I’m at work, deep in concentration on the task before me. My cellphone rings, and I look at it to see the Caller ID displaying “Unknown” and a number I don’t recognize. However, the number is local, and I think to myself that I should probably answer the call. There’s no telling what the call could be about. Sighing, I answer the phone.
“I need you to remain calm.” It’s Kristine calling me, and right away I am steeling myself mentally to receive the worst news a parent can receive. Gracie has managed to get herself killed somehow.
“But she’s okay,” says Kristine. I’m clenching my teeth now, struggling to keep my emotions in check. I take a deep breath.
“Are you there?” Kristine asks.
“Yes,” I hiss through clenched teeth. “What’s happened?”
Kristine informs me that Gracie walked out of her classroom, and out into the world. Yeah, I know. How does this happen? Gracie’s classroom has an exterior door, a common feature at schools in Florida. Anyway, Gracie managed to leave the school grounds, cross Commodore Boulevard in front of the school, and turn right to walk to the intersection of Commodore and Eau Gallie Boulevard. The latter is a major east-west highway, with four lanes of traffic. Believe me when I tell you that crossing Eau Gallie can be dangerous, given the volume of traffic on this highway.
Gracie obviously must have thought crossing Eau Gallie didn’t seem to be in her best interest. Instead, she turned left and wandered into the parking lot of an office building, entered the office building, and proceeded to wander up and down the building’s main aisle. A Good Samaritan noticed Gracie, and thought something wasn’t right with what he was seeing. This person decided to call the Melbourne Police, while keeping a watchful eye on Gracie to make sure she wouldn’t endanger herself.
I tell Kristine I’m leaving work to go straight to Gracie’s school, so I can speak with the staff about the incident. Kristine asks me to wait for her before I go into Gracie’s school. So both of us leave our places of employment, and meet at Gracie’s school. We go into the school’s office and ask to speak with the principal. We’re escorted into the principal’s office to meet with him and another administrator. I think I see a look of fear on their faces. I express my outrage in mostly calm fashion, although I did let an F-word expletive slip out during my statements.
It is a miracle that Gracie wasn’t harmed.
On a different subject, yeah, I said I was pulling the plug on this blog. But I made no promise to do so. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I don’t know. We’ll see when the bill comes due. Cheers.