Ashes to ashes

The other day started as an ordinary day.  It had snowed the night before and there was an inch or so on the ground, but it was calm and sunny out.  Hubby was putts-ing around while I got the kids ready for school.  He came in smelling of campfire and announced “Okay, I’ve started a bonfire.  Going to get some guys out to help me tear down part of that old house today.  After you drop off the kids, you’ll need to come watch the bonfire.”

Well allrightythen…

We’ve talked about how we were going to tear down the old house, but I didn’t really expect it to happen that day!  For those of you who don’t know, this property had two houses on it.  The main house and an old helping hand house which had been rented out by former owners.  In Jan. 2011, the former owner was in the helping hand house thawing out pipes with a blow torch(!) and burned it out.

Burned out helping hand house

We want to keep the front stone structure and possibly turn it in to a bar or something, but for now, we need to tear down the old structure and dispose of it.  After about 4 hours of hard labor, two huge roll away dumpsters, and 8 hours of burning….we got it to this:

1/3 of the old house gone!

I’d never babysat a bon fire before.  Sure, I’d gone camping and had camp fires, but this was a working fire.  A fire with purpose.  A “where-there-is-great-fire-comes-great-responsibility”-type fire…   Add that to living in an area where it is not uncommon for a “trash fire” to become a “the entire county is now on fire” and there is a little bit of stress involved.  I did NOT want to be the city-slicker turned cowgirl who made the news because of my idiocy.

It’s funny the things that go through your head when you babysit a fire for a long period of time.  I kept worrying about falling into the fire.  Every song with the word “fire” in the lyrics ran through my head.  I over-analyzed the sound of the fire and the way different things sounded when they burned.  I was amazed at the color of the fire and the way things looked when they burned.  Then I worried I was becoming a pyromaniac.

I had to leave mid-afternoon to get the kids from school.  I left hubby in charge of my fire.  Yes I said “my” fire….we had gotten quite close at that point…don’t judge…  Anyway, when I returned, he had put one of the guys who was helping tear down the house in charge of the fire and this guy….this guy was picking up the ashes with a shovel and TOSSING THEM IN THE AIR!!!  By then a breeze had started, so these ashes were scattering everywhere….floating over to the barn, the main house, the extremely dry fields all around….everywhere!  *forehead slap!*

Guess we can’t all appreciate the power and responsibility of a great fire.  The kids can just skip school the next time Hubby gets a wild hair and starts tearing down structures and starting bonfires!

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Wife, mom, small business owner, and hobby farm hopeful.
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2 Responses to Ashes to ashes

  1. Aunt Jane says:

    the “helper” definitely deserves a “Gibb-slap”…Hard enough to make his teeth rattle and his head hurt.

  2. Mom says:

    With great fire comes great responsiblity!

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