Thursday evening, minutes after I sat down with a lovely lime vodka tonic, the phone rang. It was Heidi of In the Family Way, who also happens to be my editor.
“We’re hearing that downtown Nashville (Ark.) is on fire,” she told me. “Can you find out if that’s true?”
A few phone calls later, I informed Heidi that yes, it was indeed true.
“Could you … ” pause “… go down there?”
Now if Hubs had been home, I’d have agreed to the 2 1/2-hour drive in a heartbeat. But he was out of town. And it was a school night, so I couldn’t very well take the children on a late-night field trip.
“I can’t go, but I can work it by phone,” I told Heidi.
So I ordered pizza, told the kids to entertain themselves and locked myself in the bedroom for some frantic phone interviews.
As I quizzed downtown merchants about what they were seeing, I could hear my little darlings playing hide & seek. All seemed well. Until, that is, I noticed that Tootie couldn’t seem to find the E-man. Not a good thing.
So I scurried into the kitchen, where Tootie had just opened our non-working extra freezer. There, curled inside, was a grinning E-man.
I, of course, promptly fell into a fit of parental hysterics.
“Don’t you ever, EVER hide in a place like that again!” I shrieked before explaining the dangers of suffocation.
“Tootie did it too!” the little man protested.
I then extended a second lecture for her benefit.
After both children seemed appropriately chastened, I paid for the pizza and resumed interviewing. Only this time, I kept a closer ear on the children. For all I knew, they might decide to build a campfire in the kitchen in an effort to “entertain” themselves.