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Story Two

I was fourteen and my weekend bliss at the time found me hanging out in the Park City home of my auntie Corinne and uncle Steve. They have three kiddles. Who are now amazingly attractive people, but then they were just teensy little cutie peeps. I got to babysit them. As in my aunt LET me be in charge of her babies sometimes for weekends at a time. I know, craziness.

This story takes place one particular night when uncle decided he would order us some yummy pizza before him and the wifey left for an evening of grown up goodness. The kiddles and I ate, cleaned up a wee bit (and I mean wee bit, we know cleaning isn’t my strong point) and we decided to watch a movie before bedtime. Now at this time the oldest little I was baby sitting was probably about 4 or 5 and the youngest bebe was just a few months old, basically the same age as the brood I parent now, minus a year.

We snuggle into jammies, settle down on the couch to watch a movie when darkness happens. Not just a little darkness, a mass darkness so black I can’t even see my hand in front of my face kind of stinging blindness. I panic and feel for all the kiddles. One little tow head, two little tow heads and baby was in my arms…..”ok” I tell them, trying not to cry “just sit still for a minute, I’m sure the lights will come back on in a minute.”

They don’t.

I don’t know what to do. The baby is screaming by now and the two other littles are panic stricken. So I do what I am sure is completely unnecessary, but I want to talk to an adult. I call 911.

“hello, 911 what is your emergency”

“ummmm hi, I don’t know if I should have called you or not, but I am babysitting my cousins and all the lights are out and I am really scared and I can’t see anything at all and I don’t know what to do, can you tell me what to do, I don’t know at all what I should do….please tell me what to do….” I am almost crying at this point

“ok settle down, take a deep breath…..”

I am sure she asked me some info about where I was and what not, but I don’t remember. She did ask me to go check the breaker.

the what? I’m fourteen I don’t know what a breaker is or what it does or where in the house it would be.

“ok I hear the baby crying, is the baby ok?” she asks

“I don’t know, maybe she is scared too, I can’t get her to stop crying, and I can’t just put her down in the dark all by herself….I don’t know what to do….what should I do?” now I really am crying

“maybe she is hungry, do you think she is hungry? and I am sure she can sense you being upset, just breathe…..”

I take a deep breath and say “I don’t know, but its too dark to make a bottle I can’t see anything…….wait maybe I can use the light from the phone as a flashlight………hang on a sec”

so I do, the phone makes an awesome flashlight. its a dim green kind of light, but its light. So I slowly make my way to the other side of the kitchen keeping hold of the counter the entire time, find an empty bottle, find the formula, turn on the water, wait a minute for it to get warm, scoop some formula, drop half of it on the counter (oh well I think, I will clean it up later) and get the bottle topper on and in baby’s mouth. Such a sweet sweet sound is that of a once inconsolable weeping baby now suckling furiously on her life support. I was in heaven for one wee moment. Then I heard the sound. You know…the sound the phone makes when its off the hook for too long….that really annoying buzz in your brain kind of noise.

It didn’t register for a minute what that meant. And then it sunk in……I lost MY life line. My dear 911 operator was gone. What happened? we were disconnected…..what should I do? should I call back? did she think that I could handle the rest on my own?  Did she tell me she was going to hang up and I would be ok by myself? ahhhhhh what was I supposed to be doing?

so I call back “911 what is your emergency?”

“uhhhh hi umm I was talking to someone, but we got disconnected and I don’t know what to do”

I hear a bit of shuffling in the background and then I hear my wonderfully sweet operator lady “hi dear, is everything ok?”

“ok yes yes we are ok, baby has a bottle and she isn’t crying anymore, but the lights still aren’t back on and its really really dark in here”

“ok we sent an officer over, I will stay on the line with you until he gets there, are you sure you are ok?”

