Friday, July 17, 2009

Ya Feelin' Lucky....PUNK?!

I've never been one to seek out action flicks (aside from Sci-fi, of course), let alone want to LIVE one. Tough guys and explosions just aren't my bag unless there's extremely witty dialogue, space travel, aliens, or maybe Seth Rogan. It seems, though, that fate decided to add just a dose of Schwarzenegger to my life this week.

Wednesday is my night to have the kids for dinner. I was looking forward to it, as always. As I had quartet rehearsal later in the evening and would need to get the kids back to their mom in time for that, rather than waste my shorter time with them by actually MAKING dinner (and I'm usually VERY good about making them a full, well-balanced meal) I just picked up some pizza. Lou shows up a bit early to share in the movie we were watching (Midnight Madness - Michael J. Fox's film debut) and homemade s'mores.

As we're packing up to leave and I open the front door, I hear a *BOOM*. Being just a over a week past the 4th of July, I figured it was a local setting off fireworks...but it was still quite bright out. That's when I noticed the 1/2 mile long, 200 ft. high plume of smoke coming from the North.

It seemed to emanate from the 9 Mile Rd./I-75 area, and as I drove the kids home it seemed confirmed. My first though was that my favorite gas station had exploded in some accident. As we pulled up to 9 Mile via local back streets, we all looked East to see a HUGE plume of black smoke with enormous flames shooting skyward. Liam gaped for a minute when he exclaimed, "AWESOME!!" To which I replied, "In an action movie, it's awesome. When there are people involved...not so much.' He showed an appropriate amount of contrition (well, for a 9-year-old boy, anyway) and hoped no one was hurt. They didn't seem traumatized by the event in the least, so I dropped them off with their mom and proceeded to do what all good Americans would do - become one of the gawking masses.

I parked a couple blocks away, walked as close as I was allowed by the police tape, and called Lou to have him and my bari, Dave B., bring my camera down. Our bass was being re-routed through Hell's Half-acre and trying to get to my place for rehearsal. Lou and I never managed to connect through the throng of on-lookers, but he did snap a few pics before we met back at my place to wait for our bass.
Tanker Fire 7-15-09 (2)
Tanker Fire 7-15-09 (4)
Tanker Fire Aftermath (1)
We all had a good (if a bit short) rehearsal, choosing to focus on the music to distract us from the blazing inferno a mere 1/2 mile away.

2 miracles I take away from this: 1) if I had left the house when I had intended to, and taken my usual route back to their place, rather than finish the scene we were watching for my son's sake, we'd have been ON that bridge when the explosion happened. This wouldn't have necessarily resluted in injury, but it would have been scary as hell and likely traumatized my baby girl, at the very least. 2) As the reports came in throughout the night and following day, I heard that despite the horrible traffic accident, destroyed cars, raging fire, collapsing bridge, and chaotic scene, absolutely NO ONE was killed! There were only 3 minor injuries!

It's not often I find myself in a position where I am grateful for divine providence. I tend to thank God more for wisdom, guidance, and patience, rather than for setting all of the physical pieces in place and kinetically 'making things happen', but in this case I find myself TRULY grateful for everything being just-so that despite a horrific scene and the potential for tragedy, everyone was able to escape with their lives.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I'm not a Bible-thumper. In this case, however, for myself, my kids, the people involved in the accident, the firefighters, the EMTs, and the local community, I'll say, "Thank you, God, for intervening".

No comments: