I picked up a flash drive to back up my manuscripts with the other day. I already have things saved on CD, but thought an extra back up wouldn’t hurt. But I kept putting it off because, hey, I had the CDs. But then something happened to change my mind. Something strange. And when I say strange, I mean my family was involved.
So pull up a chair and let me tell you a little story as it was relayed to me by my Dad...
It all started one bright, sunny morning last week. My Mom provides daycare for my brother’s two kids. My nephew, Owen, just turned 5 and my niece Natalie is about to turn 2. So Mom is down at my brother’s house early in the morning when Nat decides she simply must have a boiled egg. So Mom pulls out the pot and sets to boiling the egg. Meanwhile, Nat has taken off to parts unknown and before the egg can boil, Mom hears, “Poopy, Nanny! Poopy!” Shouted out with all the glee of a two-year old who has whipped off their diaper and is now running amuck displaying her...uh...prize. So Mom takes off to catch her and head off any potential splatter.
Meanwhile there is a knock at the door, to which my nephew yells, “I’ll get it, Nano!” (Owen likes to add an ‘o’ to the end of people’s names). Mom yells down that he will not get the door because she doesn’t know who it is and has her hands too full with my niece at the moment to check it out. She quickly finishes with Nat, goes to the door and finds my sister standing on the other side, her two kids (Malcolm aged 1 and a bit, and Maggie, just a bit) in tow. So in they come and they all trot out to the backyard to enjoy the sunshine.
Time passes. Everyone is having a grand ole time. Until a smoke alarm goes off.
At this point, you’d think maybe Mom might have remembered she had put an egg on the stove to boil before the poopy diaper and door knocking occurred, but no. No, instead my sister and my mother sit out in the backyard debating about just where the smoke alarm sound was coming from. “I think it’s next door.”; “No, I think it’s down the street.”;
No. No, you’re both wrong.
Now I’m not sure which one of the motley crew realized that the smoke alarm was coming from directly behind them, or that the house had filled with smoke but suffice to say once this fact registered my Mom went tearing into the house. The pot at this point was red hot. I guess that’s what happens when you boil metal for hours on end... But instead of filling the sink up with cold water and putting it in there, my Mom grabs the pot and runs outside. And sets it down on the deck.
The wooden deck. The dry wooden deck...
Then she runs back inside and starts opening every window in the house to excise it of the smoke.
While the pot sits on the dry wooden deck. Smoldering.
By the time she gets back to retrieving the pot there’s – you guessed it – a nice big black burn mark on my brother’s deck.
How does this relate to me finally getting a flash drive, you may ask? Well, as my father is relaying this story to me, he stops at the end and goes, “So...your mother's house-sitting at your place next weekend, huh?”
I laugh nervously. “Well just so long as she gets my dog and my writing CDs out of the house before it burns to the ground it’s all good.”
“Uh huh,” my Dad says, his tone indicating that maybe I shouldn’t count on that happening.
I hung up the phone and ran next door to Staples.
Now she just has to save my dog.
And that's the story of how I got my flash drive.