This is Tom Gilbert. He is my hero today. I began my day at 12:15 a.m. when a local lumberyard's sawdust silo caught on fire. It was -4 degrees, as evidenced by Tom's icicle moustache. Still want to go to work with me Gladys? It was so cold that the fire hoses were steaming and I was shaking like Don Knotts on his first date.
The firefighters all think they need to take care of me now that I'm getting older (and I let them, they are all so cute) and they ordered me to get inside the cab of one of the fire trucks to get warm for a bit. Guess what I learned at the butt crack of dawn? The button that makes the fire truck's siren go WOOO WOOO WOOO is on the FLOOR! Yup. I stepped right on it and scared a dozen firefighters half to death. When sirens go off DURING a fire, it means Get.The.Hell.Out.Damn.Quick.Haul.Ass: The roof is caving in.
I'm not going to live that one down for QUITE a while. Those firefighters have looooong memories. It's also surprising how quickly they can lose their footing on wet ice when a siren goes off behind them...
I got back to bed at 4 a.m. and shivered myself to sleep.
The horse is Ginger, a mini, and the dog is Chance, an Australian shepherd. By mid-morning I was at a horse drawn sleigh rally one town over from here. Jingling bells, dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh. Over the fields they went, laughing all the way. It was fun but a bit chaotic. My sleep deprived head didn't like the loudspeaker, which kept announcing things like "Mary Jones, ready to go. Obstacle course. Mary Jones, are you ready? Mary Jones, are you driving? Mary, raise your hand if you are ready. Has anyone seen Mary Jones?''
This was all done at the volume of a ZZ Top concert, backed up by The Who, with undertones of Chain Saw Massacre.
Finally, heading home, I stopped at my son's house in the woods of tiny Detroit, Maine, and left him a little surprise on his kitchen table. His dad's tractor in the snow near his home made me sad and wistful and I couldn't resist taking its picture. I remember my daughter Faye trying to learn to drive the tractor during haying season, and crying the whole time (she is now 28 and STILL does not have her drivers' license.)
On the other hand, the Maine Store on the corner of the village square called me once to tell me that my 11-year-old son Daniel was down at the intersection POPPING WHEELIES with this tractor. I do not know how that child survived himself.
Well, there was the first half of the day and the afternoon is to be spent writing the stories to go with the pictures.
"Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night," according to Tony and Maria, who, as you know, lived on the West Side. It's the second Winter Full Moon Party! WAHOOOOOO! It's supposed to be a bit cloudy but it is already 28 degrees - a heat wave - and it should be sweet out there tonight. Last night I prepared a fabulous shredded chicken and orzo soup, and a HUGE pan of ziti, sauce and sausage. I've got the wine glasses lined up on the sideboard and I'm hoping tonight will be as big a success as last month!
Cross your fingers that I don't fall asleep in the onion dip...