It was early one morning about a year ago, too light to be called night and too dark to be called day. A clap of thunder roused me from a deep sleep and I opened my eyes. As I looked out my window, I could see a raging fire down the road. I quickly shook my husband, Ken, awake and stumbled over my words as I told him about the fire. I could see he was trying to understand what I was saying as he fought to fully awaken.
“There’s a fire on the corner,” I repeated. “I think it’s the telephone pole.”
I became vaguely aware of far-off sirens, and about thirty seconds later, the ear-piercing sound of fire trucks and police cars passed our house.
Now fully awake, probably because of the blaring sirens, Ken jumped out of bed to get a better look from the window; and before I could say another word, he rushed down the stairs, flung open the door and ran to see if he could help. Not only was I afraid he might get hurt, but I was afraid he would get in the way of the firefighters doing their job. I knew only too well that if we had a small kitchen fire, he still wouldn’t know where the fire extinguisher is, even though I quiz him semi-annually!
My pleas for him to stay put fell on deaf ears as he was already half way down the road. I watched for a long while from my porch and listened to the firefighters shout orders to one another. Their voices were crystal clear in the early morning stillness. Every once in a while, I could hear Ken asking questions or giving advice. Oh good Lord, I thought, could he really be giving advice to the firefighters?
About forty minutes later, the fire was a mere cloud of dark smoke, and I watched as Ken sauntered up the road to our house, a look of pride and satisfaction on his face.
“Everything okay?” I asked.
“Yep. Lightning hit a tree at the corner house, the tree fell onto the telephone pole, the electric wires caught fire and the pole went up in flames. The tree also caught fire,” he explained.
“Was anyone hurt?”
“No, thankfully no one was around.”
“I heard you talking to the firefighters, but I couldn’t hear your exact words.”
“I was telling them that if they came around to my side, they could reach the flames faster.”
“Hmm, I’m sure they were grateful for your help. By the way, you realize you’re still in your underwear, right?”