Its midnight. I sit in my pajamas on the porch swing my dad and I worked together to build. The frogs and crickets sing a chorus as the remaining storm clouds swirl around the full moon. An occasional coyote cry joins in along with the answerings of neighborhood dogs and a random bird or two. Steve lies in the bedroom adding his snores to the cacophony. Something about the humidity and noises in the air reminds me of Nebraska, and the summer evenings as the thunderstorms rolled though. Oh how I miss Nebraska. I never realized before how much I miss the warm humid summer nights. Not at all like the cool, crisp, dry nights of Colorado.
A jet flies over and momentarily overpowers the sounds. I look out over the mountains at the shimmering city lights below. A whole world away, the city is abuzz with activity. The bright moon drowns out the stars, unusual for our normally starry sky.
As I sit and drink in the evening, the distant rumble of the fire engines takes my mind back to earlier. I hear one, then a second engine leave and yet, I still hear the pump of another. I wonder how my son is, I'm proud of him for daily chosing to sacrifice his life for others. I think the neighbor's house is a total loss.
As we headed down the mountain for church we came upon thick white smoke just over the ridge. I instantly thought house fire. Steve thought, more likely, grass fire. I thought it looked like it may be coming from the house we almost bought. As we crested the hill, my heart sank. It was a house. Not the one we put a bid in on, but nevertheless, the "neighbor's." I use the term loosely because although they are 3 or 4 miles down the road, out here in the sticks they are still neighbors. I hope maybe its just a garbage fire or burning brush, but then I notice a man on the roof with a garden hose. The roof is wet on the north end and he stands on the south as smoke pours out of the south half. I can tell immediately its futile and I hope and pray the fire department is on the way. Dressed up and in high heels I know I'm of no help. No cell phone service, I suggest steve drive faster so we can get to an area of cell coverage and call the fire department.
The man makes a frantic run for the north end of the hosue and jumps off the roof. My guess is the heat has gotten to be too much and fearing colapse, he jumped to safety. Although its a ranch, it was still a long way to jump.
Around the next bend we see the bright green command vehicle, lights flashing, taking the corners at breakneck speed. I look to see if Josh is behind the wheel. Not him; although I'm not suprised, he usually drive the big engine. As we hit the main road the big engine aproaches. A wave of parental pride rushes over me as I see him racing to the fire. I pray for their safety and for the family as well. Another engine passes then another and later on yet another. An ambulance is in the mix along with several sherrif vehicles and cars with Volunteer FD tags.
I wish I could describe the emotions I felt as I watched him try to save his house. In just a few fleeting seconds, I felt such grief and sadness. His possesions, pictures, his entire life going up in smoke. To top it off the family just moved in 4 months earlier. A son in Emilys class at school, I wonder if everyone is ok.
So I sit and swing and pray and wait for a return call from my son. The moon slowly crawls across the midnight sky, as the city lights twinkle on. Although its 4 miles away the engine continues its hum, an odd sound to add to the wildlife chorus. Guess I'll sleep with the phone by the bed tonight.