I was all set to write a new blog entry about my Labor Day weekend and the effect autumn has on my wallet and the local soy-based candle industry, but then….excitement. Danger. Horror. And finally, an anticlimactic but relief-filled denouement.
Yes folks, it’s that time of year again. The time when you’re relaxing at home on the couch after a long day of work, watching a late night comedy special on HBO or perhaps a B-flick about humanoids from the black lagoon, when it begins.
You hear sirens.
You see four firetrucks. And two ambulances.
They are parking in front of your house.
Police cruisers screech to a stop, blocking the intersection across from your house and splashing red lights through your living room. In fact, everything is bathed in red strobelights. For a minute you believe your new garage is aflame. Maybe the vandals have struck again…this time, with arson! Then worry churns in your gut. Is it your elderly neighbor Wes?
And other neighbors, perhaps just strangers on their way home from dinner at the restaurant down the street, still bearing the remains of their fried dinners in small Styrofoam boxes, plop down on your corner lot retaining wall or congregate in front of your porch for the best view.
Because another awful event has swung to town, and it’s arrived on your doorstep. Almost one year ago to the day, it was a police standoff. Tonight, although the details are very sketchy (the fire trucks and ambulances are still parked around my house as I write this), it seems our new neighbors have had a small house fire.
The worst, the most shocking and gut-kicking thing, was watching a fire fighter carry our neighbor’s infant grandson out of the house to the ambulance parked in front of our porch.
The baby wasn’t moving.
As I watched that firefighter gently, almost reverently, carrying the silent, tiny baby down a sidewalk I’d swept only hours earlier, I felt a subterranean level of fear I’ve rarely felt. Thankfully, I heard that the baby is going to be alright. I wish I knew more about what happened, but that will have to wait until I read tomorrow’s paper.
So my light-hearted blog entry will be delayed. But this is certainly a good reminder to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and hug your family twice.