Adventures in Driveway Campfires; Or, Sirens? What Sirens?

This weekend was a holiday both in the U.S. (Columbus Day) and Japan. Mark and Cy intended to go camping, but a rainy forecast for Saturday thwarted those plans. So Mark decided to set up a consolation campfire in our driveway on Monday evening–a fine plan, especially considering the beautiful weather.


So while I stepped out to visit with friends Mark and Cy started setting up camp chairs, tables, the fire pit, and s’mores fixins’. Since we weren’t exactly certain that lighting open fires in a residential neighborhood was OK, Mark went overboard on the safety equipment, placing the garden hose at the ready and prominently displaying the kitchen’s fire extinguisher to show the the neighbors that Safety First.

Garden hose and fire extinguisher on hand? Check!

So we lit the fire and sat down to enjoy our dinner al fresco. Then we heard sirens.

“Nah, those sirens are getting farther,” we told each other, unconvincingly. Then an ambulance slowly rolled by and stopped at the apartment building on the main road, just next to our house. We sighed in relief. Sort of.

Then a fire truck pulled up and turned onto our side street.


Our house sits on a turn-off from the main road–in the U.S. you would call it a cul de sac, which implies the means of turning around on the road. Our turnoff is more of a dead end, and turning around means either backing out or an awkward 27-point turn.

So the fire truck pulled into our dead end side street. Mark and I stared at the ground while Tessa reported the firefighters’ actions. “They’re getting out of the truck! Now they’re on their cell phones and looking Right. At. Us!”. Then the fire fighters wandered up to the ambulance on the main road while I ran for the camera.


Mark casually sauntered toward the truck, ready to get in serious trouble for our contraband driveway campfire. He cautiously asked Daijobu desu ka?–an expression which loyal martayaki readers will recall from our breathtaking adventures with our neighbor’s backing into our parked car–which roughly translates as, We’re Good, right? To which the firefighters replied without hesitation, Daijobu. We’re Good.

Does it get any better than endorsement from the local fire truck in support of driveway campfires? Pass the s’mores!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s