At the age of 19, I enlisted in the Army. By the time I finally got shipped out, I was 20 years old and ready for the adventure of a lifetime. After finishing boot camp and AIT (Advanced Individual Training), I decided it was time to go back home and visit my parents. I’d like to say I was a bit smarter and wiser at that point, but as you’ll soon see, I was still really naïve.
I was fairly happy to be home again. It had been two years since my mother had dared me to leave, and of course, I had been all too eager to accept her offer. On this particular day, my parents left to go shopping and so I decided to tidy up a bit and surprise my mother like old times. I began cleaning and scrubbing the entire house from top to bottom, and when I was finished, I wondered if there was anything else I could do to improve the place.
I noticed a cinnamon scented spice broom over by the hearth and remembered that I had sent it to my mother for Christmas. I picked it up to see if it still smelled as good as I’d remembered, and was somewhat disappointed that the scent had mostly faded. Around the top of the broom handle, was a small tag; and I was happy to see that it actually provided directions for maintaining the cinnamon scent. After reading the directions over, I decided to give it a try.
The directions said to hold the broom over a pot of boiling water, in order for the steam to refresh the cinnamon smell. So without any worries at all, I proceeded to the kitchen to steam the broom. I was so excited, because I love the scent of cinnamon, and I knew my mother would be pleasantly surprised when she returned. I hadn’t counted on what would happen next.