Burnt Socks

To extend their life, Len never (ever) puts freshly laundered socks in the dryer. In the summer he hangs them from clip-type hangers and air dries them; in the winter he drapes them over our geothermal registers.

When Len came to visit me in my sabbatical location, he washed a pair of wool socks and placed them on a heating register. When I came in from outside, my nose was assaulted — something’s burning! A quick search led me to these crispy critters. I laughed so hard my sides hurt.

Hint #5 — Log cabin manufacturers, taxidermists, and fly fishing shops are abundant in and around my sabbatical location.

Lots of things get burned in life; some intentional, some not:

  • Burnt toast — the only way I eat it.
  • Burned rubber — a quick departure.
  • Burned finger — forgot to wear the oven mitt.
  • Burned bridges — not a good plan regardless of the circumstance.
  • “I got burned” — a relationship gone up in smoke.

What was the last thing you burned?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

74 thoughts on “Burnt Socks

  1. So funny! It’s good you got to those socks.
    A few years ago, I burned a hole in the sleeve of my bathrobe while cooking oatmeal. I put the photo in a talk I gave on Cooking in America. 🙂

  2. Poor Len! I am so glad you got there in time. I did something similar as a child while having a bath and put my t-shirt over an electric heater and got same results as socks. 😥😥😥
    I am not very familiat with American’s resorts, but I am going for somewhere in the north, like Montana: I am thinking about the film ‘A River Runs Through It’.

    • Fatima — I’m glad you didn’t get shocked putting a shirt over an electric heater. Yikes! This one is propane (which reminds me, I need to call and have the tank filled up again).

      Good guess. I loved the movie, “A River Runs Through It.”

  3. The smell of burning wool would alert any nose to danger, but only a few people would break into laughter at the sight of burned socks. You are one of them, Laurie!

    My thoughts jumped to the Burning Man events in the desert. I know almost nothing about these days except that they attract creative people and seem to have a “Woodstock-like” atmosphere.

    You obviously are not in the desert. 🙂

    • Shirley, I’ve never been and have no plans to change that, but young folks I know have posted photos. A sizable area is designated for those who prefer the most casual dress: au naturelle. Woodstock does live on.

  4. My partner likes his toast burned also. I have not burned anything for a long time, how sweet it is! Last year with the move I let go of 5,000 dollars worth of books to help a fundraiser. It was amazingly freeing. I got children to remove their childhood things, and we let go of most of our household things. No blisters incurred. As a minimalist it was very satisfying. We did get burned on trying to sell things – giving away was much better for us

    • Patricia — You’re example of “getting burned” is excellent. Hence, we’re giver-awayers, too.

      (Many people don’t like burnt toast, or its smell. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in my taste and that your partner enjoys burnt toast, too) 🙂

  5. I remember my Aunt Mildred had a
    heater grate in the floor. I tried to jump
    It and landed smack in the middle on
    all fours burning my hands and
    I’m thinking the Green River area of

  6. Curious. What caught your funny bone about Len’s socks? Was it their state or a sense of relief?

    When I first moved into my Duplex several years ago, the oven was missing a broiler pan. On new years eve, I decided to celebrate by broiling a steak. I improvised a “broiling pan” similar to one I had used before without a problem. You guessed it; this time the greases caught fire. I quickly turned the broiler control off, but the broiler flame, as you may know, doesn’t immediately go off. The fire in the closed oven grew. I called the fire department. As I waited for them to arrive, the broiler unit went off, the grease fire on the steak went down. I took a risk, opened the oven door, and quickly threw baking soda on the remaining fire. Smoke was thick in the kitchen when the fire trucks arrived. The firefighters quickly cleared the smoke with large fans in the kitchen and upstairs. They were quite kind; no chastisements voiced. In fact, they told me I was wise to call them right away. Sadly, my new year meal was a charred mess. Still, it was certainly an exciting start to the new year!

    Personally, of course, there are moments where promises go up in smoke (to use your burn metaphor), or other types of burns occur. In small matters, laughter is a useful response. When the burn has been deeper, letting go, forgiveness and time for healing have been required to avoid emotional scarring.

    • Audrey — Now THAT’S an adrenaline-pumping way to kick off a new year!

      My laughter was the combination of STINKING to high heaven and relief that it didn’t progress any further than scorching (no flames). Plus, we couldn’t open the windows to air it out because of the well-below-zero temperature.

      You listed another great example I didn’t think of, “promises going up in smoke.”

      I like the ingredients in your recipe to avoid emotional scarring: letting go + forgiveness + time for healing.

  7. Ha! This reminds me of ice-skating at a local park on Chicago’s West Side as a kid. There was a warming house where we kids could go in to thaw our frozen fingers and toes. I put my soggy wet wool gloves on the “radiator” which was more like a fiery furnace. In a couple minutes, they were burning, holes in all the fingers! I was colder than ever after going outside again. I try not to burn bridges–unless I need to for sanity’s sake!

  8. I recently got burning mad at the weather. Another snow storm… I live in Canada and so you’d think that I’d be used to snow in the winter. But I fled Manitoba for BC to escape the snow. And on Mayne Island, it rarely snows. Except for this year — this is our second or third dump (I’ve purposely lost count) this winter. Anyway, I was burning mad. But then I took a breath. The sun shone. And now the world looks so beautiful.

    Somethings are beyond our control. Sometimes we need to check ourselves and look for beauty.

