Tuesday, April 16, 2013

tell-tale hole in the ground

I started to write a post yesterday but the bombing in Boston made my post seem very shallow and unimportant. I used to feel sorry for people who live in the Middle East because violence seems to be an everyday thing over there. It’s time to feel sorry for my own part of the world. It makes me mad that we can’t stop these insane things from happening, and that I share this world with evil people. Why do so many people want to take their revenge on innocents?  Probably it’s because our soldiers are all over the world trying to “protect” innocent people.  Our world is becoming more dangerous, or maybe the media is becoming more effective at making me think so.

My first husband (H1) was fascinated with weapons and explosives. When he was about 12, he was messing around with black powder that blew up in his face and burnt him. Fortunately, he recovered completely. He learned a valuable lesson about handling gunpowder from that accident, which was a good thing because as an adult, he reloaded his own ammunition to save money.

H1’s father has a huge farm where we oftentimes used to go. We camped there; H1 hunted there, we cut firewood there, and sometimes we just went because it was someplace to go get away from the world. It was (and still is) way out, miles from civilization. One beautiful, sunny summer afternoon, we parked on top of a ridge and walked down a rocky road into a low, uncut pasture. We had no plans (that I was aware of).  H1 sat down to smoke and I wandered off into the field to do nothing more than look for animal tracks and pick daisies. About an hour went by and I was paying little attention to H1, but looked over and saw he was busy with something. I couldn’t see exactly what he was doing because the weeds were too tall. I started to walk back toward him and when I was about 30 yards away, he jumped up and yelled “RUN”!!! I stood there, bewildered. I’d never seen the man run before!  No kidding!!  He took off up the hill, running as hard as he could. He looked back and saw me standing there. “Run! Dammit run!” With that, I dropped my flowers and started up the hill after him, not knowing what I was running from. Seconds later, KABOOM! The concussion shifted the ground under my feet or perhaps it just knocked me off balance. I stumbled in the loose rocks but kept running.  Dirt, rocks, and grass rained down on my head and fell into my shirt collar. When I got to the top of the hill where H1 was standing, he was grinning ear to ear, but I still didn't understand what had happened.  My ears were ringing and I was too shook up to think straight.  H1 jumped into the car, so I did the same.

And just like that, we escaped the crime scene. We were no more than a few miles down the road when we saw a helicopter heading toward the farm. It was state police investigating the explosion. By then, my head was pounding and I regained enough sense to ask him what the hell happened. He had two sticks of dynamite that he buried in the ground and lit the fuses. He was very pleased with the results, but expected to have more time to get away given the length of the fuses. Needless to say, I was furious with him for endangering me without my knowledge. There were few dull moments in those days.

Weeks later, we went back and saw the giant crater left by the explosion. I’m not sure if his dad ever found out it was his son's doing.  The explosion was mentioned in the local news and was attributed to activity at a nearby lime mine.  The farm is still there, but if the crater is still there, it’s probably grown over by grass and weeds.

What happened in Boston yesterday is a tragedy.  I can only begin to imagine the terror of being in or near a blast like that with my family and friends.  It makes me wonder when and where the next time will be.  There will be a next time, no doubt.    

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