This week there was a car accident very close to my house; I actually heard the impact as the cars hit each other from inside my house. As I watched the firemen from our local volunteer Fire Department respond it reminded me of something that happened years ago.
When my family moved to this small town I was in second grade and we lived right in town. Back then it was pretty normal for us "town kids" to ride our bikes all over town and hang out together, with the general understanding that we would be home for lunch and supper. We didn't have cell phone so that our parents could call us 24/7, and we didn't worry about getting kidnapped. It was a simpler time.
A friend of our family was a member of the volunteer Fire Department, and I didn't know it at the time but he had told his wife, who told my mom, that a group of us kids had started following the firetrucks on our bikes when they went out on calls. My mom talked to us about it and told us in no uncertain terms that we were not allowed to follow the firetrucks or go anywhere near the firemen when they were busy putting out fires.
One summer day a group of us kids were hanging out at my house, playing outside in the yard, when we heard sirens and fire trucks. The trucks went to a house that was on fire just a few blocks away from my house, which was more temptation than we could stand. Off we went to watch the firemen do their thing.
I was standing with my friends, watching the fire and the fireman, when all of a sudden I felt a hard swat on the butt, and there was my mom, madder than hops! She told us to get on our bikes and get right home, which we did very quickly.
I'm pretty sure that was the last time that I every followed a fire truck or watched the fireman putting out a fire. I definitely learned from my mistake.