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Adventures of Ron Huckelberry...#1 Dad must burn Ron's wagon
Dad Must Burn Ron’s New Wagon for Fire Wood
Six years old Ron normally has a very quiet and secure environment, but for a few days things have been somewhat different.
It’s October, and the coldest October in 40 years. Ron’s new baby sister was born threes weeks earlier and all is going great until Mom becomes very sick with a flu-like virus and has to go back into the hospital. The doctors decide it is best if baby sister stays with Mom in the hospital.
The family house keeper, whose name is Bell, is a wonderful young black lady about 28 years old. She loves Ron and they always have a great time together. She also has a family and is unable to be a live-in maid, so Dad has full responsibility to care for Ron at night and on the weekend while Mom is in the hospital.
This morning Dad is unable to get the old furnace to work properly. It’s Saturday and Dad is unable to find a furnace repairman. The house is very cold…and Mom and baby sister will becoming home today. Dad definitely has his hands full.
The old house has two fire places, but Dad has never used either since living in the house. He now decides that he must use them; otherwise Mom may be cold and get sick again.
Having been raised on a farm, Dad naturally feels he understands fire places. He carefully prepares the paper and wood and then lights the fire. All goes well for a minute or two. Then the room fills with smoke. The chimney is stopped up. Dad rushes to extinguish the fire he just lit and opens the windows and doors.
He then carefully checks the other chimney. It seems clear, so he prepares another fire. All goes well, but the house is so very cold and damp, thus it takes a long time to warm the house. Dad carefully makes the fire as large as is safe in this fire place. He then gives the stopped-up fire place a careful inspection. We can hear some noises in the chimney and Dad suspects that birds have built a nest. He does not have the equipment to clean-out a bird nest.
There seems to be a lot of discarded wood in the basement and Dad is using a lot of wood on the fire. By the time Mom and sis arrive home Sunday afternoon, Dad has the house nice and warm.
Mom is better, but still not completely well. She stays in the bed. “Mom, do you want some milk?” Ron asks. Two minutes later, “Mom, do you want a sand switch?” Two minutes later, “Mom, are you warm enough? “
“Ron, I’m just fine. “Mom says. “I think you should stay close to Dad and try to help him. “
Dad and Ron check on mom every few minutes and she is getting a little nervous. “I know you two men love me and are worried about me, but I’m fine. I am tired and I want to sleep for a while. “She explains.
Dad realizes that the supply of wood is running low. He and Ron check the yard for limbs and etc. He asks the near neighbors if they have any wood to give him. Without really checking, the not so friendly neighbors quickly say, “No”; with out even trying to help Dad.
During the early evening Dad begins to dismantle wood shelving in the basement to use as fire wood. Before midnight he has burned all of the basement shelving. He now looks for any furniture that they can do without. By breakfast time Dad is desperate for wood.
Last Christmas Santa brought Ron the most beautiful wagon in the whole world. It’s a large red metal “road runner” with removable wooden sides. It is Ron’s most treasured possession.
Ron is shocked when dad explains that he has burned almost all available wood and he must now use the wooden wagon sides for the fire. Dad explains that he will order new sides for the wagon, but Ron is heart broken. “Dad, can we burn the dining room chairs first? “ Ron almost begs.
Dad explains that he understands just how Ron feels, but that he and Ron must put mom’s health as the #l priority. Ron does understand, but it still hurts to see dad put the wagon sides on the fire.
(C) GENE HUDGENS
Revised 10 Oct 08
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