by Heidi Nestor, Writer and Editor,
Emerald Green was all that the townsfolk saw when they passed Granny’s
Victorian home at the end of the street.
There was no mistaking that St. Patrick’s Day was upon them as
Granny’s yard had oversized shamrocks strategically placed about and
rainbow ribbons weaved in and out through the porch’s rod iron railings.
No stone was left unturned as a large Blarney rock sat by the gate with
a big “Kiss Me” sign on it while the gothic gargoyle front doorknocker
was replaced by a horse shoe.
From top to toe, the Victorian was adorned. But the grand prize
sat at the porch stairs - a large pot of gold coins, when unwrapped,
would produce a chocolate delight.
Inside the Victorian was no different, as Granny pulled from the closet
her St. Patty’s day nick-knacks to decorate the inside.
Her favorite item was Wooly McCoppertop, a four foot gnome
Leprechaun dressed in a green coat, tall Derby hat, and a long red
beard. His right hand raised
high in a “Hello” salutation, while the left hand clenched tightly to a
pot of gold. Granny carefully put Wooly McCoppertop in his annual spot,
next to the converted gas fireplace.
Many years ago, Granny’s children had complained that they were worried
about her living in this big, cold house by herself and that carrying
wood to the fireplace would be too hazardous at her age now.
Granny rebutted that retirement homes do not have enough closet
space for all of her seasonal decorations or her many boxes of memories.
So the kids all pitched in and converted the wood burning fireplace to
gas so that all Granny had to do was turn the gas valve
for gas and push a button for a
flame. Another point of
compromise for Granny to stay in her home was that she wears her Life
Alert Help pendant at all times, even in the shower.
Granny happily agreed since she has used Life Alert on many
occupations to help her out of a jam.
Snickers, Granny’s calico cat, joined in helping Granny adjust Wooly’s
position by running in and out of the Leprechaun’s legs.
It was very important that the little gnome be placed just right,
kitty corner outside the fireplace.
“There!” Granny said.
“Now, it’s the holiday.” Wooly
seemed to smile in agreement.
As the decorating wore on Granny became fatigued and sleepy. She didn’t
understand where her strength went.
Snickers jumped in and out of boxes egging Granny to continue
with the task but Granny had to sit down first, just for a minute.
“I don’t know why I’m so tired.” She said to the cat that joined her on
the couch. “I’m usually so
excited about decorating that I can go all day without a break, I must
be getting old.” Snickers
curled up on Granny’s lap authorizing that they take a break.
“Good idea, Snickers. I
think I’ll join you.” With
that Granny lied down on the couch with Snickers.
Before she was able to fall asleep, Granny heard a loud voice
say, “CARBON MONIXIDE DETECTED, PLEASE LEAVE IMMEDIATELY,” followed by
her phone ringing. It was
Life Alert’s emergency dispatch center.
They were calling to let her know that her Life Alert CO Gas
Alarm had detected the poisonous gas and to vacate immediately.
Granny grabbed Snickers and went outside just in time to see the fire
department pull up. As
Granny and Snickers were being checked out, a few of the men went into
the house to find where the CO gas leak was.
After it was safe for Granny to go back into the Victorian, the firemen
pointed out where the leak came from and who was the culprit.
They pointed the finger at the Wooly McCoppertop!
It seems that when Granny put the four foot gnome Leprechaun by the
fireplace, his raised hand had hit and turned the gas value on the
fireplace, thus setting off a gas leak.
“Oh my!” Granny exclaimed.
“Don’t worry, ma’am,” said one fireman, “I heard these leprechauns can
be pretty tricky.”
“They're always up to some kind of shenanigans,” informed another fireman,
“It’s a lucky thing that you have Life Alert to protect you, without
that alarm notifying you and us, well, let’s just say you could have
been taken over the rainbow forever.”
“Yes,” granny said. “Life
Alert is definitely my good luck charm.”
The men moved Wooly in front of the big living room window facing the
street, where the leprechaun can now wave to all in hopes of spreading
the luck of the Irish.
“Now, everybody can see him!” Granny said happily.
The firemen bid their adieu to Granny and Snickers, and grabbed a few
chocolate coins from the pot outside the front door.
As they waved good-by they all smiled at Wooly, who seemed to be
much happier in a spot where he wouldn’t cause any more trouble.
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