Way Down, Way Up, and Up in Smoke! (Almost)

17 Dec

Like most of the world, The Squire and I watched in horror on Friday as the news in Newtown unfolded.  We read the names and ages of the victims in church on Sunday, and our local Cub Master became visibly upset. He said later that he has 40 youngsters in his Pack, all the ages of the children killed, and he was just mentally coping with the idea of having half of his troop ripped away.

We had a shooting here on the first day of school, when an unbalanced young man walked into the local high school an opened fire in the cafeteria. Fortunately, he was known to the guidance counselor, who tackled him immediately. Only one student was injured, and there was no other loss of life. It is time to do something, and it is very telling that thirty-one pro-gun senators refused invitations to appear on national TV to discuss this.  Frankly, I don’t think it’s going to stop until one of their kids is involved.

Well, they won’t let me handle it, so how is it going to be done properly?

We had our annual Open House yesterday, which started off with a bit of a bang. I have a habit – a bad one, so I’ve been told – of putting odds and ends into the fireplace. Dead leaves from houseplants, wooden scraps from dollhouse kits, what-have-you, figuring it’s all kindling. The Squire laid a fire and lit it just as the first guests arrived. My “kindling” went up with a whoosh, and the cold air in the chimney forced all the smoke back into the living room. What a mess! Short discussion. I will try to stop being so “helpful” and The Squire will try to look before he lights.

The crowd was smaller than usual, but the weather was yucky and the Ravens were playing their do-or-die game. They died. I asked one fellow why the team even bothered to show up. He said they had to – it was their home field.  One man actually dropped off his family and went back home to watch the game! I’ll bet he regretted that, on a number of levels.

In spite of the weather, my cousin came up from “almost Annapolis” and another old friend came down from Pennsylvania, which were delightful surprises.  My cousin and I were talking about my mom when Old Friend arrived, and the conversation continued for a few moments after he arrived.  I think he was really surprised to discover that the things I had always said about my mom were true.  Let’s put it this way – another cousin once remarked that after spending a week with my mom while his parents were away made Army boot camp a snap.

Suddenly, the smoke alarm sounded! I thought Godson (who was acting butler for the day) had left something in the oven, but it turned out the pink candle on the Advent wreath burned about three times faster than the others, and the fresh (thank God!) greens on the wreath had begun to smolder! Three quick pinches, and the candles were out, and the wreath transported to the patio.

As the rector said, “Lucky it wasn’t a menorah.”

One Response to “Way Down, Way Up, and Up in Smoke! (Almost)”

  1. Todd Young December 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    and the wreath transported to the patio.

    I guess the fireplace was out of the question.

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