*sniff* “oh yes I think I am going to be ok”

 

*knock knock*

“ok I think the police officer is here, I’ll go answer the door now, thank you so much for helping me”

“you’re welcome dear, I’m sure you’ll be fine now”

I answer the door and there stands a police officer, with a flashlight ready to be my knight in shining armor. Except he was kinda ornery and didn’t seem to  be so happy to have to be out checking on some little babysitter kid and the little munchkins she was in charge of. “you need some help?” he barks

“uhhh yeah the lights are all off and I can’t see anything and I have all these little ones here and I don’t know what to do………”

“did you try the light switches?” says mr officer

umm seriously? that was the FIRST thing I did, as in feel around the house blind person fashion and flip on and off all the light switches, willing them to turn on, does this person really think I don’t have the mental capacity of a trained chimp to be able to turn something back on after its been turned off? really? i mean really?

“yeah I did that already”

“yeah well the power is out all over the neighborhood” nods officer obvious “do you know where any flashlights are?”

again, if I had a flashlight I wouldn’t need him…..at all.

“No, my aunt and uncle haven’t lived here very long and I don’t know where anything is, they might have something in the basement, but I didn’t go look because its so dark”

I lead him to their unfinished basement/ground level part of the house (its a split entry so really we didn’t have to go far, we were already down on the basement level really…..just painting the picture for you)

“well where would a flashlight be, do you think? or maybe even a candle”

scratching my head a little, what kind of training did this cop have to go through to earn his badge, was there any kind of written test? maybe he aced his stun gun exam and they passed him. “I really don’t know, this isn’t my house, I have no idea where they would keep a flashlight, or a candle, I just don’t even know at all”

“well any kind of candle would do, just something to give off light…..thats all you need”

oh for heaven’s sake who is this guy? “maybe you could shine the light and I could start going through boxes, lets start with this one labeled ‘camping’”

no flashlight at all, but there was a bug candle, you know the ones that keep mosquitoes from attacking you while you enjoy hot dogs on your deck on a warm summer evening…….how I wish it was light……….hmm and I might want a hot dog now……….

Officer friendly smarty pants says “well there you go that should hold you over until your aunt and uncle get home”

“ok thank you very much” I let him out, head upstairs, carefully, in the dark, balancing a sleeping infant in one arm and a toddler and a bug candle in the other arm (I am starting to feel a bit more confidant in the dark and my eyes have adjusted enough that I can see outlines, enough to not run directly into walls) and rummage around for a lighter thinger or some matches. I find one and light our bug candle and it emits the softest most glorious hue of orange  glow across the kitchen, I could have kissed that candle……….but I didn’t.

 

I take my little gaggle of babies into the family room, just adjacent to the kitchen and settle on the white leather couch and we fall asleep quickly, I feel like I have just lived a million years in what was probably only an hour. And isn’t ironic that we needed a candle to settle ourselves enough to sleep?…………yeah that doesn’t really make sense as I relive this story in my mind.

 

I don’t know how long I was asleep for, but I hear voices, multiple voices, and I feel the babies being lifted off my lap, and off my shoulders………..I wake just enough to hear my uncle asking what on earth was going on

“uhhh the power went out…” I said groggily. why was it so light in the house? its like every single light in the entire house is on………….ohhhh  wait maybe they were, since every time I passed a switch I would flip it on, hoping at least one light would shine for me…………

“why are all the lights on? and why is the cordless phone off the hook on the counter?” asked Uncle

I can still hear adult voices chattering about how they had just driven by a minute ago and all the lights were off, they just thought we were sleeping

“I must have turned them on, I didn’t know if the power was out all over or just in the house, and I used the cordless phone as a flashlight, oh and sorry there is formula everywhere, I had to make a bottle in the dark…….oh and yeah sorry about the bug candle….it was the only light the police officer could find, well I found it, but he held the flashlight….and I haven’t changed any diapers for a while……and umm sorry…..”

Of course that brought blank stares, as if to say “why are we letting you babysit our kids?” So I explained the whole story starting with the utter darkness that fell as soon as I heard the garage door shut and ending with us all passing out on the couch.

