You know the story, you read it every day in the news: Someone makes a wrong turn and ends up in the hospital; another buys an old painting and finds out it's worth millions. It's the stuff novels are made of, but the good part is that it's real life.
I used to work downtown Chicago and winters were often brutal. One day was particularly bad. There had been an ice storm and huge icicles hung from many of the skyscrapers. That afternoon a tourist was killed when one of the icicles came came loose and crashed down on him. He was minding his own business one minute - and the next... Do you see what I mean by unintended consequences? We all have them. What happens to us is often the result of our own choices, but sometimes it's completely random. "He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time," people say. "It wasn't his fault."
We never know which it's going to be when we greet a new day. So, what to do? Cower behind locked doors for fear something bad will happen? That's no answer either. Remember the Florida man who was in his bedroom when a sinkhole swallowed him? All he'd done was go to bed early that night.
In "Halifax" http://bit.ly/JoanMauch, Ellie's life is turned upside down when she went to work operating a fun house. She's called upon to save a group of children from a gunman. But Ellie's no heroine; she's a middle-aged woman, leading an unremarkable life. Never in her forty years has she had to put her life on the line for someone else. When she got up that morning, her biggest concerns were frizzy hair, her nagging mother and getting to work on time. Is she equal to the challenge or will she give in to her survival instinct and let the kids fend for themselves? Whatever she decides will change her life in ways she can't begin to contemplate.
Life is an adventure. Sometimes we win the lottery - more often we go home empty- handed. But there's always tomorrow when we can start over with optimism in our hearts for a good outcome. Now I'm beginning to sound like Little Orphan Annie, "Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow, it's only a day away."