  9. Tee hee love it . Tomatoes …I did a tomato sauce in the oven slowly cooked with garlic , basil, balsamic vinegar and herbs …looked gorgeous but I left them too long so I ended up with burnt offerings 😊😁😀

  10. Last week, what was supposed to be split pea soup – but became a charred mess, because I put it on to come to a boil, then realized I had let the dogs out long enough ago that they should be back at the door by then. Donned my boots and jacket, walked up the driveway to the road – no dogs. Oh my. It would have been okay because they would come back, but old Bailey can no longer make the trip up to the friends they go to see and back – her hips will not tolerate it. So I got in the car, found them, stopped to say hello to the friend they went to visit for a couple of minutes. Oh! Then I remembered I had a pot on the stove. Sad. Lost – one pot, a few dinners. Gained – reminder that the slow cooker is always best for soups. Downside – to use slow cooker, you must think ahead. Relief – nothing lost but the pot and soup.

  11. At Jewelia’s 21st I was in charge of BBQ, and got some charcoal and then couldn’t find any paper to start the fire. So I found a tiny piece of paper, and a few twigs, and started a very small fire, and surrounded it in charcoal.
    It was very slow starting, smoking a little but not showing any signs of significant heat.
    So I decided to re-arrange it, but one of the pieces of charcoal I picked up with my fingers was actually burning, resulting in a very sharp pain in the finger, and a quick tip to the swimming pool for cold water immersion.
    By the time I got back to the fire it was burning nicely.
    Might teach me more patience 😉

  12. When I first moved to Charlotte, NC and was in a temporary corporate apartment I put some Texas toast in the oven and forgot all about it. It burned to a black crisp. The really weird thing was I must have turned the oven off at some point, because I didn’t see it until the next day. Such a huge move had me really distracted I guess.

  13. Laurie, the smell of burnt wool is hard to get rid of, even merely toasted it still smells like rancid mutton. I am an old hand at burning socks, somehow when the girls were small we would often end up a pair short when getting ready for school. Grabbing a matched pair from the washing machine I would either put them in the oven on low heat or use my hairdryer to blow them dry. I did learn not to use the microwave, it is almost impossible to remove the stench of fried latex (from the elastic) from the oven, and tastes dreadful when combined with warmed over coffee.

  14. Well that’s one way for toasty toes, Laurie! *LOL* My most recent ‘burn’ was last weekend when I was ‘attempting’ to light a candle with a BBQ starter. Ah, yes………………. Cher xo

  15. Hi Laurie Am loving the blog. I am in the process of writing a sit com although it has been derailed due to my local politics. I am trying to get 11 Green councillors elected to the city In May.. It is challenging! I had to chase off an online troll last week. Am doing lots of photography too, you can turn up to all kinds of events disguised as a photographer. Have been to 2 anti Trump demos also We Shall Overcomb! Best regards Kevin ________________________________

  16. Absent-minded, I often burn stuff on the stove. Now I’ve learned to set the timer. Your readers’ comments are terrific. I’ve never waited so long to comment, but this is one of the benefits – ha!

    • Marian — It’s rare I have to wait this long to respond to comments, but with internet access limited to once a week (which is wonderful for writing a manuscript) it pans out that way.

      Setting a timer is brilliant! 🙂

  17. I haven’t burnt anything lately Laurie but Len sure will have toasty toes. LOL! Not funny really but I just can’t help myself. You will likely get this comment a week late along with my reply to your response on Creative Potager. However, I am enjoying this more relaxed almost letter writing exchange. All the best to you Laurie!

  18. Had to laugh at Len almost burning his socks. I too hang my socks outside to dry in spring to mid-fall but for winter months inside on a clothesline in my laundry room, Last things that got burned probably a finger when I forgot the pot was hot and also like the person in BC – the weather yesterday – I’m in Ontario and the freezing rains warning was all topsy-turvy as to timing and how much. It came later in the afternoon into evening and night and although it was okay where I live not too far from downtown Toronto, downtown Toronto which is near Lake Ontario – got it bad – ice slabs falling down on one street which had to be closed for a few blocks. Ice forming on overhead streetcar wires (which have protection) stopping streetcars literally in their tracks. It was strange to see big vehicles pushing the streetcars. So, the lesson for me to be learned here is to never trust the weather or the weather reports, but to enjoy the good weather when we get it.

  19. Couldn’t slide the pizza smoothly from the peel to the stone. 😦 *grrr* Cheese, sauce, and a few ingredients fell onto the stone and the oven bottom. Had the exhaust fan working overtime. But the part of the pizza that wasn’t injured tasted great.


    • Chris — I think the best part was that the boiling sauce fell into the bottom of the stove, and not on your fingers or hand!

      I recently ordered a pizza and drove 17 miles (one way) to pick it up. My sabbatical location has distinct advantages (absolutely no distractions), but I think that’s the furthest I’ve ever driven to pick up a pizza. It was delicious – well worth the drive 🙂

      I saw in your newsletter that you’re attending the Writers Institute this year (7 years running). I’m GREEEEEEEN with envy. Please say hello to Christine DeSmet and Laurie Scheer from me 🙂

      • Hmm, 17 miles for pizza makes me rethink your secret location. I’ll have to do more sleuthing. 🙂

        I certainly will say hi to the UWWI folks, Laurie. Good luck on the book.

  20. Big Sky Country? Billings????? The last thing I burned was my whole damn right hand when in all my glory I grabbed a skillet that had been in a 450 degree oven!

  21. The most recent thing I burned, for my husband, was a loose thread from his zipper compression socks. He likes to burn them off to halt a run. Weird, huh. Other than that, we burn wood all winter but due to our current unseasonable warmth the last couple days, we’re not even burning that right now. Fun stuff here. 🙂

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