After the drill, we went back inside the church and we were glad for air conditioning!! Most of the staff went on to staff meeting. Donna, Kristi and I were working in the office. All of a sudden, Donna and Kristi came into my office and they said, "We just received a phone call. We are to go into complete lockdown. There is a man with a gun running around Homewood." We went into action (even though we didn't really know what to do!). Donna evidently called Fred, our building manager. Donna and Kristi both picked up a phone and one called the day care and one called the parent's day out program director to tell them to go on full lockdown. My job was to go and interrupt staff meeting. I have a tendency to be dramatic and to overreact (can you believe that??), so as I was walking to the conference room, I kept saying to myself, "Be calm. Don't overreact. Be calm. Don't overreact." I opened the door and waited about 2/10 (but it seemed like an eternity) of a second and said, "Hey y'all." They all turned toward me and I said, "We need to go on complete lockdown. yada yada yada." Andy jumped up. Ann jumped up. Fred made sure that all outside doors were locked. Now do you remember me telling you this? We had no Internet! So we couldn't find out what was going on. At one point, I called the police station to ask if we still needed to be on lockdown and was told, "YES!" Turns out that a couple of guys with at least one gun held up the manager of the Piggly Wiggly (or as it is known around here - "The Pig" grocery store. The manager was able to get away and the bad guys drove off in his car. They wrecked the car a couple of blocks away and took off running. The police chased them but couldn't catch them. (I love the quote from the chief of police. It was something like this, "I could have caught him 20 years ago."
During all of this time, we weren't supposed to leave the building or let anyone in. It was strange. Our sweet kitchen folks cooked chicken fingers and french fries and English peas for anyone on staff who had not brought their lunch.
Finally, we were allowed to come and go again. They caught one of the guys sometime late in the afternoon . . . at the end of my sister-in-law's street!! I don't know if they ever caught the other guy or not.
I was the last one in the office and the phone was ringing. I know better than to answer it after 4:30. It is always someone wanting something that I can't give them. I talked to a very nice woman who was obviously bi-polar. She actually told me that after about 20 minutes of fast non-stop talking, but I had already diagnosed her (no, I don't have a medical degree) Bless her heart. When you work in a church, you come in contact with all kinds of folks. Everyone in the church office is reminded that we are all in ministry (actually all of you are in ministry, too!). Needless to say, when I got home I went straight to the freezer and retrieved the bucket of margaritas. That is my big glass full of frozen goodness. What time is margarita time? Certainly margarita time for this middle-aged mom is after a day like this one!