off topic: how quickly our lives can change

Jim McKenney
Wed, 04 May 2011 09:35:19 PDT
Last night as I was going to bed thunderstorms were predicted. I decided to sleep with the windows open to enjoy the sounds of the rain and thunder.

It had been a busy day, and I fell into a deep sleep.

At what turned out to be 3 A.M. I was awakened by a terrific boom. There had been no lightening, and the boom was just a sudden house shaking noise accompanied by no other noises. I lay in bed for a moment, thought I could hear sirens in the far distance, and decided to get up and put on the radio. After hearing speculation all day about potential reprisals for the killing of Bin Laden, I began to wonder if there had been a terrorist attack nearby. All the while, the sounds of the emergency vehicles got closer and intensified. After listening to the radio for about twenty minutes and hearing nothing about any sort of attack, I went back to bed.

When I got up in the morning and went out to pick up the paper, there was black roofing paper and insulation on the front lawn.

My sister called me a few minutes later with the news: at three A.M. a house (three blocks away) in our neighborhood blew up in what is thought to have been a gas explosion. I live in a neighborhood of solid, brick ramblers. I went down to take a look: there is nothing left of the house above ground. Of the two occupants, one survives with minor injuries and the other is in critical condition. Both were evidently blown out of the house.Tragic as the story is so far, it gets sadder: they had moved in only a few days ago from what I've heard.

This has given me a new appreciation of the devastation I've seen in the media in those parts of the country which have experienced tornado damage.

Jim McKenney

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