Saturday when I took them over the soup I'd promised, I noticed the vent hood of her stove had black scorch marks across the front that wouldn't come off when I tried to wipe it down with cleanser. "What happened here?" I asked.
|Vent hood scorch marks|
I returned to the issue of the scorch marks and asked her again what happened. She'd turned away from the frying pan (with it on High) while looking in the fridge. A huge fire had engulfed the ground meat while she wasn't looking. I was speechless for about two minutes while I sat and tried to think of what to say. This is my Mother, and yet I'm the one who's always lecturing. Finally I found the words.
"I'm just glad you are both okay," I told her. "Things could have been much worse," I said trying to keep the fear out of my voice.
|The vent hood in the background|
With Louise in a wheelchair and Mom on a walker, it would take them too long to get out of the house if things had gotten worse; the stuff of nightmares. Just the week before, we'd had a major fire two blocks away which burned through the night. Last night, a special report on emergency preparedness in case of fire aired on the news and I thought about the Ladies across the street as I do often when I can't sleep.