I was considering the horrific news of the week. Who hasn't? Then, I saw a blurb about the people who are investigating the aftermath of the bombings in Boston and how the little town I live in contributes to that effort.
Thousands of people from around the world come to the explosives research and training facility at the university here. We've even been host to a couple of episodes of Myth Busters. So, you might ask, what is it like having an explosives research and training facility practically in your back yard? Well, buckle up, Buttercup, cause we're goin' for a ride.
When I sat down to write this, the word “curmudgeon” sprang to mind, but I don’t know why. Is it curmudgeonly to want a little cotton-pickin’ PEACE and QUIET?!! Well, you can be the judge. I submit to you the evidence:
One day after moving to this serene-looking small town situated in a valley with mountains just behind it (see picture above), there I was happily (well, maybe that’s not exactly the right word) unpacking. I had just been thinking to myself how quiet it is here when, out of the clear blue sky, there was an ear-shattering BOOM! It was of a decibel level that literally made the window panes vibrate, along with every bone in my body. At that exact moment, I was taking dishes out of a box, so I spent the next few seconds discovering my inner juggler with a couple of bowls.
Then, like any normal person, I ran outside to see what I could see, and there was - nothing. No smoke, no fire, no sirens going off, nothing. I looked around the neighborhood to see if anyone else had come outside, and all I saw was a pick-up down the street with the hood up and four men draped over the front-end peering into the inner workings. You know, the typical four-man repair job scenario. Not one of them so much as looked up.
After standing in the driveway for a couple of minutes, it dawned on me that I might not want to call attention to myself that way since, apparently, no one else had heard what I heard. Don’t want to appear crazy to my new neighbors. Especially in a small town. Word gets around. So, I took one last furtive look toward the sky, nonchalantly checked the mailbox (yeah, that’s what I came out here for), and went back in the house.
Not ten minutes later, there was another BOOM! Again, the window panes rattled, and dishes got tossed into the air. I congratulated myself for making yet another spectacular save, and then went to peek through the blinds and check the neighborhood. A second trip outside to stand in the driveway and do a rendition of "The Sky is Falling!" didn't seem like a good idea. But, again, there was nothing. The four-man crew had changed positions and their stylish ensembles were now accessorized with beer cans, but they were all still poking around in the guts of the pick-up as if nothing had happened.
I’m thinking, “This is nuts! I know I heard that, and they had to hear it too. Why am I the only one running in circles?!”
Since we had just moved in, I had no internet service or cable yet. So I didn’t have many options for trying to figure out what the heck was going on, after discarding the idea that I was well and truly losing my damn mind. Should I approach the pick-up guys and ask them? No. Again - small town!
Just as the opening strains of “The Twilight Zone” started to play in my head, I suddenly had a dim memory of a small article I had read online before we moved here. I searched my scrambled and battered brain cells and recalled something about some kind of explosives research and training facility here which trains first responders. For some reason, at the time I read this article, I failed to comprehend and fully appreciate the fact the training area is just right over there behind that mountain. But, whatcha gonna do? Exactly. Live with it. (Groan)
Now, after almost five years of living here, most days I don’t really even notice the occasional small boom. But there are days, like today, when I want to throttle every boy and girl out there playing Wile E. Coyote. eeeeeeeeeeeddddddddd Sorry about that. Just a little jumpy. They’ve been at it since 8:00 this morning, and the BOOMS have been coming fast and furious all day. About three times an hour, sometimes more. ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;geeeeeeeeeee Okay, that was only a couple of minutes, kids! Please report to recess for cookies and milk NOW!
Yes, I took this photo from my back yard. Oh, yeah, we're havin' some fun now.
You wanna know what's really fun? When you’re painting a baseboard and BOOM!
Or stirring some tomato soup and BOOM!
Or pouring a cup of coffee and BOOM!
Or sewing a button back on a shirt and BOOM!
Or, my personal favorite, when you're putting on your eyeliner and BOOM!
You get the idea . . . Blood, sweat, and tears, a crazy (yet oddly artistic?) swath of paint across the wall, tomato soup-stained clothes, a scalded hand, a pierced finger, and a frog eye.
I’m tellin’ ya, if we ever come under attack here, we won’t even know it. Everyone in town will simply go about their normal business, and all the men will say, “Wow! That was a GOOD one!" Or words to that effect.
Curmudgeon? I think not. And today would not be a good day to argue with me. I’m just sayin’ . .
But, however aggravating all that racket is, when I think about all those thousands of people who train here, I am awed. These are people who selflessly run toward the trouble when everyone else is running away. You can see them on the news there in the background quietly going about their business. They never get in front of the microphones and cameras and talk about what they do. They just do it. Unsung heroes we owe more than we will probably ever know.
P.S. Wish me luck – I’m off to the lab to get my blood drawn. *Shudder* Yeah, nice. Yuck it up. One word – karma.
Thanks for stopping by to visit!