Friday, May 15, 2009

Fire at Shore


On last year's trip to the shore, we had not one, but two close calls with fires. The first one came after my beloved mother in law, Gretchen, helped dry Dakota’s clothes. He’d been in the ocean. She put the oven on low, put his pants & hoodie in the oven, & dried them successfully.

The following day, Elyse’s clothes were also wet (this time from the now traditional tsunami that swept through). Remembering her Grandmother’s ingenuity, she, too, used the oven to dry her clothes. However, being new to the subtleties of oven drying, she put her pants directly on the heating element. And, to speed the drying process, put the oven on 350 degrees. Needless to say, we smelled smoke.

Thankfully, Matt removed the fire ball that had been Elyse’s jeans & was able to douse the flames. Smoke filled the room, & we were concerned that the fire department would be summoned shortly. Which they were.

The following day, a new “neighbor” moved into the apartment next door. She was an odd woman, but sweet. She entertained nightly & seemed to have an aversion to being inside her apartment. Outside in the shared hall drew the lion’s share of the crowd. Massive quantities of alcohol were consumed. We knew this due to the many, many empty bottles surrounding the extra large common trash receptacle. But, that was nothing compared to her cooking habits.

Apparently she enjoyed barbequing so much that she brought down a miniature hibachi. As most folks do, she set about getting the coals ready. Unlike some, she appeared to use half a bottle of lighter fluid on this miniature hibachi. She withdrew into her room to take a “nap” & let the coals get hot. I say “nap” because I think that sounds better than “passed out”.

And, yes, the coals got hot. In fact, flames erupted, & lept to the balcony above. Rousing our neighbor proved futile, so Matt & some others were able to douse the flames. Right before the fire department got there.

Normal people, upon finding that they almost burnt down an entire block, would determine that this wasn’t, perhaps, the best course of action to pursue. Our neighbor, however, did not. She tried again, & this time, thankfully, with no further incident. That being said, Matt & I had the kids throw their clothes into our suitcase. We wanted to be prepared in the event that we’d have to flee to avoid becoming our neighbor’s main course.

Thankfully, the remainder of the weekend went by smoothly. But.... This year's trip was not without incident. I'll write more about, "The Bird", later. In my crazy life, it's always something.

After all, I AM the Brunette Lucy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back from Ocean City

We're back from our vacation to Ocean City, NJ! We actually had good weather - for once. Matt didn't even have to bring out the parkas, inflatable boats, ark supplies, nothing! Sadly, he wasn't sure what to do with himself.

Boy decided that a dip in the ocean was a good idea. Of course, the ocean water was still freezing. It took a while to defrost him. I was a little worried about brain damage for a while, though. He wanted to go back in. Sigh. Fortunately, he's completely thawed, & his lips aren't that weird shade of blue anymore.

Thankfully, Elyse didn't light her pants on fire this time. Aubrie didn't get sick, Matt only got mildly sunburned, & I did what I do best - shopped.

We left feeling great & Ocean City was still standing. Of course, the kids have standing orders never to look back. Just in case.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flood Alert!

Just wanted to make everyone aware. There will be rain like you've never seen this weekend. How can I say that with such certainty? Because, our family is going down to Ocean City for a long Mother's Day weekend.

We've been doing this for 21 years, & it has never failed. It rains, and rains, and rains. I'm not talking scattered showers or your run of the mill rain storms. I'm talking about torrential, sideways, build an ark fast, type of rain. Oh, & wind. Almost hurricane force wind, & ocean swells of several feet. This is so that even if you can find a place to take shelter along the boardwalk, a small tidal wave will most certainly find you. Only industrial strength umbrellas can withstand the force. And even they have turned themselves inside out.

Another thing you can be sure of is that Sunday will be beautiful. The sun will come out in all its glory; reminiscent of the type of glorious scene Noah saw. The wind will be a gentle breeze, & the weather will be a balmy 80. Why do I know this? Because we leave on Sunday. This, too, has never failed.

Well, I've got to go. We're packing up now. Matt's loading lumber & tools on top of the van, along with schematics for rapid ark building.

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
She was pretty dumb.