So, less than half an hour ago, I was riding home on the bus, reading a magazine and casually glancing out the window at times, wondering if I'd see Venus yet. We got toward the exit off the highway where the bus gets off in my suburb...noticed a whole lot of people on the long curving ramp leading to my side of town and wondered what was up. An accident? No, there were a whole bunch of cars and even a truck parked there, but nobody close to each other, no cops, no tow trucks. In fact, it looked like people had gotten out of their cars to stand looking west over the edge of the overpass. I wondered what on earth they could be gawking at (bizarrely wondered if it was the conjunction, which made no sense) and only then did I see the huge billows of smoke pouring up and eastward, born on the wind. It hadn't grabbed my attention right away because it looked like pale steam smoke...but the only thing that could put out smoke in that quantity was a house on fire.
Or my apartment. There was a moment of horror when I realized it was in the exact direction from the overpass that would be the location of my apartment. My first thought--"I've lost my home." Then--"Oh NO my cats have burned to death!!" Then--"Oh no, I've lost book 4," quickly consoled by the memory that I have it at work on my hard drive and today's edits are in my e-mail, which can be retrieved on another pc if my own was burned to a crisp.
As the bus turned in the other direction since it drops people off on the eastern side of town first, I got another bearing on the smoke column--and it seemed a little too far from the overpass to be my home. But I couldn't be completely sure, though I was hoping I was right. Dropped the people off on the eastern side and crossed the highway on the overpass to get to the western side. It was a bit surreal--I was straining to see where the smoke came from, as was another passenger and the driver, there were even more people parked along the curving ramp staring at the proceedings...and a couple of the bus denizens were sleeping away, completely unware. At that point I was almost certain it was not my place on fire, but I was feeling awful for whoever it was.
Nobody on the bus had a clue as to my brief scare, as I get off half a mile from my home and walk off westward and veil my true destination in that fashion. It was a distracted walk back--I could see that the street I was on, one street west from my own, all blocked off with cop cars and people standing around almost level with my apartment--couldn't see the fire trucks until I got closer. Then I crossed over to my street and got to check my mailbox under the gazes of the gawkers up on the overpass ramp. I couldn't help but wonder if they weren't wondering how relieved I was--because the burned house was one block over and one block in, but really not that far away.
My cats were a bit startled at getting hugs when I got inside and went into their room!
Those of my family who read this--if you'd say a prayer for whichever unfortunate family probably DID lose everything today, I would be very grateful.
On a different note--got a surprise package in the mail from my parents today. Homemade applesauce, homemade pumpkin bread, and a huge stack of comics--YUM! What a treat!