Sunday, my cell phone rang and the call was a tip on a fully involved structure fire in New Hanover Township. It was my day off, but I learned long ago that news doesn't happen 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, so I made the decision to run out and cover it. It's never easy to leave the house, but I'll decide to go if I feel the incident is serious enough.
I was almost finished but I got up from the table and scraped the rest into the trash. My son-in-law asked if I was on call and my wife Deb said to him that I'm always on call. I didn't have to answer she and my girls have been dealing with me running out for years. I have to pick and choose. There are times when I want to run but have to hold back. But when news is what you do it's tough not to go. This fire was one I felt I should cover. The three year old looked at me and said "Poppy don't go, stay here." I looked at her and said , "I have to go to work baby but I'll see you soon." They are too small to understand but it breaks my heart to leave.
I shot photos and video of the action around me. I stayed on the scene about thirty mintues and headed back to the office to download images and process the video for the website. Finishing up, I talked to the desk editor, told him to call if he had any questions and I was out the door.
When I got home shortly after 8 p.m. the house was quiet again. All the toys were picked up. I smelled of smoke so I took my clothes and threw them out onto the back deck. I asked Deb how the rest of the evening went and she smiled saying that it was great, telling me the girls went down the sliding board a hundred times, and played with every toy in their play room.
She asked about the fire and I said that the home was totaled and it was looking like a suspicious blaze. End of story. We settled in together for the late Sunday evening and flipped on the television and relaxed watching a show on grizzly bears in Yellowstone.
Quiet is good, but we look forward to seeing all of our grandkids soon, bringing their endless energy that keeps me smiling. Hopefully, the phone won't ring.