I think my aunt gave me a hug and told me I did the right thing and then asked if I wanted to watch “Much Ado About Nothing” with them and their friends….. I did. and so we did.

And my evening was over.

And I was alive.

And I was thankful for electricity.

And for my aunt and uncle coming home and being nice to me.

 

 

And then for the next six months I was certain that while watching “Rescue 911″ my story would be featured, portraying me as the young hero. I seemed to forget that no one ever asked me if I wanted to participate in said show, so there wasn’t really any way I would just randomly be on the tele spouting my life changing story for all the country to learn from…………

 

ok so it wasn’t really life changing, but it was a story.

Heather
Filed under: Uncategorized | Posted By: Heather @ 5:09 pm - May 19th, 2009 |

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let’s play a game….

this is the game {I stole it from her} we’re going to play two truths and a lie…..that is the name of the game right? I dunno it might be three truths and a lie or maybe even four truths and a lie…but I digress. In this game I will tell three stories, one of which will be a lie. YOU get to decide which one you think it is. So for the next three days I will tell a new story, one better than the next, I’m sure.

And then I will unveil the complete lie…………or maybe I won’t and will leave you wondering how on earth I manage to lead such an amazingly exciting life……. {we’re starting the lying a little early… no?}

ok here we go~

 

I was eighteen and living the life of a partial vagabond, I didn’t really live at my mom’s house and didn’t really live at my friend Jamie’s house. Mostly I just came and went as I pleased. At that time Jamie and I would drive around aimlessly searching for something entertaining to participate in. Mind you I say entertaining, not necessarily savory.

At the time Jamie had a boyfriend named Ryan who had a friend named Doug. We also had a couple friends from Target {or Targey if you prefer} that would tag along for our good times, also hoping for some entertainment to behold. One Boyfriend/girlfriend combo, and good ol’ boy pal Matt {who usually smelled like chicken noodle soup….but it got better}

For some reason on one particularly uneventful night we decided to head to our great neighboring state of Idaho, home of the po-tate. Why? you ask……well because we thought it would be a good idea to visit another state. The time was approximately… too late to start such a voyage. And the gas tank read empty, extra. But our plans would not be halted, we pooled our funds, filled up the tank, squished 8 {I forgot that Ryan’s other friend came at the last minute, the drag racer} into the trusty ol’ Honda Civic and headed up to Idaho.  We were squished, but excited.

Now, anyone that resided in Utah in the year ’98 knows how bad the freeways were then, I am talking little squishy lanes with huge concrete barricades on either side threatening to scrape even the shiniest  of paint if you even looked as though you were getting too close. Heaven help you if you get stuck next to a semi. So here I am driving Jamie’s car, since it would have been completely inappropriate for ME to have been riding on HER boyfriend’s lap in the front seat, when I get the glimpse of flashing lights in the rear view. At first I wasn’t quite sure it was for me since Margie’s unusually frizzy hair was taking up most of the backseat, but one quick glance down at the speedometer assured me that the fine law official behind us, was infact telling me to pull over {in my defense, I WAS trying to pass a semi so that I could drive a little bit in both lanes, my grandpa used to say thats perfectly acceptable}

I pull over and wait for the Officer to grace us with his presence. I know I was speeding a little but not TOO much, I should be fine, right? And then I remember we are toting an extra three passengers for the amount of seat belts we have. hmmm….I wonder how this will turn out. Well turns out that mr. Copper didn’t really care. He gave us a warning and asked three times why we were going to Idaho and then sent us on our way. By this time it’s about 12:30 or so and we are just headed out of North Salt Lake. We weren’t making very good time.

