Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | April 23, 2013

A Shed, A Fire, And Keeping My Cousin Warm (Part 1)

We all remember those times when we were young children and how we can now look back at ourselves and say, “I know I was just a kid but boy that was stupid even for that age.”  Well this is one of those stories.

It was winter time and my mom, grandma, and aunt had gone out to do some shopping.  My dad, grandpa, and uncle were in my parent’s trailer watching a ball game.  My cousin and I decided we were going to go outside and play.  She is only about 6 months younger than I am and we always seem to get along together really well.  We were around 5 or 6 years old.  I remember it was pretty cold and it wasn’t to long before she started to say she wanted to go back inside.  I was having fun and thought it was boring inside so I begged her to stay outside.  She didn’t really want to but then I told her I could build her a fire so she could stay warm and that worked. 

Now I knew this would take some planning and some sneakiness but by gosh I wanted her to stay outside with me and I was going to do whatever it took to make that happen.  First I pulled her into the shed to get her out of the wind.  There were a couple of boards laying side by side on the floor of the shed.  I looked over and saw a bag of charcoal and thought that would be perfect because they stay hot for a long time.  I took the bag of charcoal and started piling them up into a pyramid shape.  I knew by watching my dad grill I needed some sort of fluid to get them going.  Well lucky for us there just happened to be a couple of gas cans sitting right behind us and they both still had gas in them.  I took one of the gas cans and began to pour it onto the charcoal.  I am sure I was thinking to myself how smart I was and how nice this was of me in order to keep my cousin warm.

Once I was satisfied with the amount of gas and charcoal I had, it was time to find something to light it with.  Now I knew this would be a challenge because I would have to go into the house to find a lighter or some matches.  I told my cousin to just stay there and I would be right back.  As I enter the house I see all the guys watching the game and immediately spot some matches on a table at the end of the sofa.  I am pretty sure that even though I was too young to know what it was that the mission impossible theme was playing in my head.  As I made my way over to the table (maybe even doing some stealthy flips and tumbles) I kept a close eye to see whether they were even paying attention to me. 

I made it to the table with not one person taking their eyes off the TV.  I try to sit down all cool, calm, and collective like, on the end table, but because I am so young and short it was more of a, “hey look at me,” kind of turn and jump a couple of times before I made it onto the top of the table to sit.  I landed right on top of the matches and thought this was going to be easy.  All the sudden I hear, “What are you doing?”  I look over at my grandpa who was sitting next to me and looking at me.  The sweat starting pouring out from under my stocking cap, which was under another stocking cap, which was under the hood of my sweatshirt, which was under the hood of my coat.  I started to get nervous.  I even started to see things.  I swear I saw my grandpa in an army uniform while slapping the baton he was holding with one hand into the empty palm of his other.  He again asked the question, but this time it sounded different, “What the hell do you think you are doing you little thief?” 

Now it was as if everyone was staring at me like they knew what I was doing.  The room started to spin.  I was starting to lose control of my bladder.  Some how, some way I needed to pull it together.  My cousin was outside in the shed with the doors closed and it was cold out there.  I didn’t even know if she was strong enough to open the doors if I weren’t to come back out.  She needed me and I needed to get to her so she wouldn’t freeze.  It was the only thought that pulled me back into reality. 

“Well what are you doing?” he asked again.

“Nothing I was just coming in to see how the game was.”  I said.

“Oh okay.” He replied as he turned back towards the TV.

“Whew, that was close,” I thought.  I took my hand and reached under my butt to grip the matches.  I even went ahead and made a little movement like I was itching my butt so they wouldn’t become suspicious.  I jump down off the table and ran back outside.  As the door closed behind I just stood there a moment taking some deep breaths realizing how close I was to being caught behind enemy lines.

End of Part 1     

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