Sunday, August 30, 2009


In my mind, this is the sound the mobile home made when it exploded. Or slowly burned to the ground. There are different versions about how she went.

But first, I would like to formally retract some negative statements I made in an earlier post. It was brought to my attention that I am rather lucky to be in the position of having 15 acres of land to demolish and that, rather then complain about my good fortune, I should probably snap out of it and get to work clearing. Also, there's just nothing like knowing a violent fire roared a few hundred feet from my land to make me quickly grateful that I still have the weeds, mesquite, cactus, and snakes. Consider me officially "snapped" out of it. Hand me a chainsaw please and god bless the mess.

So, if you were wondering, there was a fire. We were informed of this fire via Dwayne who keeps us more updated than Twitter, as Jeremy would say. He called to let us know that a "house exploded" on the road near our land but that the entire area was barricaded and the exact location of said explosion was unknown. Jer and I were already in the car planning to spend an evening on the property when we received this call. We shot each other identical, frantic glances that said "WHAT are the chances?!" and feigned calmness as we proceeded to the land.

By the time we turned onto the main road that leads to our shared "driveway" it was evident that the barricades were gone. No smoke or flames were visible. Nothing seemed amiss until we actually arrived at the turnoff. Several fire trucks filled our drive and various sheriff vehicles were parked haphazardly along our easement. Fire hoses snaked down the drive and attached to the water main near the road. A few rogue cameramen wandered near their news trucks and ambulances were visible through the trees. What are the chances that the old mobile home sitting nearest to your fence will explode or burn? If you're us? Pretty good, as it turns out.

A fireman quickly reassured us that, despite this historic drought, the fire was absolutely contained and had not spread beyond the footprint of the house. No one was hurt as it had been a vacant home (save the many items still stored there by the previous owners). Our animals, the fireman suspected, were just fine. We were told to go home and stay out of the way and did just that, cooking up theories about the cause of the fire. And the explosion? Well, we chalked this up to the ammunition that we learned was stored in a back room.

Writing the words "ammunition that was stored" is as unsettling as it sounds. But due to the new, hyper-positive attitude I've adopted, I have many uplifting things to say on this entire subject and they are as follows:

A) No one, human or animal (except for maybe an old-mobile-home rat), was harmed.

B) We now have an open and lovely view of the forest on the drive up to our gate.

C) There was ammunition stored near the land. It is now gone. (I'm ignoring the fact that, you know, there could be more).

And finally,

D) Bare and burned trees make a glorious contrast against the setting sun:

I hope you appreciate my new, sunny disposition! It doesn't always come easy (grimace).

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