The boys are hungry, we put off stopping as long as Centerville {which was about 4 minutes longer} and we head to the Taco Bell, go through the drive through and Jamie decides she doesn’t trust our taco eating abilities in her car {I don’t know why she chose this time in particular to be uppity about the upholstery} So we sit in the parking lot and eat our tacos, all except Doug~ I think he was a little upset that no one wanted to sit on his lap, crybaby. Finish said tacos and rearrange the seating/driving positions and head out. So now Jamie is driving, I get the front seat ALONE {perks of being a BFF} and the rest in the back. So as I mentioned before, Jamie was a bit miffed about us thinking we could defile her sweet ride with taco juiciness and was not really paying attention when she entered the freeway going the exact same way we just came from. We were confused, was she so mad she was just going home? was she punishing us? I decided to speak up.

“Hey Jamie, we’re going the wrong way” I say in my super nice, I’m not judging you at all for being a moron kind of voice

“no, we’re not”

“ummm yeah we really are, see that, there’s a sign for bountiful”

“UGHHHH FINE” says Jamie, now really ticked at all of us {she was kind of in a bad mood that day….apparently}

We exit and reenter the freeway going the right way. Adventure back on!

We drive for awhile without anything exciting happening, its getting pretty late and I am second guessing our essentially pointless voyage. Everyone that has a passenger on their lap wants a break from butt squish and we need a bit of gas. So Jamie pulls off at the next exit with a gas station and we get out, stretch, fill up on snackies, refuel, reorganize the backseat and head off towards our destination with a new found love of midnight adventuring. The party’s on.

We finally pull across the Idaho border, Margie’s been asleep for an hour.,Matt and Doug aren’t speaking for some reason and everyone is complaining that I am still sitting in the front seat by myself. We pull into another gas station, refill our drinks. And look around. We made it to Idaho. It was the middle of the night. There wasn’t anything open. This state sucks.

We get back in the car, I decided to drive home so everyone else can sleep. I feel a little defeated, our destination turned out to be a flop. It wasn’t awesome, I don’t know why we thought it would be. I’m really tired. But make it back to our home state without incident. And we need a place to crash. A couple of the kids with respectable parents actually had their parents thinking they were sleeping at a friend’s house, so we couldn’t take them home. Margie and her boyfriend lived another 30 minutes away and we weren’t about to take them home. Jamie and I couldn’t really take six strangers home to her uncle’s house and hope to be alive in the morning. So we decided to end the night in the canyon. Butterfield canyon to be precise. It was a pretty good place to crash for the night… usually. But as we drove up the canyon we noticed that all the usual camping spots had been barricaded off with signs posted that said “Kennecot property, no trespassers” what the???? I was so tired I was ready to cry.  Jamie was way past being mad about taco grease and southbound freeway mix-ups, she was ready to stop being friends with all of us.

I head back down the mountain, pull over right before officially exiting the canyon and told everyone to get out and sleep on the ground. We pulled out the blankets and sleeping bags from the trunk, dispursed them accordingly and went to sleep. Right before drifting off to hard grounded blissfulness, I smell a smell. A very faint, sweet smell, kinda gross….but I am too tired to care. I have to sleep.

 

I wake to bright sunshine on my face and numbness on my toes. I want to sleep all day, but I hear mumblings next to me and roll over just a wee bit so see who is already awake when I notice it. Margie is sitting up, running her fingers through her hair and discovering bits of lettuce. Yes lettuce. And then I see Matt trying to wipe something off the side of his hand onto the grass next to him, when the wind picks up a bit and smell that smell again, sweet and sticky and……….garbage….its the smell of garbage. I stand up and look around, all around for about 15 feet is nothing but other people’s rotting produce and beer cans, and who knows what Matt can’t get off his hand. The exact spot I had chosen was what seemed to be the garbage dump for the entire canyon. 

What should have been a blissful ending to a grand adventure turned into a crappy conclusion to an even crappier beginning. I think that was the last time I spoke to Margie.

Heather
Filed under: Uncategorized | Posted By: Heather @ 12:31 am - May 19th, 2009 |
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