Friday, September 28, 2012

Fire On Cherry Fork Road...Reissued

The following story was featured in my book and is one of my favorites. If you missed it the first time around it's worth a second look.


Growing up on a farm in southern Ohio was a lot of fun. We had all sorts of adventures, many, which I am sad to say, have escaped my memory. We had a building next to our house that we called the shed. It had a chicken house on one side and an outhouse on the other side. In the middle was where we kept our two freezers full of beef and vegetables. Yes, we grew our own veggies and slaughtered our farm animals for food.

Anyhow, the roof was in such bad shape that my dad decided a new roof was in order. So, he called my cousin, Kenny, who helped us with all of those tasks, and my brother and dad got together one weekend and put new shingles on the roof of the shed. The old shingles were dispatched to what we called the ditch which was a place where things ended up to be dealt with at a later time. It wasn’t really a dump, because it always got cleaned up eventually, but more like a holding station.

I’m not sure what time of year it was, but it had to be in the fall sometime because it was cool and dry and we were in school. My sister and I were in Cherry Fork having been transferred from our respective schools waiting to begin the ride back home on our regular bus. We rode Bus 7 and our driver’s name was Don. Suddenly, a message came over the emergency radio that he carried that there was a fire at the Palmer house on Cherry Fork Road.

Quiet, absolute quiet! No one said a word. My sister and I ran to the front of the bus and he took off. We were usually about the 6th or 7th stop on the way home but he didn’t stop to let anyone off the bus. I don’t know how fast he was going but when we hit the bottom of the big hill everyone and everything went flying.

My sister and I were hanging on for dear life and when we approached the house you couldn’t see anything but smoke and fire trucks. We saw my brother’s truck but didn’t know where he was. Everyone on the bus had their noses pressed up to the glass trying to see the blaze. All we wanted to do was get off the bus and find our brother. Don told everyone on the bus to stay put while he went and talked to the firemen.

After a few tense moments he came back and said we could get off the bus. Everything was under control. We were walking up the driveway when we saw my brother being treated by the paramedics. It seemed that he had taken in a little smoke while trying to protect the house with a garden hose.

My brother had decided that that particular day was a good day to begin to clean up the shingles and other material down in the ditch. He had started a fire and was going to let it burn itself out. It seemed like a good idea until the wind picked up and shifted directions. The wind was picking up the shingles and blowing them directly towards the house. In a matter of minutes the fire had leapt from the ditch and the entire field was ablaze and heading for the house.

Luckily, a neighbor, Tom Downing, had spotted the fire and called the fire department. When they arrived, my brother was covered with scratches and black soot from the fire and was guarding the house with the trusty water hose. The fireman yelled for him to drop the hose and back away from the fire but he wasn’t moving.

Fortunately, the wind shifted again and the fire changed directions. The firemen were able to apply several tankers full of water to the blaze and all that was left was a blackened field and a few remaining smoldering shingles.

My brother looked at us and then looked at the field and said this: “Do you think Mom and Dad are going to be mad? I saved the house."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...Run For Your Lives

Run for your lives....it's the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and it's attacking me!




Or...

When self-portraits go bad.

Monday, September 24, 2012

No Purse Required

In my family we like to have more than one bank account. I'm not sure why but I think it started with my Mamaw, who was my father's mother. Her name was Mary Lou Leonard Palmer Pitzer and she had money in every bank within a three county radius.

I never knew this until later, after she had passed away. I may have accompanied her to the bank once or twice when I was little but I can't say for sure. What I can say for sure is that I knew where Mamaw kept her spending money: in her bra. I wonder why she did that? She always carried a large pocketbook, full of all kinds of junk, but she kept her money close to her heart.

I've thought about doing that sometimes too, but I really don't have any extra room in there other than what is supposed to be in there. (If you know what I mean.) Over the last couple of years, more than one bank that I am affiliated with has gone belly up. The next thing you know the old signs have either been removed or covered up by a new bank's banner from somewhere that I've never heard of. Then you get new cards, checks and all sorts of other junk from the new bank and you're supposed to chuck the rest.

Sometimes, I don't do that.

A few days ago, I had to visit different locations to handle several different transactions. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. But someone forgot to tell me that. As I waited in the drive thru line mentally checking off items on my to do list, I realized that the lady at the bank was trying to get my attention.

"Ma'am?"

"Ma'am? Excuse me?"

"Ma'am? Hello? Earth to lady in the red Mustang..."

"Yes?" I replied.

"What account do you want this to go into? And while I've got your attention, are you sure you're at the right bank?"

"What do you mean, what account? Of course, I'm at the right bank." This lady had my attention now.

"Well, ma'am, you've given me a bank deposit slip from a bank that was shut down five years ago and you didn't write down the account number."

"Oh?"

"Oh, goodness! Can't you just look it up by my name?" I asked.

"Sure. I just need some identification."

"Okay." I began looking frantically for my license but it was soon apparent that I had forgotten it somewhere. I must have left it at the previous bank. I told the lady that I would be right back and drove back to the other bank.

