It’s the evening of the 4th of July. After a busy weekend, I’m resting in my overstuffed easy chair in our family room with my feet propped up on the ottoman. The French door leading out to our backyard deck is flung wide open letting in a nice cool summer evening breeze.
Hubby is watching something about the Revolutionary War (he’s a real history buff) on the History Channel on TV and I’ve been catching up with my blog reading and Facebook friends’ news. A couple of hours ago, we stood on the deck waving goodbye to our son and his girlfriend who were here for the weekend. They’re headed back to the other side of our state where she lives and the state next door where he lives.
Mama’s Empty Nest is quiet once more after a weekend of young people coming and going. We hosted a picnic for some of son’s college friends, now married and immersed in their careers in the city near us.
The sound of young adults laughing and enjoying conversations and games made Papa and Mama happy. But now, everyone is gone, the sun is setting, and all I hear are birds singing. Sounds so peaceful, doesn’t it?
All of a sudden, this strange VERY LOUD metallic sounding noise pierces the silence. Startled, I ask hubby, “What in the world is THAT?”
He listens, shrugs his shoulders as the noise escalates and we realize it is coming from the sky above our house! Our first thought, because we are in its flight pattern, is it’s the Med-Evac helicopter which life flights serious emergency patients from our local hospital to city trauma centers.
But no, the sound becomes absolutely deafening like a jet – a very low flying jet – getting closer and closer and louder and louder until it seems like it’s going to crash into our house!
Hubby runs out onto the deck and I think, “Should we head for the basement instead??” The noise overwhelms us so much, it panics our cat and she darts wildly into the house.
My instinct is to run and hide somewhere, but instead I follow hubby outside with my heart pounding so forcefully I truly thought it was going to jump out of my chest! I’m literally terrified and expecting to experience impact when an airplane falls from the sky and lands on my house or my home is obliterated from a falling bomb! (Yes, that thought really did run through my mind!) Suddenly we see what looks like a fighter jet whoosh by in the sky.
So much for a quiet evening at home. The jet zooms off towards the city, and we still don’t know why it was flying up here in our rural neck of the woods. All I know is it took a while for my heart to resume a normal beat, I really was that frightened.
No need for fireworks at our house on the 4th of July! We had our own experience of “rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air.”
The experience made me thankful though (after I calmed down!) because I realized how very blessed and fortunate I am. My family and most likely yours too has never, ever had to live in a war-torn country where the ear-splitting sound of a jet plane flying over to drop explosives on your home is as common as daily life.
It also reminded me how horrifying that day in 2001 on a September morning was and how unbelievably petrifying it must have been to experience that shocking event first-hand.
And I’m realizing today in the 6th chapter of my book called Opportunity on Page 5 that I take my blissful home for granted. I take peace for granted. I take life for granted. And it all could vanish in an instant.
So I’m thankful to God my Father for the unbelievable blessings He’s bestowed on our country for so long and I pray for His continued favor and protection for all of us.