As I sat there in my home office, on a beautiful spring day, the breeze blowing, the birds singing, the temperature inviting. It was the perfect combo for a day of windows open as fresh air circulated through our home.
But, no. Instead I accepted that I was, in fact, living on a post apocalyptic farm. Ash rained from the sky through the thick yellow smoke, and if I peered hard through the thick gray, I could see a man in blue, holding a propane tank in one hand and a blow torch in the other.
All because I asked him to clean up the pastures around the house before my parents visited.
Or maybe, because, while walking through the hardware store, the heavens opened and light shined down on the torch box.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? The world may never know here.
Since out of the two of us, I’m the only one with actual wildland fire training and firefighting experience, I decided it might be best if I stepped outside to chaperon my dear, sweet husband’s spring pasture cleanup rituals.
“I AM A CONSERVATIONIST!!! RAAAWWWWRRRRRR!!!!” I could hear my wild man bellowing as he set the broom sage around our pond ablaze.
When I said, “the pond needs to be cleaned up so my dad can fish” this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, I thought to myself. But I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of pride inside that the three years of land conservation lectures I have delivered over dinner had finally made an impact on him.
My sense of pride quickly faded as I watched him light both the pond fence line and pond bank on fire as he walked in the narrow green belt between the two.
I could feel gray hairs blossom atop my head. YOU ALWAYS NEED TO HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN, my past experience came surging forward. Although the fire stretched in length quite a ways, the flames were short, so I knew he wasn’t actually in any serious danger.
But out of concern for the man I eventually want to procreate with, I couldn’t help but see the teachable moment in front of me.
“Hey, babe, you know, you really shouldn’t…”
“I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, DEAR!” My sentence was quickly interrupted.
*eye roll* But regardless of him not wanting to hear what he was doing wrong from his wife, he quickly realized the situation he had put himself in and moved on to a different area. He can be a teenager sometimes, but he is a smart man.
So went our morning… I followed along and watched as every fence line was suddenly clear with only a black charred line left underneath and as thorn bushes and broom sage were turned to ashes and the greening spring grass was revealed.
The pyro inside me desperately wanted him to take a break and pass over the torch. But with every “I’M A MAN. I DO MAN THINGS” *insert overly dramatic theatrical grunting* that left his mouth, (the testosterone is strong with this one) I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Then things changed, the sky grayed up—and not from smoke—thick, dark clouds saturated the previously clear sky and the wind switched directions. Minutes later, rain poured from above, extinguishing our flames leaving little puffs of smoke and one very sad husband.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” he said oh-so-very pitifully
“WHHHHHHYYYYYYYY,” he added, a little more dramatically.
Kentucky, in the spring, is practically the rain forest, it rains so much that you forget what a sunshine day is like. A quick look at the forecast proved his fears — rain for the next 8 days.
So, my newly discovered pyro, conservationist husband, sadly, carried his torch and tank back to the house for it to sit until another sacred, partially clear day appears.
…and our neighbors breathed a sigh of relief.
Happy Spring Cleaning, y’all!