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Hitchers and Ditchers

It’s been a while – I know!

I don’t know whether to blame my lack of posts on the absence of a laundromat, or just be honest and say I haven’t been doing much of anything I used to do .

I have had a pretty eventful few days however, and thought I would share them with you.

 

Tuesday …

I had tried to call in Tuesday morning due to a flipping sinus infection I’ve had for over a month.  My boss didn’t get my message until it was after the cut off time for me getting to work on time, so the martyr I am, I drug my arse in.

Turns out my arse was tuckered out after an hour and I had permission to take it home.

I reached a spot where there is a final gas station before coming to my town, and there, on the corner of said station was a woman holding a blue gas can with her thumb out.

I ALMOST stopped – having recently encountered being stuck on the side of that very same road not so long ago, but – I’ve seen too many movies and just knew she had an accomplice lurking.

I passed her, then felt awful.

I vowed if I saw a car on the side of the road (no matter which side) I would go back and collect her.

Not. One. Car.

Which, in and of itself is strange because there’s almost always at LEAST one car showing off it’s hazard lights or exposed engine.

This made me curious and yes, I shared it on my Facebook page.

I was then informed by those ‘in the know’ that the lady hitcher was in fact a hooker.

Hey, I have nothing against hookers personally, but felt like an idiot.  And, what if I HAD pulled over?  Then what?  Would she have come clean?  Or got in?  I will never know.

 

Thursday …

Alright, so yesterday, I DID stay home.  I slept harder than I can last remember sleeping.  (If you are comparing that sleep to other times I did while only utilizing one quarter of one nostril to breathe through.)

Between almost drowning from my own condition or suffocating, I did manage to get quite a bit of rest actually and I was super thirsty due to a lot of mouth breathing.  I got up late afternoon craving ice cold iced tea.  I had no iced tea.  I was to venture out of my infirmary and GET some dang iced tea.

So I did.

Now, stick with me here.

I’ve explained before how dangerous our local highway is.  I am very cautious!  I get to the gas station just fine, select some tea and prepare to go home to rest some more.

I pulled out into the median turn lane and to my right, both lanes, lots of cars were coming.  So I wait.

The ATV next to me however, decided they didn’t want to wait.  Oh, and first of all, not sure why he was NEXT to me.  Although, I was pulled over pretty tight to the left to execute my turn.

Regardless, back to the ATV.

The driver gunned it!

And as he arrived (barely) safely on the other side of the highway I realized that the ATV was minus a dog.

Here is the actual road (not during the actual moment obviously) – with very professional exhibit markers for you.

 

There was still throngs of traffic coming and a very stunned looking dog.  Beautiful older collie with a worn bandana.

What to do?

GET THE DOG!

I got out of my car, slowly (as slowly as one can while an animal is in danger of being hit) I approached the pupper and grabbed onto it’s collar.

Across the highway I could hear the passenger, who, evidently was the owner, cursing out the driver in a very big way.

He couldn’t cross to me but he did entertain me as I heard sentences like: “You stupid fucking asshole!”  and “What a stupid idiot!”

I just nodded in agreement and asked the dog if it was okay.

It didn’t answer – just panted and sat looking at me a little stunned.

Finally the owner was able to come to the middle and thanked me and that’s when the gravity of the situation sort of kicked in.

I remember getting into my car.  I remember shaking uncontrollably and I remember making the turn then realizing I didn’t have my seat belt on.

I made it home safely.

But, whoa!

I always like to think I’d react a certain way in different situations – but always suspected I might freeze due to my anxiety.

I was happy I hadn’t frozen.  Because I never could have erased the image of that sweet dog being hit by a car on that highway.

Just as I’ll never be able to look at a blue gas can now without thinking of a hooker.

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Opportunity to be Blessed

I share this not for a pat on the back, but to point out how attitude is everything.  I have found myself slipping in that area and must be mindful – today was a reminder.

Ran out to our local Dollar General (you know, that place where nothing is a dollar) for some bits and bobs because I did not want to go into ‘town’.

I’m in line and to my right it became clear,  was a man (with three little ones) having issues at the register.

I hear, “Sorry” a few times and step in.

Me: How short are you? (Because we’ve all been there right?)

Him: Oh, it’s not that – they can’t change a hundred.

Me: I can do that for you. (Because for one day I could after receiving a recompense.)

Him: Thank you so much!

I return to placing my items on the counter and hear him talking to his checkout person.

Them: Sorry about that.

Him: No worries, I had an opportunity to be blessed.  Everything happens for a reason.

Wow.  An opportunity to be blessed.  I’m so stubborn, I don’t allow such opportunities.  I DO count my blessings.  But, to hear it put that way – just – wow.

He had three very patient, well-behaved kidlets who now didn’t have to be dragged to one of our rural gas stations to get change then return to the shop for their suspended sale.

He wasn’t inconvenienced.  He was calm and kind and ushered his little herd out the door with a “Thank you again.”

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Now I’ll share a little about the drive to the shop.

I’ve alluded to how rural we are – and how dangerous the highway that splits our town in two is.

Apparently a little more dangerous further you go up the hill according to this sign.  Yes, it’s real – yes, I took this pic.  (I was a passenger at the time, let’s not dilute my ongoing rant with ‘But you took a pic while driving).

Back to the route at hand,

I mean, you have to be on point!  Guessing what the ‘non-locals’ may potentially do.  (Unfortunately, locals too.)

There are OH so many crosses up and down the road, the pass and the grade,  I’ve memorized most of them.  You’d think that would serve as foreshadowing to the drivers that I encounter, sadly they don’t.

So, ‘heading out to the shop’ is not as simple as it might be elsewhere.

If you so much as see a rabbit running across the road in front of you – there must be a thought process.

  1. Is it running FROM something?  Should I expect to break for a coyote?
  2. Is there a car behind me?  (Okay, that should be number 1 probably)
  3. Can I brake in time to avoid a collision, or do I need a plan b and where may I swerve safely?

We literally have signs.

BIG highway signs lit up asking the driver to take: CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION! Watch for animals!

Smaller signs:

 

That’s just when encountering a critter.

Then comes the actual road – and bonkers traffic.  Timing is everything.

I’ve learned to turn off my ‘give a fuck’ about people behind me at a stop sign.  I am NOT going until I am certain I can safely navigate the turn onto the highway.

I’ve been honked at once, and wanted to bolt out of the car and remind them about the crosses.  Go ahead, go around me – take your chances, and chances are when you’re hit, I’ll still stop and help you.  But, let’s avoid all of that and just chill the heck out!

Back to the animals, says the Queen of Tangents.

I seriously need glasses.

On the way to work Friday I saw someone switch to the left lane for no apparent reason ahead of me.

I squint and think to myself, “Is that a person?”  (On the side of the road, not the lane switcher LOL).

Now, I’ve known for a while I need glasses.  But when you have a laundry list of things you need, somethings that are important start sliding down that list.

I squint harder … “Is that a bush?”

I squint harder, now practically on TOP of the ‘thing’ – “Oh … a cow.”

A large, uninterested, grass filled mouthed cow.  In the ‘bicycle’ lane (I don’t know what it’s technically called out here) of our very dangerous highway.

I would love to tell you there was a great amount of distance between my first guess and my realization, but there was not.

Obviously doesn’t help my commute that I can’t SEE – so I may have to bump that up the list.

But, what I did see today – gratitude and calmness – was enough to open my eyes and return me to a mindset of the same.

Maybe that needs to be on a sign too.  Although, some would probably pay as much attention to it as they do the others.

I’ll just keep my eyes on my own paper and try to practice it myself.