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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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fire

Some “Things” Can’t Be Replaced

“They lost everything in a fire.”

“But they’re all right, right?”

“Depends on how you look at it.”

This could be a conversation between two people discussing any victim of the recent fire that destroyed Paradise, CA, in a quick, intensely hot swoosh. My high school English teacher, her husband and their daughter and son-in-law are some of the victims. Yes, they escaped physically unharmed, but what about emotionally. Imagine the fear and feelings of helplessness they experienced at the time and now they are living in temporary digs wondering how long it will take to rebuild or even if they can. And what about their things, all gone. Things can be replaced, or can they. Continue reading “Some “Things” Can’t Be Replaced”

From Fire to Fireweed

No fire had ever come close to our valley before. We could see the leaping yellow and red flames over the crest of the hill. We tied wet cloths over our faces to hand out water to firefighters in the dense smoke. They said we were safe. We weren’t, but we had lots of warning compared to others and left with full cars.

Months later we returned with a builder who agreed to work around the original stone fireplace. Vibrant purple fireweed greeted us. The irony of the plants name made us laugh aloud. There had been enough tears. Continue reading “From Fire to Fireweed”

National S’mores Day

The origin of this tasty snack is credited to the entrepreneur Alec Barnum. However, the first recorded version of the recipe can be found in the 1927 publication of Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.   Even though the Girl Scouts were not the first ones to make s’mores, Girl Scout groups describe them in their reports as early as 1925.  Earlier recipes used the name “Some Mores”.  It is unclear when the name was shortened to “S’mores”.

What ever the name, I hope everyone on earth has had a form of this treat at least once.  Maybe even once a summer.

I know the most common place to have s’mores is around a campfire.  That’s great if you like mosquitos and camp fires.  When my kids were in their early teens we got all the ingredients and cooked the marshmallows over candles in the living room.  I thought too late about what the black smoke would do to the ceiling.  Not a good idea in a hotel either.  It sets off the smoke alarm!  Not telling where I tried that one.

A couple years ago we were visiting my husband’s niece in Cleveland.  Her husband made her a s’more by cooking one of those new huge marshmallows over the flame on their gas stove; after their boys had been pronounced fully asleep.  She proved to us, no matter how old you are, dessert is a good thing, and there is no lady like way to eat s’mores.  She ended up with marshmallow on her nose and fingers.  If it hadn’t been bedtime we would have joined her.

I never went to Girl Scout camp, but we had s’mores at 4-H camp and at church camp.  In those days there were only three true ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows.  Today substitutions are encouraged, most of which have to do with peanuts.  Use a peanut butter cup, or add peanut butter or Nutella.

Which ever way you choose to enjoy this delicious, messy treat, make sure summer doesn’t get by you without having one.

 

 

 

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