Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Dreadful Tally

I love the place I live. There's a beautiful view, which is now only marred by the construction project on the far left. It's quiet in the evenings. It has plenty of space. This time of the year, there are beautiful views out my living room window of the trees starting to process into fall colors.

But there is something here that disturbs me. Fortunately, it doesn't occur as frequently as once a day. It's on the order of once every three weeks or so; sometimes more and sometimes less. It's something I pay attention to each and every time it occurs.

It's the emergency vehicles going by.

I live on a nice boulevard that gracefully curves its way between two larger "grid" streets. As such, it's a main conduit for emergency vehicles trying to get to places. That part I have no issue with. I've heard sirens in every place I've ever lived.

Sirens are never "good" sounds, I suppose. Police and firemen are always headed towards something unfortunate when the siren is on, even if its relatively benign, such as a speeding ticket. Whenever the fire truck goes by, there's a good chance someone's home and possessions are on fire.

Something particular catches my attention about where I live. It's just across and down the street from a two separate "retirement" communities, focusing more on end-of-life care. So, each time I hear the siren, I listen to see if it continues on up the boulevard to some other accident. If it turns and heads up my street, I know it's a grim portent for some resident of the old-age home.

The paramedics know it, too, because they usually switch off the siren just after they make the turn. No use upsetting more people than necessary.

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