The nice lady there saw me approach, waved my license in the air and offered these sage words of advice: "You know, you ought to keep that thing in your bra. My Granny taught me to do that after I left mine once. Yes sir, I keep it tucked right here, up close and personal. You have a good day now!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...Cincy-style Chili In The South




Can you believe it? Not as good as the real thing, but it beats driving 400 miles to get it...

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm On Vacation

Hi!

I'm on vacation at the Outer Banks for the next week or so. I'll eat some seafood for you and wet a hook or two.





You can keep the sand fleas...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Distractions At The Drive-thru


If folks in America weren't distracted enough, along comes the new requirements for restaurants that have more than 20 locations. Thanks to the new health care law these restaurants now have to list caloric content on all food products.

Even at the drive-thru.

Holy Crap!

You can say that, again.

Holy Crap!

So there I was just a sittin' and awaitin' my turn in the drive-thru lane just salivating over the thought of a large chocolate milkshake from my favorite fast food joint, McDonalds. It seemed to be taking a bit longer than normal to get through the line but I wasn't complaining; I had the radio cranked and I was singing along.

After what seemed like an eternity I finally reached the ordering speaker and glanced up at the menuboard. Then I took another glance. And then another. By the fourth time I was no longer glancing, I was gawking. There it was in print big enough for even those that forget to travel with their reading glasses to read: How many calories each food choice has.

Huh?

What?

When did this happen?

As I sat there in stunned silence through as least three attempts by the cashier to take my order the only thing I could manage was, "Hold on, I'm trying to read."

"Oh," said the cashier. "It must be your first time through since we made the changes."

"Uh, huh," I replied. "Holy crap! FRENCH FRIES HAVE THAT MANY CALORIES? I don't think I'll order that."

"Was there anything in particular you wanted to know about? I have a cheat sheet here with everything listed."

"I wanted to get a large chocolate shake but I can't find it listed anywhere. I must be over looking it."

"Hmm, chocolate shake, large, let me see. Here it is. A large chocolate shake has 870 calories."

Silence.

"Did you want to order that?"

More silence.

"Hello? Are you still there?"

"870 calories?"

"Yes."

"You're joking?"

"No, ma'am," she said. "Did you still want to get it?"

"Um, I don't think so. I think I've got some milk, cool whip and Hershey's syrup at home. It'll taste just like a chocolate milkshake."

"Okay, you have a good day." As I was pulling away, I overheard the cashier talking to someone in the restaurant. "Yep, we lost another one. This keeps up too long, we're gonna be outta business."

"I know that's right," she said. "You still gonna get your usual, the large fries for lunch?"

"Hell no. You know how many calories those things have? I brought a salad..."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Silent Reminder


In memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day and for the family and friends that continue to grieve for you, I silence my laughter on this day and fill my heart and soul instead with the prayers and songs of those who remember.

You will never be forgotten and we will never forget.

God Bless America.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Crumbly Biscuits


I'm a pretty easy going kinda girl but there are a few things that get on my nerves. One thing that I seem to be having difficulty with lately are biscuits. Not just any biscuits, but crumbly biscuits.

I'm not talking about the kind of biscuits that you make at home. You know, you smack the can against the counter or stick a knife into the can and wait on edge until it pops. Those biscuits aren't crumbly; they have too many artificial ingredients in them to fall apart.

I'm talking about fast food biscuits.

Most of the time, I eat fast food biscuits in the car. And no matter how many different ways I try holding it or arranging the wrapper or adding an extra napkin a large chunk of biscuit falls off, usually into my lap. I then end up doing the brush off or picking up tiny crumbs constantly looking down to find any leftovers and swerving all over the road.

What's really bad is if I am going to work and then I end up with a big grease spot. At least I know it's a grease spot. I've gotten looks before and I knew what they were thinking: That I somehow had gotten one of those wet-looking spots that men get when they hadn't utilized the old shake or tap method. Nasty!

One of the first things I need to do when getting out of the car is check myself for biscuit crumbs. The problem is that by the time I get to where I'm going I have forgotten all about it. I was made well aware of this fact not to long ago when I met mom for a shopping trip. As we were walking back to the car she commented, "You know ya got a big 'ol biscuit crumb sticking to your butt."

"Dang it! I hate crumbly biscuits. They get everywhere."

"I know," she said. "I've switched to wraps. They aren't crumbly, but I have a hard time keeping the egg from falling out. I still end up with a grease spot sometimes; make me look like I didn't do the old wave and shake, ha ha. You'd think they would be able to fix that problem?"

"Maybe no one ever complained about it?" I said.

"Yep, you're probably right. I wonder who we could call?"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And Now Introducing.....

Me!




Since making my first official public appearance as a published author at the Decatur Book Festival I thought I would provide a few snapshots of the festive occasion.


Cooling off before the book signing.



Check out my name; third from the bottom on the left.







A good crowd checking out all the books.



Looking out from the Emerging Authors tent.



Meeting fellow authors.



Someone checking out my book.



A break in the crowd.



Talking with an avid book reader.



More people waiting to have their book signed. How cool is that?



Mom and I trying to figure out which way to go.



How did that picture get in here?



A great way to end the day.


We had a great time. I hope to have many more...the cake was good too!





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