Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Hero of 3AM

There are some experiences you don't really expect to ever have. In fact, there are some you dread. Some you dread so much that you spend a few hours contemplating how you might react or what you should try and remember to do. For example, tessagratton and I drive our car into a body of water and become completely submerged, we know that ONE of us should try and remember the special glass-breaking hammer that lives in the cubby thing between the seats.

But I digress. One of the dreadful things happened last night around 3AM. This is the story of how Tessa saved the known universe.

Tessa was having a normal night of continued aggravation. Her parent's dog was restless and wanted to be let in and out at odd hours. The cats were restless and knocked cans off of counters, enjoying the clatter they made as the fell to the floor. Or perhaps they were trying to attack the dog so recently forced upon them. Regardless, a mostly empty tin of cat food ended up on the floor where the dog could get to it and push it all about using her nose and tongue - she was trying to get all the good out of that tin she could, you see, and in doing so, caused Tessa much angst.

So, Tessa had been up and down more times than she cared to count by the time 3AM rolled around. And with that hour came a new, unidentifiable noise from the back room in the house. For a few moments, she lay in bed, pondering what her own dog could be destroying and whether or not she cared enough to move. She rolled over and there, snug in his bed, was Grendel. The cats were now piled up on the bed and her parent's dog ensconced in the kitchen. There was no immediate explanation for this noise!

Up she got again to investigate and that's when she discovered that the crackling she heard was the sound of flames climbing four feet into the air along our neighbor's home.

"Get up! Get up!" She cried to her household and then to the emergency responders.

And up everyone got! Her household (um, me!) flew out into the night in sweatpants and a bathrobe (o_O) to pound on doors and wake the neighbors. And up the neighbors got, who had been soundly sleeping and unaware of the danger just outside.

Three firetrucks and four police cars arrived and with chainsaws and pounding, soundly defeated the flames.

And that is how Tessa saved the known universe. By HEARING the fire and having the good sense to be aggravated by it.

Now, excuse me while I go write a song about her.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Concerning Puffy Clouds and Kansas

****Interrupting this post before it's even begun to shamelessly promote the short story I posted this week on Tangled Fiction. It's a little on the experimental side of things for me in that it is vaguely SciFi (which, I should note, I LOVE to read, but rarely write). You can read SECOND STAR RUN by****

This weekend, my dad came up for a visit, which was perfect because autumn in Kansas is nothing like autumn in Mississippi and I was ten kinds of excited to get to show off my town in all it's autumnal glory. Our first thought was to take him out to the Konza prairie. This isn't right in our backyard, but it's worth the hour long westward drive because the fields are rolling and all shades of rusty gold and brown. There were going to be buffalo and tallgrasses and puffy clouds the likes of which my dad had never seen. It was going to be grand. He was going to fall into unexpected love with Kansas; which, I might argue, is how everyone who wasn't born here comes to love Kansas - suddenly and with quiet passion.

But then we discovered that KSU was playing MSU at KSU.

And I cried because that meant insurmountable traffic and no buffalo.*

So instead, we decided to take dad somewhere closer to home: The Haskell/Wakarusa/Baker/Lawrence Wetlands (why, yes, there is controversy over what they're called...). I'd been there before, but in the dead heat of summer when the boardwalk could burn the rubber from your shoes and you could barely breathe for the butterflies.** Dad thought it sounded great so away we went!

Only to discover the wetlands aren't so wet in autumn time. In fact, they look no a little bit like the prairie I intended to take him to in the first place. WIN! A beautiful, puffy-clouded win.

Of course, I forgot my fancy camera, so all of my photos were taken on my fancy phone instead. So, I apologize for the photo spam, but I would like to share with you a few of the reasons I love Kansas a la photo essay.

Puffy clouds and cattails

I don't think you know what I mean when I say TALLgrasses
(PS - This is where the water is supposed to be.)

SWAMPS! Seriously, Kansas has all the things!

Labyrinth was filmed here.***


*This was an exaggeration.
**So was this.
***.....yeah, this, too.