Sunday, November 28, 2004
Holidays at the Pittman household are never without excitement. Wait a minute, what am I saying? Living a Pittman lifestyle on a day to day basis is never without trauma, opps - I mean excitement. Thanksgiving was no exception. As the turkey began its journey from our stomachs into our intestines, the family settled down on the living room couches in front of the glowing fireplace to discuss life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or some other typical family topic. Silas, our ever perceptive (read A.D.D.) 10 year old son/brother/cousin (depending on your relation), asked, "What's that light in the dining room?" I, the ever perceptive (read delusional), wise eldest cousin replied, "That's just candles flickering against the dark walls." No one thought twice about the brief exchange of knowlege until Mary (cousin number 5) got up to put on her coat in an effort to get the family rolling home and into bed. "Oh," she said in her quiet, calm voice (is she blood related? i'm not convinced), "There's a fire." At this point everyone jumped up and rushed into the dining room to behold the (sure enough) now blazing fire on my mother's buffet. Now my mother, being the brilliant matriarch that she is, grabbed a two by four and began fanning the flames, banging the piece of wood onto the ball of fire (of what we're still not sure) on the buffet which sits underneith an enourmous oil on canvas painting of Jesus praying. "Oh shit," I thought in a panic, "Jesus is going to catch on fire." Finding the two by four useless and the flames larger now, my mother ran off to the kitchen and while the rest of us stood shocked, huddled and helpless. My father, stepping up to bat, pulled off his 2XL navy crewneck sweater, and threw it on top of the buffet banging his palms on the firey mass, smothering the flames. My father, the hero. The mass of flames, now a mass of charred remains was discerned to be a candle that had fallen over and shared its flame with the wicker basket it was sitting in. Wax was everywhere from the beatings the Christmas arrangement had taken from my mother and father: on the buffet, the walls, maybe even the painting. But thankfully the buffet wasn't badly scarred and my clean-freak sister Emily spent most of the next morning carefully removing the wax from the antique heirloom. Mother threw away the ruined candle and its counterparts: the basket and the other stinky decorations caught in the fire (literally). Even Jesus made it through relatively untouched, and remains in his prayful pose in the garden of Gethsemene overlooking our discombobulated, but relatively unharmed dining room. Thank God. I think.