April 04, 2010

The night of the boulder

 It’s a peaceful but rainy night in Eastern Tennessee in the small town of Rogersville near Kingsport. Marge, a 75-year-old woman, is sound asleep in her first floor apartment after coming home from the hospital where she’d been treated for a broken hip.
  Suddenly, she’s awakened by a thunderous crash! This isn’t your ordinary crash like a kid’s baseball flying through a broken window. This is more like a train slamming into your house.
  “It sounded like a train crashing into my room,” Marge tells the cops, emergency medical technicians and firemen who come to the rescue. But it wasn’t a train that struck Marge’s wall, it was a boulder about the size of a Jeep. The boulder didn’t roll directly into Marge’s bed but rumbled across the room. Although the huge rock didn’t strike Marge, her bed was battered by fragments of the imploded apartment building wall.
  Today Marge is back in the hospital, but this time with only minor injuries, and for close observation.
  The Kingsport Times-Union reports that the boulder, which had probably laid in its original position for thousands of years, was apparently loosened by recent continuous rainfall. We all can identify with that -- the rain, that is, not the boulder.
  As a footnote, rock slides along Interstate 40 near the Tennessee/North Carolina border have caused problems since last fall. Blockages on I-40 have made it a difficult drive getting to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, two popular tourist destinations.
  Makes you wonder if Marge will risk a drive along I-40 after she gets out of the hospital.

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