call snow birds, they go south for the winter, or they have other homes and just don’t come down.
She is also now running late for her bus route and it is to late to call another driver.  She calls our volunteer fire department, we don’t have full-timers and they respond just as she leaves to head to the school to pick up the kids.  She has no idea what is going to happen next or what she will see when she returns.  She is scared to death and did I say she has a heart disease with only half a functioning heart?
When the fire department gets there, they try to set the pumper truck close enough to get water from the lake, but guess what?  The lake water is down to low to get to it (we are about 130 feet down a hill to the water from the road), so their only other option is to get chainsaws out and cut the decks and steps away from the houses allowing them to roll down the hill and finish burning…Sounds like quite a story…That’s exactly what the insurance agent said too!
When mom returned from her bus route they were just finishing the clean up and making sure the fire was completely out.  She was devastated, all this from a little stack of drift wood and you could still see the line of burnt leaves trailing to the neighbors that had started it all.
As I always say:  Every day is a good day just some are better than others!

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