Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Realize It's November But This Is About July 4th

Actually after the post about the blue truck that was my Grandpa's old truck, I've had things rattling around in my punkin'. Things that my Grandpa and I did when I was a kid. He spoiled me something terrible and had a sense of humor that fell right inline with mine.

When I was about 6 or 7 my Grandpa and I were sitting in the front yard just before July 4th, aimlessly tossing firecrackers around. I kinda shudder thinking about this now, but his logic was he didn't want a 6 or 7 year old shooting firecrackers without some adult supervision... BUT, it was okay for that same 6 or 7 year old boy to light 'em then throw 'em (hopefully) just as long as he was there watching.

I dunno. It worked okay, I got all my fingers and stuff.

Anyhow he loved noisy fireworks as much as I did and we're having a big ol' time when I noticed a knothole in the big maple tree in the front yard, that was about the size of my thumb. Well hell, you got firecrackers, you got a tree hole, what the heck you gonna do? Darn tootin'! You're gonna start shoving lit firecrackers in the tree hole.

And I did. A lot of 'em.

After about the twentyteenth firecracker an entire army of black carpenter ants started rolling outta the bottom of the tree. Hundreds. Maybe thousands. Gobs, at the very least. Now both of us were pretty entertained by this, not because it was mean. Nothing like that at all, it was just a reaction to an action that we hadn't really expected and the action was taking place in spades.

So I started shoving firecrackers in the tree hole faster and faster. Ants started covering the ground. Good Lord we'd never seen so many ants in our lives! The ground was moving with the dang things! And then, as with a lot of other things in life, we just ran outta bang. No more firecrackers left to poke in the tree hole. Most likely that was a blessing for my Grandma who was suffering out all the noise inside the house in the kitchen... the room furthest from the ant tree.

Me and Grandpa just sat there in the yard laughing 'bout all the ants when all of a sudden he just stopped talking and was staring at the top of the tree trunk. I looked too. Smoke was billowing outta the hollow center of that old rotten tree which was only a few feet from the house.

The ant tree was on fire!

Later in life I've come to understand this type of reaction as "Karma". Run the ants out of their home with fireworks, your house burns down. Simple as that.

In my young years all I really knew how to do was panic. I started crying that the house was gonna burn down... Grandpa was yelling at me to drag the garden hose out there while he got a ladder. I drug this ginormous old red hose out.

"NOT THAT ONE!" he yelled "It's fulla holes! Get the green ones! So I run back in the garage and come dragging out the 2 green hoses that are hopelessly tangled into a wad that looks like garden hose hell. I'm cryin'. Grandpa is cussin'. We're both fighting garden hose war trying to get enough length to reach from the hydrant to the tree. It's pure pandemonium.

And to think only moments earlier there was nothing but laughin' and firecrackers and ants. Life sure is funny sometimes.

We get the garden hoses all stretched out, the hydrant on and Grandpa is up the ladder spraying water down inside the old maple tree and after about 30 minutes of hosing 'er down... the fire is out. Life is almost back to normal.

I can still picture my Grandma in her apron, standing on the front steps with her arms crossed just watching the whole fiasco take place in the front yard with the 2 boys. Me and my Grandpa.



Jennifer and Sandi said...

I love stories like that! My grandma and grandpa were about as much fun as the water mocassin we found in our backyard a coupla years ago.........


Sarah J. said...

Reminds me of my grandma and grandpa! I could just picture that taking place at their house with grandma shaking her head and saying, "Oh, Bill..." Good times! Glad you didn't burn the house down!

Jennifer and Sandi said...

I can't read your blog eyes are blurry because I CAUGHT SANDI'S CODE!!!

I hab a code today :( CRAP!!!

- Jennifer

Darla said...

I kinda did that when I was younger too! We were camping at the lake and My cousin and I went up into a pasture that had this big old dead tree. Somehow one of the firecrackers got up in that tree and it caught fire. It wasn't a good day! :(


Jerry said...

Great story, Jace. Loved it! :)