Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Since I was last here...

I had a lovely drive down to Prairie Grove Farmington yesterday. For weeks, I have thought that the inventory scheduled for March 14th was in Prairie Grove. To be sure I had good directions on getting there, I Googled "O'Reilly Auto Parts Prairie Grove". This was when I discovered that there is not an O'Reilly's in Prairie Grove. The nearest one to there is in Farmington. So I got out my little schedule book and checked... sure enough... I was supposed to go to Farmington. They aren't too far apart, but from where I live, it would have been driving an extra twenty minutes west to turn back east fifteen minutes.

 I chose a route that was very scenic to get there. Right through the National Forest for a part of it. It was either that, or take 540. The freeway isn't always faster! As it turned out, the scenic route was every bit as quick as the freeway getting me there. (The boss and I compared routes when I found myself behind him the last 1/2 mile. We left Gentry at virtually the same time- and he took the freeway.) On the way home... the scenic route proved MUCH faster, when I turned on the radio and heard the freeway... where I WASN'T!... was at a standstill!

Since I was here last, Daniel and Sam proved their worth as firefighters. Friday and Saturday, I had to work ALL day. I was dealing with a customer Friday, when a co-worker said, "Tammy, you have a call on line 3." I finished with the customer, and promptly went back to the planogram I had been working on before I was asked to help at the counter. My call was completely forgotten. Next time the phone rang, I was called to the phone again. It was Sam, and he sounded freaked out and out of breath.

I asked him, "Is everyone OK?" as he was catching his wind. He gasped out, "Yes... Fire.... the field was on fire...." I told him I would be right home. The winds were blowing a good 25 mph Friday.

I told my co-workers I needed to count down my drawer and leave. they all said, "Just GO!"... so I did. By the time I got here, the field was out. I am estimating about 1/3 to 1/2 acre was burned.

Dan said they were doing their schoolwork shortly after Tom had headed back to work from his lunch break. It was a beautiful day, despite the wind, and they had the doors open. Dan smelled smoke and noticed it blowing by the front door. He looked out, thinking how stupid it was for the neighbors to be trying to burn trash on such a windy day.
It wasn't the neighbors trash burning... it was our back field!
Sam grabbed the phone to call me as Dan connected the water hoses. When I didn't answer immediately, Sam hung up and went on to help Dan.
Our hoses were not long enough to reach the fire, though as it got closer to the house, they had less distance to run carrying their five gallon buckets of water. The neighbor lady came over and brought the boys their hose... and went back and got another as they were all still too short. Then the neighbors called the fire department. (Or maybe they called the FD before bringing the hoses... we don't know.)

By the time the front truck arrived for the fire department, the boys had the blaze almost put out. It was extinguished before the guy even got out of his truck. He was able to call and cancel the pumper truck, which was another 15 minutes away.

How did the fire start?
We are leaning away from the "spontaneous combustion" theory and towards the four and five year old neighbor children playing with a lighter or matches. The fire started in the tall grass a mere 5 feet from their property line. We haven't made an accusations, as we lack concrete evidence. These kids are perpetually unsupervised and have been witnessed in several acts of vandalism, and suspected in more. Even though the parents are BOTH home... the kids are left to their own devices for hours on end.

 Dan and Sam kept their heads. They did everything right. My presence was unnecessary, but I am sure they were reassured to give over command when I showed up. I am very proud of how well they handled the emergency.

Their firefighting led to soot covered clothes and shoes. Since Dan's shoes are sneakers, I had him toss them into the washing machine. Later, as they dried, the whump whump whump of drying sneakers became extremely loud, so I had him remove the shoes from the dryer. The re-started dryer continued to whump. I checked... and found one of the baffles inside the dryer had snapped off. This left exposed screw points mangling the clothes. Yippee.

Sunday, I asked the guys for help in removing the baffle screws. Mr C took over the job. He removed the screws while I looked for parts online. I got a new baffle, "special" screws, and shipping for under $20 total. In a few days, the dryer will be as good as new it was before the baffle broke off.

Someday I will remember to check YouTube before I go on an online search for instructions on how to do something. After jumping through several "join this site free" hoops to find out how to get the top of the dryer open, I happened to wonder if perhaps I could find a video of it on YouTube.
Sure enough! Instructional videos... and the one I watched even had a guy doing it one-handed, as his right arm was in a sling!

I love the internet.

You know... I am thinking that for the last three or four years... just about this time of year... I have either had to fix the washer or the dryer. What is it about this time of year?

Have a blessed day. Thanks for reading.

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