The day began just like any other on the ranch.
We woke up to a beautiful, peaceful sunrise.
Only this day, thankfully, there were no wildfires in sight. My better half spent the day taking care of business at the farm while I stayed home and merrily unpacked all of our belongings, occasionally schooling my 4 year-old in the methodology behind directing the animated Crash Bandicoot to perform a standing drop hand kick. Hands first.
At least I think that’s what it was called.
As mid-day approached, I loaded up my little toe headed buddy and trucked into town to gather my school aged children for dinner out and a fun evening at the ball fields.
Snaking my way down our dirt road, I noticed a bit of smoke in the distance. Nothing out of the ordinary… After all, this is the time of year when farmers and ranchers burn their dry, overgrown forage. Everything around us, it seemed had already burnt, so I had nothing to fret about.
So I carelessly puttered on, oblivious to the increasingly loud puffs of smoke billowing through the air while arguing the subject of boiling eggs in a cell phone conversation with my mother.
“I’m telling ya… the newfangled boiled egg cooker where you crack the egg into the holder is the way to go.” I explained.
“I beg to differ,” My mom responded. “ The egg cooker that cooks them in the shell is perfection. Plus you wouldn’t be able to store your eggs with the other cooker.”
“Yeah, well you wouldn’t have to peel them with the new one,” I argued. “Look, I know what I’m talkin’ about,” I stated in jest.
“Right back at ya!” She said.
“Well, what did I call you for anyway?” I asked.
“To argue about boiling eggs?” She asked.
“No I had something to tell you,” I continued….
That’s about the time I turned over the hill onto Bachelor’s Flat.
This was really going to put a damper on my evening.
On the one hand, I didn’t want to alert my husband. No matter how much I stress the word ‘uncontrollable‘, it never seems to register in my hard-headed man’s vocabulary. I knew he would drop whatever he was doing and fight this thing.
On the other hand…. I knew I had to tell someone with a brain that would be able to command the situation as to what could, should, and ultimately would need to transpire. And I knew that this was not within my cognitive realm. So I dialed my husband’s number.
“Honey? There’s a fire… on Bachelor’s flat.”
He proceeded to drop everything and head toward the ranch. As for me… I bravely drove through the black ball of smoke encircling the road, picked up the last two students at the school and headed to the safety of the ball park.
Only to return to this.