This morning, after breakfast, I took Maddox on a walk. Normally we'd walk first and then eat, but hey, it's the weekend, so there's no real schedule to maintain.
It was a wonderfully cool 70 degrees at 8:00 AM. This is great, because we've had some yucky, muggy low 70s most of the week. The sky is mostly overcast, with a nice breeze. For the first time all summer, I wore long pants to walk in. I knew I would get a little chilled in shorts this morning. That -- combined with the start of college football -- gets me all tingly because I know that autumn will be here soon.
Sunday mornings are rather sleepy in my town. Saturday morning, the streets had cars of people getting ready to do a few things -- be it work, errands, or whatever. There were cars all along Commerce Street, mostly the breakfast crowd at Yank's. But not on Sunday. The only cars on Commerce were the ones for Kannarney's (since they do have Sunday lunch). Everything else is its usual, almost-reverent silence. L-town still believes in Sunday as a special day (at least until 1:00 when some of the retail stores open; the grocery is 24-7 anyway). So there was very little traffic -- vehicular or human -- about.
We had walked up from my house to the business area, gone up the entire way to the first turn, and we were almost at the Liberty Bell (another restaurant, closed on Sundays), when we heard this strange squawking noise, and a voice that sounded like it came out of a bullhorn. Now, six days a week, I'd think it was the drive-through window at the LB. But I *know* better this morning; the LB is owned by a Greek Orthodox family and they take their Sundays even MORE seriously than any Southern Baptist ever could!
We turned the corner, heading down Main Street. Then I heard it -- a siren-like thing going "wonk-wonk-wonk (pause pause) wonk-wonk-wonk" ...... it wasn't a "woooop! woooop!" like a normal alarm. And it's coming from the middle school just up the street. The guy who lives next to the LB came out on his porch, looked at us, and we both sort of shrugged our shoulders and looked toward the middle school. Maddox and I kept walking ....... and we noticed a guy running down the sidewalk on the middle school side.
Now, God knows, I'm no expert, but I do believe there's something known as the classic running stance ..... you know, arms pumping at your side around waist level (or higher), spine mostly straight and a look of determination. This guy had the stance of everyone who expects to hear "Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do?" come blaring out at them. Okay, not quite that "Cops" run, but definitely not the classic running stance either --- sort of a cross between them. I got a bit suspicious, but oh well, I've been wrong before.
We continued to walk by the middle school with "wonk-wonk-wonk (pause pause) wonk-wonk-wonk" happening every few seconds. And I noticed a work crew up at an old service station just up the street. Okay -- crazier things have happened. I was thinking a transformer had blown and maybe set off the alarm at the school. Maddox and I detoured into the service station lot itself, as the crew trucks were blocking the sidewalk. As we came out, then I saw what happened. A pickup truck had hit one of the power poles in front of the station -- ah ha! That made sense --- and I also noticed at that moment that the traffic lights down the block were out. Then behind us, I heard another siren. It was one of the fire department vehicles turning into the middle school front lot ...... crazy! Just crazy!!!
So Maddox and I continued our walk, turning onto Commerce Street to go by some of our favorite stores and restaurants, and the entrance to the Sarlin-Crowe park and courtyard. It's a nice downtown renovation from the last few years -- it once was an empty parking lot full of potholes back when I used it as a shortcut walking home from school all those years ago. We turned again on Front Street and got to the corner to turn for home.........
When the Running Man suddenly showed up again! Now -- he had passed us WAAAAAAAAAAY back. We didn't see him again, so I just assumed he'd turned left where I turned right and gone on his merry way. He seemed to be in that half-Cops-escape, half-running-for-health stance again. I'm telling you, it was weird. Maddox was enthralled and wanted to run along. No buddy, Mommy doesn't run unless she's crossing the railroad tracks and hears the crossbars lowering.
And speaking of, just after we crossed the tracks ........ here it came! Normally, I can hear a train coming in either direction, and have a pretty good idea where it is --- if I need to hold up at the tracks or make a break and cross them. Most of the time, I know if it's at the Quarry crossing (about 2 miles east) or down at the "Little Mill" former crossing (about a mile west). No biggie to either -- I can cross by walking and still have plenty of time to spare. But this one was almost like Doc Brown's train. It just showed up!
On my own block, as the fourteen inbred yappers down the street barked at us (GOD, do I want to call the SPCA in on these people!), their neighbor across the street came out on the porch and said, "Hey Annette, did you notice if the power is out uptown? We don't have any..." I explained about the power pole taking a hit .... but also remembered that I'd seen a Duke Power truck at a nearby grid (just up the block). OH NO!!!!!! That meant a 50-50 chance we didn't have power either (for some reason, we're on a separate transformer from some of our neighbors).
No power at home. So I read a while, and relished the silence which is all too uncommon in this house. Just me and Maddox, who decided that a nap was in order. Then the power came back on and all was good again. No worries about what to do with the food in the fridge. And the chance to share this wacky morning with you, my loyal readers!