“I’m gonna head over to start the fire.”
Andy’s words jerked me out of my morning fog and started a rush of images sprinting through my head. Trees catching fire… our newly framed basement on fire… then the headlines, Man sets fire to Wise county.
Andy has been clearing brush like a haunted man. Everywhere he looks, he sees weeds and vines choking his beautiful land. I fear the only reprieve for the brush will be when he has to complete the wiring for the house. The mass clearing has led to gargantuan piles of dead wood and leaves cluttering the landscape. How do you rid yourself of dead brush in the country?
You burn it.
Uh oh.
When I arrived at the farm, the fire was burning nicely. My concern grew as the wind picked up speed, but Andy assured me that it was much less than the maximum limit of 20 mph as deemed by the fire marshal.
Then he added a small dried-up juniper tree to the ash pile. It looked like a Christmas tree engulfed by a flame thrower.  Panic flooded my throat as I choked out, “Andy help….”
After 9 hours of standing over a small dump-truck-sized fire with a water hose, I can now tell you exactly how each kind of tree will react to the inferno. I know exactly how much water to spray onto the branches, and for how long, to keep the flames from jumping out to touch the living trees nearby. I know how long to hold the branches to the fire before the needles or leaves catch and how quickly to move back before they take me with them.
I am happy to report, the brush is gone and the farm still stands. We knew the ashes had cooled when Missy (our dog) stopped jumping like a frog in a hot skillet every time she pounced on the soggy remains. She can’t stand to let a good water stream go to waste.
The foundation is finished, as is the basement framing. The builder says the entire first floor will be framed by the end of the week. Our playroom has become another storage unit as the remaining appliances are ready for pick-up. Only three to four months left. I can make it….I can make it….