Where there’s smoke at Maywood there may be a driver on 83 who thinks the woods are on fire. We live at the dead end of nowhere bordering an interstate. In summer we can’t even see the highway. We hear it, though– a constant whoosh that is immensely soothing to our 6 week old grandson. (The rest of us have conversations sprinkled with “What? Look at me when you speak!” And I personally pretend that it is the roar of the ocean and that tractor-trailers are motor boats roaring by.)
Anyway, the other night we were enjoying a little bonfire. I wish I had a picture of it. It wasn’t even big enough to call a bonfire. It was a mere campfire. Hey, it was mid-week and we were just having it because the evening was pleasant and five year old Harper wanted one. This was no stay-up-til-2am fire. It was a just-til-bedtime fire. Harper and John gathered sticks and logs, mainly from a pine that came smashing down in last winter’s heavy snows. The wood was not seasoned and we’ve had rain.
It was a pleasant little fire–albeit a bit smoky– and we were relaxing in the yard when we heard a rumbling come down the road. It rumbled like heavy machinery. A truck, perhaps. It stopped in our driveway and there were blinking lights. What the heck? I eased out of my classy plastic adirondack chair to take a look. It was a fire engine.
Two firefighters got out. One wore a button-down shirt and khakis. The other, wearing a t-shirt and jeans, put on his fire hat to look official. They were clearly not responding to an emergency. They took in the three adults and one child sitting by the little bitty camp fire in the middle of an expansive, lush yard, far from the house.
“Wow, you’re really back here. Cookin’ hot dogs for dinner?” they asked with bemused looks.
“Yes,” I replied. (One is always cooking hotdogs when one has a backyard bonfire.)
“Someone on 83 noticed the smoke.”
“Oh, really? Do have any suggestions for that?”
“Next time, build a bigger fire.”