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July 11th, 2007

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Putting out the Home Fires

July 4th, 2007

Nettie Kaye

Though “Keeping the home fires burning,” is often said to be a mother’s job, This week my job included, “Putting the home fires out.” My house was about #3 on the list of the arsonist targets in SE Portland on Monday, July 2nd

First, I would like to thank the guys at Engine #19 for putting out the fire in our backyard.  I know that without their keen attention, my elderly neighbor’s house would have gone up in flames; probably with her in it.

While I am quite aware that arson is a very serious, very dangerous situation, panic can often create moments of humor, especially when one comes out unscathed.  

It was a bit past 3:30 a.m. when I heard a commotion in the back yard. I jumped out of bed to see what the party was all about. I looked out my upper floor window to see a handsome team of firefighters in a cloud of smoke and steam, hosing down a hedge which had been completely engulfed in flames.

I quickly grabbed my flip flops and an apron to cover up my shoddy P.J.s and ran outside.  The firemen let me know that they believed there was an arsonist running loose as they had spotted my fire while finishing up with another fire a few blocks away.

As our flames had subsided, a fireman became concerned that they might be running low on water in their truck and asked if they could hook up to one of our garden hoses. “Absolutely,” I said. I grabbed my hose but  he continued to use his own fire hose, inviting me to join in with the garden hose to make sure the embers were out.

Feeling great honor to be asked to be a part of this fine group, I bravely held out my high powered nozzle in the dark and squeezed the handle. In an instant my pride turned to shock as I had accidentally aimed the nozzle at my face instead of the fire.

My hair was soaked, my face was soaked, I had to take my glasses off and dry them. But…I was awake now. The young fireman next to me kindly said, “I hate that when that happens.” I told him that perhaps I wasn’t quite ready for Volunteer Fire fighting. 

In about ten minutes another call came in from a short distance away; another fire. They left me for a bit to watch over the remains of my “burning bush” and then returned ten minutes later, the other fire having been put out.

The fun came at 6:30 a.m. when the first news crew from channel 12 showed up. Spotting them from my window, I grabbed a bright blue sweater, some blush, mascara, and a tube of lip gloss. Within about 30 seconds I had become camera ready;  a true morning “beauty” hair flying, complete with flannel bottoms still on.

Sure enough, they wanted an interview. Somehow, all my silly yapping about the hose didn’t make the morning news. I guess I might have mixed up the news with “Last Comic Standing.” 

I put on an artsy smock, combed my hair, put on jewelry, and went for coffee.  By the time I made it back, sure enough, Channel 8 had arrived. My big break, another chance. The first time was just a rehearsal.  I figured the way it was going, I would have my hair and nails done by the time channel  2 showed up for the 11:00 p.m news.         

I repeated my story with a bit less frivolity along with some important facts I had learned from the firefighters. O.K. I did include the story about hosing my face, but the newscaster promised not to tell anyone. At which point I said, “Oh, please do! Please do!”

Randy from Channel 8 did keep his promise regarding the hosing, but my efforts were rewarded when my ten year old son, Lincoln, got to see Mommy on the 6:00 p.m. news.   



Welcome to Nettie K on the Town

July 4th, 2007

Here you will find a conversation of the humor to be found in the Northwest with a focus on Portland Oregon and McCall Idaho.  Join me in finding the fun in life