Fire and Ice

Like empty beer bottles cast out of “the trayla”, the ground is littered with discarded propane canisters outside my Airstream door.   Living in the Waddell’s driveway has always been, uhm .  .  . interesting to say the least.  This time it was the unexpected pre-Halloween snow storm that blanketed the northeast.   And a few other things.
Early Saturday morning this was the view from my Airstream door.  Virginia had made a snow man for me.
My morning walk down the road into the hollow ended abruptly when I heard trees cracking and splitting around me.   It just didn’t sound safe.
Back to the house.  Shortly thereafter, the electricity went out.Paul, being the good host that he is, built a roaring fire in the century-old fireplace to keep all of us women warm.  All was well.  For a couple of hours.I ran to the steps and shouted upstairs, “Paul, should this fireplace be making a noise like thunder?”  Actually, it sounded like F-14 Tomcat afterburners at full blast.”Chimney fire!  Call 911 and get out of the house.  NOW!”

These old rock chimney’s have no flue, and ancient mortar can melt allowing fire spread to the structure.Mary Kim called 911.  No power to the well pump, so no water to fight fire.  Paul shot two fire extinguishers up the chimney which momentarily quelled the blaze only to reignite again.  I ran to turn off the propane supply to the house and all surrounding Airstreams.  Virginia and I crammed the animals into the vehicles and moved all living things out of harms way.  While we girls stood across the road on the hill watching what could easily escalate to a fully involved house fire, Paul was in the attic tearing out the wall adjacent to the chimney.
As North Warren County’s finest arrived, things began to settle down.
 They were on it.
Part of their procedure was to remove the metal wind guard from the top of the faulty chimney.  After the saws-all made the last cut, the firefighter was about to pitch the giant chunk of metal towards the west side of the house.”NO!” yelled Paul, “you can’t throw it there!  You have to throw it towards the road.”
“But if I throw to the road it may hit the power lines.”
“You don’t understand, you will have to work around those power lines.  Because whatever you do, you can’t let it come anywhere close to that Airstream.”
Somehow, the obliging firefighter guided the 6-foot piece through the lines to drop on the driveway where it lay in pieces.  On the west side of the house, safely under it’s own little baby blanket of snow, sat “that Airstream”.
Yes, I’ve gone and done it again.  Thanks to Paul Waddell’s finding it and the Rowbottom’s of Ontario bringing it to me, I am now the proud owner of Doug Rowbottom’s latest renovation, a too cute and pretty much original 1963 Bambi.
That night, still without power, the Waddell’s were in their own Airstream living with me in their own driveway.I’m headed back up to Virginia in the morning to get the Bambino.  Looks like I’ll have to expand the subtitle of this blog soon.