Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Blazing Fun Soccer Practice

Jake’s soccer practice was very exciting last night. It was beautiful outside, high wispy clouds, bright sunshine and the lightest of breezes. As I was pulling the wagon to our team’s section of the field I noticed that work was being done on the clearing next to the field. Either new houses are being built or a new soccer field. Since the area doesn’t have a direct link to the surrounding roads, my money is on a new soccer field. The clearing used to be a stand of pine trees. Now it is a lumpy bumpy clearing with mounds of earth, trees and stumps.

There was a bucket loader that made me think of this. Not the same, but fun none the less. It was moving around the stumps and trees and creating a large cloud. Then I saw a 30 ft flame erupt from the brush pile.

Whoa! This is one serious fire.

I stopped, looked around and nobody seemed concerned. The wind was blowing from the fields towards the bonfire. The fire was located as close as possible to the portion of the field that Jake was on. Only a narrow strip of woods separated our field from the clearing.

I sent Jake to his coach and made camp on the sidelines. Max, who had been asleep on top of all the junk in the wagon, woke up and climbed off. At first Nate, Max and Rebecca stayed nearby. They were happy with their chairs and soccer balls. But the allure of the fire and construction equipment proved to be too strong. We ended up moving to the bleachers located near the bonfire. We were about 40 ft away from the pile. I strongly admonished the children to stay out of the woods separating our field from the clearing. On the whole they were very good. I stayed nearby and they were happy to watch the fire with me.

I was surprised that there was no barrier or any officials nearby. There should have been at least on other person around, like a fire marshal, to supervise and help control the burn. There was just the one guy manipulating the bucket loader. It was very exciting to watch, but not very safe. The fields were teeming with players and their siblings, some with more supervision than others. It all worked out in the end, it was just a bit odd.

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