Prairie Fire – A Lesson Learned

I’d like to tell you the story of how I got my most recent nickname. First off, I totally agree with the statement that if you’ve learned from a mistake you’ve made, the mistake was worth making.

However, it’s always better to learn from my mistakes than from your own, right? Don’t worry, you will get plenty of opportunities to learn from my mistakes!

I’m a pretty type A personality. If something needs to be done a certain way, that’s the way I do it. Sometimes though, when I’m in a hurry…I forgo traditional ways of thinking and jump right off the ledge. Most of the time, whatever my project is, it comes together.

This was not the case earlier this summer, after a busy day at work and a long yoga session, I came home and really wanted to have dinner ready, or at least started, for the Sweetheart when he got home. He’d had a really long day and I was hungry! I knew we’d planned on grilling fish, and I thought some fingerling potatoes would go perfectly with the meal. It was a hot day, in the 90s, and I did not want to turn my oven on. Mmmm…potatoes on the grill. Perfect.

I made a little tin foil pouch, tossed the potatoes in some olive oil and spices and headed outside to get them started. They were going to take significantly longer than the fish, so I was pretty proud of myself for getting them on early!

I turned on the gas and clicked the ignition button. Nothing happened. I clicked it again. Notta. Sometimes we have to light the grill with a match, so I opened the lid to the grill and……….WHOOOSH.


Big Fireball.

It only lasted a second and I immediately grabbed for my face. Nothing was on fire. A little startled, I thought to myself, “Whew…got away clean. That could have been bad! Oh well, at least the grill is lit!”

I went inside to grab the potatoes and the Bean met me in the living room. The conversation went like this:

Bean: Hey mom. What smells?

Me: Oh, the grill just had a little blowup, not a big deal.

Bean: No mom, I think it’s you. You stink! …and…what’s wrong with your hair?

I immediately grabbed for my hair…and about halfway through my hand got stuck.

When I got into the bathroom, I found a mess of completely burnt hair. The good thing was, it was only right in front…where it would be most noticeable. Lucky right? Did I mention I had no hair left on my right forearm? Pretty.

I’m sorry. There are no pictures. Use your imagination.

It was, of course, a Friday night, about 6:00pm, so I had to wait until the next morning to call my stylist. That would be a fun story for her.

Over the next few hours, much of my hair on the right side of my head broke into tiny hair confetti and fell out.

When the Sweetheart came home, the conversation went like this:

Sweetheart: What were you doing lighting the grill with the lid shut? Everyone knows not to do that.

Me: Well, I don’t know…I was in a hurry. I didn’t think it was a big deal.

Sweetheart: Well, I guess that depends on what a “big deal” is, right? Nice hair by the way.

Me: Thanks, I’m going for something new. It smells really pretty too.

Sweetheart: Yeah, really pretty, Prairie Fire.

Me: Prairie Fire?

Sweetheart: Well, of course. What else would I call you from now on?

Me: Great. Can we eat now?

The next morning I made several calls to local salons, because my stylist was out of town. I got to tell my awesome story to a half a dozen salons…none of them seemed to care as much as I hoped they would. Finally, an amazing woman named Jennifer took pity on me and scheduled me for her last appointment of the day. She stayed late to help me out. I adore her.

To top it off, she gave me the best haircut I’ve had in a long time. Silver Lining!

Jennifer works at the Best Little Hair House in Rapid City, SD. Go visit her. She rocks!

Moral of the story: There are some things you shouldn’t cut corners on. Opening the lid to the grill before lighting it is one of them.

Also, when I do something really stupid…I will hear about it. Forever.

There are two pieces of good news in the midst of it though.

  • I made it out with my eyebrows in-tact. Good thing. I don’t know how well I’d pull off the no-eyebrow look.
  • I got a smokin’ new nickname.

Enjoy the rest of the grilling season, but please remember to grill responsibly. Cheers, Prairie Fire.

6 Comments to “Prairie Fire – A Lesson Learned”

  1. oh my! glad to hear the story ended well 🙂 i’m sure it’s a common mistake, though!! i’ve been exploring your blog all afternoon… love it! your little bean is super cute.

  2. Oh my goodness. I apologize, but I just HAD to laugh at this story. This is so something I would do! I’m extremely glad that you are okay, and that you did not get badly burnt. Potatoes on my grille are the best! I love cutting up a couple bell peppers and an onion and throwing it in a foil pouch with the potatoes!

  3. Haha…I know! I can be a little clumsy for sure…this took the cake though!
    Peppers and onion ARE delicious on the grill…I’ve never put them in with the potatoes, but that’s an awesome idea!

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