Friday, May 8, 2009

My Favorite Story About My Mom

When you see a title "My Favorite Story About My Mom" there are certain expectations. Images of hugging and flowers come to mind. Perhaps the smell of your favorite home-cooked meal, or knowing that mom will always be there for you. Yes, these are tender memories. Yet, they have nothing to do with my favorite, now iconic, story about my mom.

Growing up we lived on a wooded, 1 acre lot. We had a creek that ran down one side of the yard. It was lovely, except when there were thunderstorms. Wind and rain scattered branches and limbs throughout the property. On the off chance we skipped removing the debris from the lawn, after a few storms the yard was a real mess.

One summer, when I was in junior high, we had a series of storms that left an unusually large amount of branches on our lot. My mom had this great idea that we could outside and throw the sticks in the dry creek bed. When Dad got home he could burn them. So out we went.

The pile we amassed was probably 3 feet high and 5 feet across. I remember looking at it thinking it was going to make one heck of a fire. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mom take a packet of matches out of her pocket. I distinctly remember thinking, "Huh. This isn't how Dad burns stuff." But I was half way across the yard and figured this was more interesting that going inside, so I was going to hang out and watch.

She lit a match and threw it on the pile.


So she lit another match.

Nothing. Again.

I don't know how many matches she threw on the pile but she made several more attempts, all with the same result. That's when she turned around, I assumed, to go back into the house. But that's not what she did. No, not at all.

She returned to the pile of sticks - from the garage - carrying...(wait for it)...

A. Can. Of. Gasoline.

She took the gas and randomly sprinkled a little on the pile to help start the fire. She threw in a match.


By this time she was hot, frustrated, and determined. So she took the FULL can of gasoline and dumped it all over that pile of sticks. And friends, we had a riding lawn mower, so it was a big can of gasoline. ALL. OVER. THOSE. STICKS.

She lit a match.

She threw it in.

At first, nothing. Then:


That thing blew up like a Zamboni on the 4th of July. My jaw dropped. I shifted my glance to my mom.

I swear, she easily flew 3 feet into the air, just like on a cartoon. Then, she dropped to the ground, rolled several times and lay motionless well away from the blazing fire.

I ran like a bat out of hell over to my mom. "MOM! Are you OK?! MOM!"

"Yes. I'm...fine...yes." Prostrate on the ground, face in the grass, lifting one arm in the air as if to say, "There's nothing to see here folks."

When I knew she was okay - and only when I knew she was okay - I fell to the ground laughing like I have never laughed in my entire life. We're talking full on, body laughing, no sound coming out because I was literally cracking up over what she did. I was crying I was laughing so hard.

My mom sits up, while wiping dirt off her face, says, "I guess that was too much gas."

At this point, the neighbors are involved, calling 911, running over with garden hoses. It was spectacular.

Today, 21 years later, the story lives on. Night after night my son, as I put him to bed, says, "Tell me that story about Grandma Linda and how she blew up."

Happy Mother's Day everybody. Hope it's a blast!

(Contest on Monday!!)


Jenny said...

You are a great storyteller. I saw that entire event in my mind. And it was hilarious! That is definitely a keeper story.

Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom and to all the moms who stop by here.

Mylestones said...

Holy Smokes. That's stinkin' hilarious but only of course because no limbs were scorched in the telling of the story. Thanks for the early morning laugh. You've got quite the gift of funny to get me to laugh before the sun comes up.
(And speaking of gifts, thanks for mocking spiritual gifts a couple posts ago. Seriously, I think I love you.)

Soren said...

Hilarious! I'm sitting at the breakfast table reading this to my mother (who is in town for the weekend) with tears of laughter streaming down my face.

Happy Mothers Day Stacy.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Oh Stacy, that's hilarious. I'd tell my story about my Mom and her gas, but, well, it's for another day....

Blessed Mother's Day to you, friend. I keep you in my prayers.

Donna said...

love it!!

Susan O. said...

My favorite Mom story:
My mother and I were having a rare lunch out by ourselves, and our
conversation touched on diet and weight. She said, "You know, I really
believe that most women gain weigght after their pregnancy because they feel
compelled to clean their children's plates." We mulled that over a while
then got ready to leave. As we were waiting for our check, Mom looked at
the two pieces of a quesedilla I'd left on my plate, and asked, "Are you
finished?" I told her I was, and she picked up a wedge from my plate and
ate it.
Mind you, I was in my 40's and my mom was in her 70's at the time.

Mandy Leech said...

Why have I not heard that one before?

Lynn said...

Love the story... love the way you tell it! AH... stories that live on FOREVER!!! Now... I can just hope that MY kids don't put any of MINE in print!

Beth E. said...

What a GREAT story! I agree with are a great storyteller!

Hope you have a Happy Mother's Day! Just don't play with matches, okay? :o)

Kelley said...

Oh my goodness, I loved that! I know I'm posting a little late, but Stacy, you have made my Monday morning coffee so much better!

Skerrib said...

That is the best mom story ever.

Amelia said...

I have a story like that, too! My mom blew up the table she uses for fireworks displays. (I inherited my love for pyrotechnics)

the bells said...

I just came across your blog and I am wiping the tears off my face. I never thought I would hear/read a story with "zamboni" and "blew up" in the same sentence. HYSTERICAL. Thanks for the great ab workout!

(I had to wait 5 minutes to stop laughing to type this)