Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Whirring in the silence

It's quiet out here in rural Minnesota. I don't mean devoid of action -- although it's probably that too -- but I mean literally quiet. Sometimes a dog barks or a kid shouts. Car alarms occasionally go off at the dealership down the block. Generally it's just quiet.

So when a helicopter flies over my house, I notice.

It's never a good thing when a helicopter flies to town because, urban beloved, it's not the swat team or the traffic observers. It's the air ambulance. My city dwelling friends and loved ones, do you know what I mean by this? We have a very good hospital, but they are not equipped for severe life threatening injuries. The air ambulance usually means an accident. The air ambulance makes my neighbors and me fall to our knees and reach for our phones because it's a small town and someone we know or love is in trouble.

Do you remember last week when we talked about the school out in the middle of no where. I joked that you don't want to be out there after school when the kids are trying to zip back into town in their clunker high school cars. What I didn't tell you was that, although there are the regular fender benders, there have also been several fatal accidents out there. I can think of three off the top of my head. I might be blocking another. Wouldn't you?

This morning on their way to meet the bus for the two night overnight field trip (I'll come back and fret about this later), Brent and Colin had to be rerouted around the accident out by the school and shortly after the helicopter came over my house.

The neighbors kids left for school after Brent called. They are okay. Brent and Colin are okay. I am searching Facebook for signs from Chief Babysitter (CBS) Andy. I am sure extracurricular activities called him to school long before 8 o'clock.

The helicopter took off about 40 minutes after it arrived, but I am still praying -- for whomever got transported, for their family, for the medical personnel, for the others involved in the accident.

And I am waiting -- waiting to find out about my neighbor, my friend whose life changed this morning while I sat in my house in the quiet.

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