A rude awakening as the emergency phone rang about 2 a.m. As usual we fell over one another and Jim made it first to the phone. The recorded message informed us that a gas pipeline had exploded at the other end of the county, about 20 miles away. Jim pulled up our local online news source, Columbia Magazine, and got the first reports. Since there was no danger to our immediate area we trekked back to bed. It is always hard to drift back into sleep after such a jolt. I had sat by the fire reading until midnight, so it seemed I had only closed my eyes before the phone shrilled.
We woke again to a loud droning sound from outside the house. The sun was rising over the creek. We again turned to CM for information. The roar was the sound of natural gas being released by pipeline workers from the pipe which fed into the damaged main.
J. needed to pick up tractor parts from a man who has a 'tractor graveyard' in the next county.
He invited me to go along.
I considered that I wasn't feeling in a lively mood, not wanting to tackle a project of sewing or housework.
The sunshine was brilliant in a blue sky, the temperature a few degrees higher than usual.
I brought along a book as I know these excursions usually involve a waiting time.
J. parked the van so that the sun shone in on me. I nodded sleepily over my book, enjoying the warmth, much as my cats do when they seek out a sunny spot by the window.
The women's group of our church had planned a Mother/Daughter supper for this evening.
G. wanted to attend and it worked out for her to drive.
There was a flush of sunset color staining the western sky when we set off and a shimmery nearly full moon that seemed almost close enough to touch.
Two groups of deer were bounding across a neighbor's meadow.
G. stopped the truck and let down the window.
The deer were moving swiftly and had reached the fence before I could do a quick zoom focus.
Reaching over G. I was able to frame both the retreating deer and the white moon.
In the field across from G.'s house the feral cat we speak of as our Nellie's twin, paced warily through the bleached grass.
I had not seen him since the freezing weather and was pleased to note that his fur looks thick and clean.
His life is a hard lot compared to the three brothers [as we assume] who landed here in August of 2012.
Usually the feral cats of the neighborhood are seen for a few months at most --their lives swiftly
meet a sad end.
My thoughts tonight are with the two families who lost their homes, possessions, and even their vehicles in the terrible blast in the early hours of the morning. A third home suffered severe damage as great chunks of rock rained down upon it.
How quickly safety and security can be breached.