Picture in your mind my mother at the beginning of this story. She stands in the half-open, front-porch doorway talking to a neighbor. That's how the last story ended.
Different day, of course, but it could have been a day from the same summer. I was little. I was playing in the kitchen, probably using the table and chairs as my tools of imagination. I heard and smelled and looked to the stove.
The stove was located in the pantry beneath some painted wooden kitchen cabinets. I saw flames rise from the frying pan, reach, and begin to crawl up them. I wasn't sure what I should do. I didn't shout an alarm nor scream in fear. I walked fast to the front door. My mom was talking. I didn't want to interrupt, but I pulled on her apron and told her about the fire.
It was she who ran as fast as she could to the Kitchen. I do not remember what she did to put out the fire after she first turned off the burner under the frying pan. I remember the flames were huge and seemed already out of control. I am sure a few seconds more were all the fire needed. I remember marveling at how my mother saved my house. I remember proudly her emotional hug of gratitude, her days of bragging to others about how I had rescued her from her mistake and saved our house.
footnote: Despite the hours of diligent work by my mother to clean up and paint up the cabinet doors, when my parents remodeled the kitchen a few years later (including moving the stove and stripping the cabinets of paint) the shadow of that fire shone through the varnish to remind us all of that fortunately, not-fateful day.
(c) from date of posting, by Bob Komives, Fort Collins