Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flat Stanley Visits the Jones

   I received a request from Ruth Ellen and her class to participate in a class assignment.  A piece of paper was mailed to me that had a simple outline of a man.  I was asked to decorate it anyway I saw fit and then take this 'man' and do something fun with him that showed a local 'flavor'.  His name was Flat Stanley, and the following are my stories (two of em) about our adventures.  As you will see, they are written in newspaper format.
  This is for my darling Ruthie.  I love you sweetie!
Gram Jones
Flat Stanley ‘takes the plunge’ 
in Washington State
AP -  Sequim, WA  1/14/11

Ron and Nina Jones welcomed Flat Stanley from Alpine, Utah to their country home in Sequim.  Perched upon Burnt Mountain, and overlooking the beautiful San Juan Islands and Puget Sound, the Jones’ residence “is a wonderful place to welcome friends,” said Nina Jones.  “Flat Stanley came to us a little ‘undone’”, she admitted.  “But we soon spiffed him up”.

Flat Stanley tries to bike
Flat Stanley now sports a curly top, curly beard, button up shirt and dungarees.  “He looks like he was born here,” commented Ron Jones.  “Fits right in, if you ask me.”

The Jones then looked to see what activities Flat Stanley might enjoy during his visit.   They lent him their bicycle, but unfortunately Flat Stanley’s diminutive size prevented him from being able to reach the peddles.  

Flat Stanley displays the difficulty in driving

They offered him the use of their automobile, but he simply could not reach the steering wheel.

“We were headed towards a disaster,” worried Mrs. Jones.  “How were we going to entertain Stanley?”

Flat Stanley goes diving

Luckily, Mr. Jones’ hobby raising exotic fish and coral came in handy.  “My buddy Stanley decided that deep fish tank diving would be just the ticket.”  Mrs. Jones found specialized equipment from her pantry shelves, and Stanley was set to explore the tank to his heart’s content.
All Stanley could do by the end of his adventure was flash his half crooked smile.  He was obviously moved beyond words.

Flat Stanley ‘Saves the Day’ 
For Sequim Grandma
AP -  Sequim, WA  1/17/11

Flat Stanley and Mrs. Jones
Flat Stanley thought his adventure in Sequim was over.  He had packed his bags and was ready to return to Alpine, UT via the USPS service Tuesday morning.

All of that changed quickly Monday when a wood stove fire got out of hand at the Ron and Nina Jones homestead.

“I had started a fire in my stove at 10:00 a.m.,” explained Mrs. Jones.  “Then I went to help my mother for a few minutes.  That was my first mistake.”  It didn’t take very long before the fire became so big that it caught the creosote that had built up in the chimney on fire.

Creosote is a very dangerous condition that happens with wood burning stoves.  Creosote is a dark brown or black flammable tar deposited from wood smoke onto the walls of a chimney.  Creosote is highly flammable once it builds up through the winter months.

“Soon my smoke alarms went off – not because of any smoke, but because of the heat the chimney pipe was putting off,” Mrs. Jones continued.  “I could hear the fire in the pipe, and it began to glow bright red.  Then I got scared.”
It was Flat Stanley who helped Mrs. Jones know what to do.  “He told me to throw water on the fire in the fireplace …and to get it under control,” she said.  “It wasn’t easy.  I had to be careful not to fill the house up with smoke.  Mr. Stanley helped me.  I poured water on the fire and I shut down the flu of the stove.  But the chimney was still on fire.  That was when Mr. Stanley and I decided to call 911.  The emergency operator told me to get my mom out of the house and wait outside for the fire trucks to come.”

Flat Stanley with one of Sequim's Finest
10 minutes later the Clallam County Fire Department arrived and inspected the house.  After looking in the walls and going up into the attic, they declared the structure safe and sound.

“They told Flat Stanley that we did everything correct.  I was so grateful,” Mrs. Jones explained.  “They also said that the chimney and house had been built up to code and because the chimney had been very well insulated, it protected my house from catching on fire.”

Mrs. Jones summarized her experience “The Clallam County Fire Department is excellently staffed.  They helped me to secure my home and comforted me during an especially stressful situation.  Thank you Clallam County Fire Department.  And thank you Flat Stanley, for your excellent advice.”


  1. How wonderful that you and your Mom and your home are safe from the situation of the fire. Glad Flat Stanly made it out OK, too! He probably would be safe in the exotic fish tank!
    wonderful blog Nina!
    I still have your Mom's sewing cabinet and towels!

  2. I really must check in here more often. Flat Stanley's account of the chimney fire was so informative. I'm glad to know he was there to help out.