People do their best thinking in various places. Some come up with brilliance while in the shower. Others are creative watching the sunrise. For those with masochistic tendencies, running marathons inspires them. I’ve always had my strongest thoughts while cutting the grass. Because the lawn-mowing season is over (except for those obsessed with straight rows and leaf-free mania), I now find the best time to think or observe is when I’m behind the wheel of my car. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
▪ Why is it when the weather gets slightly off kilter – you know, stuff falling out of the sky onto the roadways – that motorists seem to forget how to drive? Last week, when I was driving my daughters to the airport during the post-Thanksgiving monsoon, drivers sped past me and glared as if I had my right turn signal on for the last 12 miles (I didn’t). I was cruising at 70 mph, thinking I was pushing it a bit in the just-above-freezing temperatures. Nope, apparently I wasn’t driving fast enough. I’ll admit I’m one of those who pre-prints an airline boarding pass just seconds after the 24-hour advance check-in time. I don’t ever want to fall victim to those dreaded Southwest words, “this will be a completely full flight,” and succumb to the oft-avoided middle seat. So I suppose the drivers passing me on I-29 were not A-Listers, racing to get their prime aisle or window seats. Bottom line: Slow down, the plane is not taking off without you … and the middle seat isn’t that bad.
▪ It’s dark when most of us leave work in the evening, and it seems that traffic is so much heavier now that daylight savings time has ended. Just because we manipulate the time by an hour twice a year, why should that impact the volume of traffic? It shouldn’t, right? The only real difference is that it’s lighter or darker than before. But it sure seems as if there are more cars on the way home now than there were two months ago. Just wondering.
▪ On a similar wavelength, the route I take home has been construction-free for about 18 months now. The goal of the uber-highway project was to alleviate bottlenecks and gridlock, making travel more efficient and safe. Well, it’s not. This particular stretch of Johnson County has so much crisscrossing in the on and off ramps that it would make a spinning top dizzy. Whoever designed this roadway needs to literally go back to the drawing board and practice making straight lines and simple cloverleafs. You could compare the switching of lanes for your exit to that of the NASCAR drivers zipping in and out for pit stops. I guess that’s progress.
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I’ll be glad to return to cutting the grass in a few months.