Wednesday morning I woke up early before dawn and went to run hills with my best friend. It was a perfectly ordinary but chilly morning in Southern California. As we ran up and down the rolling perfectly manicured hills of Orange County it seemed such an idyllic setting under the chilly winter California sun. We talked about the upcoming presidential election, terrorists and healthy eating; the three topics that permeant nearly every conversation we have these days.
Two hours later I was dodging my way through heavy Southern California traffic on the 91 freeway and muttering to myself about a relatively minor snafu at work as I made my organic produce deliveries (And feeling thankful that I had splurged on a Whole Foods cold brew coffee with mulling spices) when a blurb flashed across my iPhone from Fox News (Yes, national news)
Active Shooter in the San Bernardino Area
It seemed unreal. I felt like looking over my shoulder as San Bernardino was just five miles to the east, where this was all happening. I turned off Alabama’s Christmas CD on my iPhone to switch over to the radio where it was just music as usual; no info. Was this real? I pulled over at the first exit to check the local news on my phone and saw the headline about a shooting at Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino.
The first thing I did after that was check my manifest lying on my passenger seat and see if I had the Waterman Avenue delivery that day at the golf course across the street from the shooting because there was no way I was going near there! When I saw I did not have the Waterman box I quickly texted both of my coworkers about the situation. One of my coworkers was already at the courthouse in San Bernardino down the street from the madness, doing that delivery. (And than trying to hurry out of San Bernardino!)
This whole situation seemed completely unreal! Within hours as I continued my day at work I kept getting texts and emails from friends across the county, inquiring if I was any where near San Bernardino.
By the time I finally made it to watch the news at six o clock in the evening the situation had become even more unreal. My cousins husband had been at SWAT training down the street and his red shirt flashed across the TV screen every few minutes as CNN and FOX news kept showing the same footage over and over. It is really, really strange to see one of your family members on TV brandishing a fire arm and protecting civilians.
By the time I was finally able to check out my phone at around nine p.m. that evening and log onto Facebook the news was just crazy. Multiple people I knew had actually met the gunman as he worked as a health inspector for church camps and restaurants in our small mountain area. One of my best friends had fled his home in terror as the police were disabling bombs at his neighbors home (Yes, these criminals were his neighbors)
This all seems so completely unreal that this supposed act of terrorism is playing out in our communities here in Southern California where we all live and work.