Thursday, January 5, 2012

Burn, Baby, Burn

It seems that while I was at work today, Marlee saved a little old lady from a burning house.

Shocking, right? 

Ready for a bigger shock? Marlee wasn't the one who started the fire. Go ahead, sit down. I know that's a lot to take in.

Around lunchtime today, Granny called me in full-on panic mode, "Mrs. D's yard is on fire!!!!" Um...come again? How exactly does a yard catch on fire? In Missouri? In the middle of winter?


We live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, and also knows everyones business. Here, we watch over (spy on) our neighbors because we care about them (we're nosy). The bustle of our neighborhood is definitely one of the best forms of entertainment in my adult life.

One of the most entertaining characters on the block is Mrs. D. Let me say now, I mean everything I say about her lovingly.Well, I get a kick out of her to say the least.

Recently widowed, Mrs. D. can best be described as '300 years old and spry'. And she makes the most amazing sugar cookies and cupcakes I've ever tasted!

A quick rundown of some of my favorite Mrs. D occurrences in the 8 years that I've known her:
  • The time she broke her collarbone while picking apples. Picking apples while on a ladder that was standing fully extended in the back of a pickup truck. Ballsy!
  • The time she renamed my kitten and then took him home with her, saying "This one's so darn cute and fuzzy! I don't know what you call him, but I've started calling him Fuzzy. He's been coming in the house when I hold the door open for him, really, it's like he's my kitten!" Ok...Adios, Bubba the kitten....
  • The time the same cat got hit by a car and even though the cat was visibly dead, she brought it to me in a cardboard box padded with dishtowels and begged me to take it to the vet. I took it and drove around for awhile, then had Chris bury it once she'd gone to bed. When she asked how much the vet charged me, I told her that he said it was free of charge since he couldn't save the cat.
  • The time she stole another cat from me - and then put it up for pet adoption 2 years later. The cat had actually lived with us for 2 years BEFORE she decided it should live with her. We really liked the cat even, but how do you tell someone that they can't have your favorite cat when they're 300 years old and hell-bent on taking it? You can't.
  • The time she came to congratulate me on a pregnancy, and spent 20 minutes explaining to me that she'd always wanted more children after her son had been born, and after trying DAILY for years, her husband had been diagnosed with a low sperm count. Eew...
  • The time she and the late Mr. D. backed out of their driveway and hit Chris's car on their way to a doctor's appointment. They went to the appointment first, but stopped by to tell Chris 6 hours later. Our road was deemed a no parking street shortly after that.
Mrs. D. has a wood-burning stove in her house. She looks so cute on cold mornings, coming out in her robe and boots, headed to the detached garage to get a few logs for the fire. 

Today's weather was warm and sunny, so there was no need for a fire. Mrs. D., never one to sit around and let life pass her by, I'm assuming got bored and took the opportunity to dump the ash bucket from the stove.

Carrying her bucket, she walked through the yard and down the hill, dumping the embers into the ditch as she does each day. Then, she turned around and went back inside, I'm assuming to find something else to do.

" sure is gettin weeeeeewy foggy out dere..."

And that's right about the time that Granny realized that not only was Mrs. D.'s yard on fire, it was spreading quickly up the yard heading right for the house! 

Granny locked Marlee and Miles in the house and ran across the street to alert Mrs. D to the fire. How did Mrs. D. proceed? She got the same bucket that'd started the fire, filled it with water, and attempted to douse the flames herself. Granny, on the other hand, called 911.

According to Marlee, this is what went down next: 
MAR: "They pulled up in they fiyatruck with WOOOOOO WOOOOOO. And then they getted out and they putted out the fiya!" 
ME: "How did they put the fire out?"
MAR: "Yike this (making a stomping motion with one foot)"
ME: "They stomped it with their boots? Did they put water on it?"
MAR: "Oh yeeeeeeah - but with a yittle hose, yike a spwinkya at my birfday!"

The firefighters got the fire put out before it reached the house, but the yard looks like many a cookie baked by yours truly. 

Later in the day, Mrs. D. came by with a card for Granny with thanks for looking out for her. She also brought over stuffed animals for each of the kids, and got a little giggle out of the fact that Marlee was actually the hero of the day.

My intro sentence might have been a little misleading, but it's still true. If the devil child hadn't noticed how 'foggy' it was getting outside, Mrs. D.'s house probably would've caught fire and who knows how that would've turned out. I don't even want to think about it! She didn't pick the old girl up and carry her out of a blazing house, but she did save the neighborhood elder from having her house catch fire.

That makes her a big hero in my book.