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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Palm

Sometime in 1994 We re situated our family into the West Indies for a couple of years,just outside Bridgetown in Hastings Barbados.Warm breezes all the 24/7,sunshine all the time  sand all the time ,and bugs in winter.We went in swimming on a whim the sea was at our backyard, palm trees monkeys,crabs and beach worm.(that's another story).
Now on a small Island garbage accumulates easily in the yards,garbage comes up with the tide from MacDonald s restaurant  next door as well as the old limbs off the palms,dead sea grass,and other debris.If there was a beach-party the night before you could have a lot of garbage.
Once a week we burned our garbage.We were lucky if our neighbor who lived in New England nine months of the year ever saw the pile growing and expanding in her yard.She had a house keeper man, living in most of the time and he had no time for burning garbage.
So I decided to be a good neighbor and take it on myself to burn her pile.Rats were beginning to gather to near my backdoor for my comfort.
I decide to go to the service station at 5a.m. and get an early start just as the sun was coming up.I had never burned a pile before so I just asked the attendant for whatever you do this procedure with.I took my can and off I trotted determined to get rid of the pile.The pile was about 16feet wide and 8 feet high.
A few days before I checked out a concern I had with the women who came to pull out all the grass off our lawn by hand and put it into burlap sacks."Hi do you think that green palm branch over there would start a fire if it was lit?" "No mam it to green"one replied.
Anyway this morning I set to spreading my little liquid up over the pile of crap,stepped way off and lite a Kleenex and threw her on! BOOOOM!!! GASOLINE!!!! what a shock. I thought I had kerosene!!They had given me gasoline.Good job I had stepped away!!!!
The flame shot up, blue,yellow fire went  upwards, the palm branch caught a fire bolt running up its branch all the way to the top and there it froze in blue flame for about thirty seconds!!!blue flame shot off the top of the new palms at the top of the tree.Blue flame,green tree ans blue sky!
I look up and at that  same moment my neighbor who had just came home from the hospital after a heart-attack, had decided to wheel his oxygen tank and I.V. cord out to his deck, for a smoke,luckily about 13 yards away.He did't catch fire, but his eyes nearly popped out of his head and his neck nearly broke with the jolting  shock the BOOM sound and the sight of blue flame glittering up out of the top of the tree gave him from over on the beach about 13 yards away!!!From where I was standing, he could not see me.All he saw was this tree with the top in flames!!HE SHOOK HIS HEAD IN DISBELIEF!!
I shook for about 10 minutes I had to go sit down on the ground my knees were weak!!!I was laughing so hard at the sight of his face and the fright was clearly so deep in me I was useless!!!
Never did get that pile burned rightly but we blew a great big hole into the side of it.