The Burning Bush... A Story

Over the eight years we've been back to Connecticut, our "burn piles" have gotten huge.  Larger branches that the Pres had cut to be an acceptable burn size weighted down the smaller ones as well as the bundles and bundles of rotting, dried garden clippings.  These enormous piles were in addition to the ones that I leave year round, along with the real Christmas trees donated by a few of our friends, for the smaller critters and birds to hid in.

Back in March, the Pres said he called the Fire Marshal to get a burn permit.  However, March passed.  Then April passed.  Then May.  Before I knew it, it was the beginning of June and no burn permit.  Feeling fed up with both the Pres and the Fire Marshall, I decided I had to intervene.

"Hey, real quick...what's the Fire Marshall's phone number?  I'm going to give him a jingle and get this thing rolling", I said, calling the Pres while he was out to breakfast with his buddy.

Then I called and left a message for the illusive Fire Marshall.  "Michael, this is Mrs B and we've been trying to obtain a burn permit since March.  Perhaps you know who we should be calling since we haven't gotten even a call back from your office.  So if you would be so kind as to call me, I would appreciate it.  Thank you, Michael."

He called back that afternoon and came by to examine the mounds the next morning.  Hmmmmm...interesting, right????  

At that point, I didn't care because now we had our permit which is only good for five days.  Now all I had to do was get the Pres moving.

It happened a day I had gone to the gym but that didn't matter.  What mattered was that it was finally happening!

Resembling a Viking funeral burn, pile number one was ablaze and down to nothing in mere minutes.  Success!  One down, two more to go!!

Confident that the Pres would be able to manage piles two and three, I went about my business in the house.  After all, he was a firefighter.

Seeing pile number two ablaze and vanishing in minutes through the kitchen window, I couldn't help but notice that for this pile, the Pres had the hose nearby.  Yet, I understood why since there was brush behind the pile.  Although I had questioned that pile because it was technically on the neighbor's property, the Pres replied, "They'll be glad it's gone.  I talked to Mike."  Again, it was gone in mere minutes and there was no need for the hose.

After the Pres and I took a short break, he headed toward the third pile.

"Hon, that pile is awfully close to that tree, don't you think?", I said as he walked into the woods.

"No.  It'll be fine. The wind is blowing away from the tree."

But it wasn't fine.  Moments later, when I looked outside, I saw that the fire had crept rapidly along the ground and now not only were my ferns along the fence-line on fire, but it was beginning to creep into my yard and the tree we had topped last year was now engulfed in flames!

The Pres, backing away from the intense flames with his pitch fork in hand, realized it had gotten out of control.  Watching me run to get the hose, there he stood...waiting for my return.  Resembling a giant burning bush, the topped tree with it's Spring green foliage was being destroyed  rapidly.  I had gone over to to the now smoldering second pile, grabbed the hose and dragged it quickly across the yard.  Hosing down the surrounding ferns to avoid further spreading into the yard and along the fence-line enabled me to get in a little closer.  Aiming at the tree, I couldn't help but see that two thirds was already consumed.  And the Pres stood watching.  

Once under control and with no visible flames, I continued to hose down the smoldering ashes until the Pres (a RETIRED FIREFIGHTER OF TWENTY YEARS) said, "Don't worry about the tree, it will come back."

just seeing, saying, and sharing...

The Burning Bush...A Story

with you and those at

One more thing.  Did I ever tell you that the Pres set our back yard on fire when we lived in Western Connecticut?


eileeninmd said…
Oh my, I am always scared of fires. We live next to a forest, it is too close to the house. Glad you were there with the hose..

Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!
He just may have lost his 'firefighters' touch lol.
Michelle said…
Sounds like the man of my own house! Similar thing has happened here at our farm. I feel your pain.
When I saw the title of your post, I had a bad feeling about where this might be going. Sure enough, the last burn pile got out of control. And that tree is not coming back (as I'm sure you know). Ugh. At least you were quick acting to get the hose, and get things under control before it spread farther. Famous last words: "the wind is blowing in the other direction."
Oh, man, that had to be scary. I sure hope the tree survives and does indeed "come back". Good thing you were handy with the hose.
Ann said…
Interesting that you need a burn permit. I don't believe we have anything like that around here.
This sounds like a typical guy job. I wonder why the things they do turn out this way so often
betty-NZ said…
Men's reactions never cease to amaze me, I don't know what's going on in their heads!

Glad you got it under control and I will say no more.

My Corner of the World
Rambling Woods said…
Oh gosh...That could have been so much worse...My husband has been a volunteer fireman for..hmmm...40 years and we don't have a single gas can here as he has been in too many fires where there was gas or somebody has bullets or other bad stuff... No we don't barbecue either....

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