Saturday, July 08, 2006

Tragedy Averted


Here I am, at my parents' house, solid as ever around me. My mom is sleeping, my dad is watching TV, Movie Star just went down to her room, and my son is probably watching cartoons he shouldn't see for another couple of years.

This night could have had a very different ending.

When we got here this afternoon, dad was preparing to start grilling for the party tonight. Mom and I made a pasta salad, and meatballs (bbq, with two different sauces). After Kim and Justin got here, we waited for dad to finish grilling the pork loin and chops (Granny didn't think we'd have enough food). Finally, the pork loin was done, so dad put out the coals.

I loaded up the cooler while mom and dad loaded the food in the car. Off we went to my Granny's house.

We had a great time! Tons of good food and fun! I took my share of teasing over something, and we had a great time catching up with my aunt Trish and her two sons (her husband stayed at home this time). Way too much food left over (see, I come by it honestly!).

When we finally got home, Kim and mom put my nephew in the bathtub. After his bath, he escaped, and ran around the house without a diaper while all of us were just dying laughing. He thought it was fun!

Finally, they left. My son started bugging my dad about lighting some of his leftover fireworks. So, the guys went outside to goof off. "Be careful!" I warned my son.

Before I go any further, this story is not about a fireworks accident.

From inside, while talking with my mom as she finished cleaning up the dishes we took to Granny's, I heard a string of firecrackers go off. I decided to go outside and watch, and as I opened the porch door, I heard my dad say, "Oh Shit!"

Again, this is NOT a fireworks accident story.

I stepped out and saw my dad moving the grill out of the way, and noticed something odd.

"Did you guys put firecrackers on the deck???" I was puzzled, and didn't quit get what I was seeing.

"Is it still smoking?" My dad asked my son as he went for the bucket and started the outside faucet.

"No," my son said, "I don't think so."

My dad poured water into the gaping hole in the deck.

The gaping, charred hole that was about 16 inches long, and about three inches at the widest point.

Dad got the hose, and my son sprayed a ton of water under the deck (which only sits about 6 inches off of the ground, as it is a patio). They let the hose run a long time, just to be on the safe side.

Apparently, a coal fell out of the grill, and smoldered the whole time we were gone. Normally, my dad is very paranoid about just such a thing. Tonight, however, we were in a hurry, and he missed it.

Movie Star had debated even going with us, as she had a migraine the night before. She actually had just woken up about 20 minutes before we left. There are no smoke alarms in the garage or laundry room (the room in the house closest to the deck). If a fire had started, when she was the only one there, still sleeping...

Well, none of us even want to think about what could have happened...

I'll take a picture tomorrow, when it is light. We are lucky in so many ways.

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