A fire truck raced by me today with its sirens blaring when I was on my way home from the store. My first thought was "please don't let it be headed for my house." Quickly following that was concern for other family members that weren't at home and friends and neighbors.
I know some people see emergency vehicles on their roads often, but here in suburban Virginia they are not terribly frequent, especially in the middle of a weekday. Another thing that heightened my concern was the direction the fire truck was traveling. It had clearly come from the station to the east of me, and my neighborhood is one that is served by two stations. Rarely does this particular department go further west that where I live. It did today.
As I watched it travel at high speeds past me, a police car pulled onto the road, also with its sirens on. My concerned heightened as I considered that they were headed toward the high school where my two oldest children attend. Being an overprotective and sometimes paranoid parent, I did what anyone would do. I passed the turnoff to my house and drove by the high school just to make sure everything was okay. To my relief, the only emergency vehicle in sight was the deputy's car that is always parked out front.
I headed back home, still with a prayer in my heart for whoever had called those emergency vehicles. As I sat down to start working on another novel I thought about the many situations we have faced in my area over the past few years. The sniper attacks were perhaps the most stressful although 9/11 certainly probably ties with it. Then there are a few personal incidents when friends and family members were taken to the hospital, some surviving, some not. As I tried to turn my focus to more positive thoughts I realized that perhaps I spend too much time thinking about suspenseful situations. Then again, truth is usually stranger than fiction.