Monday, October 10, 2005

Honey-Do: My Way, The Highway

This is part two of Gretchen's Wedding Day Chronicles. You might want to read the previous post, "Honey-Do In Hot Water," before reading this part.
....In the last segment, the bus had hit the road with the Wedding Party.

I did not ride in the bus with the wedding party. I had my truck loaded with the Bride's change of clothes, a special gift for one of the guests, and a box of supplies for our hotel stay after the Wedding. I was also charged with making sure all the lights were out, no appliances were left on, and that ample water and food were left for the two dogs and two cats. Oh yes, a couple of night lights were left on for the pets also.
....With bus ten minutes late as it was, I found myself another ten minutes behind the Wedding Party. So far we had been lucky, the weather forecast had called for rain. So far none had fallen, although ominous clouds were hovering above. It had been raining on and of since Friday evening. Overnight Saturday there had been torrential down-pouring. We certainly did not want or need it to rain on our "parade."
....I chanced meeting any State Cowboys by cruising at 65 on U.S. 1, which is posted at 50 most of the way to my destination. For a Sunday afternoon, the traffic was unusually heavy. While the wet roads and the steady drizzle that had started may have had influence on the traffic, I remembered that the annual Topsfield Fair was in progress. The exit ramp to the Fair was about halfway between my location and my destination. The seconds were rapidly becoming minutes on the digital display on my dash board.
....It was at that exit marker that my day was almost ended. It was one of those moments that they say your life flashes before you. I think a tear formed in the corner of my eye, as I visualized a lovely young girl about to get married. She was standing there wondering, "Where's Dad?"
....I, in the center lane, he in the left, were about to pass the exit to Topsfield. In that split second that my life was passing before me, that asshole inexplicably suddenly veered to the right in my path! But for the will of God or my determination, I turned not away from his path but into his wake. My right hand headlight and his rear quarter panel seemed destined to meet! I don't think my hand could have fit in the space between our vehicles as they passed. (If I had sped up, or if he'd stepped on his brake, or if...)
....For some reason that defies my ability to explain, I continued. I remember yelling, and only I could hear it, that I hoped he walked into the path of stampeding bull at the Fair grounds. Considering all the traffic ahead and in back of me, it was some kind of miracle that our vehicles never made contact. I shuddered to think how many cars, how many lives might have been destroyed but for that scant inch or two. I was strangely calm. I wasn't shaking.
....It was only when I had finally pulled onto the lot of the Village Green and saw that the bus was parked in front of the main entrance to the hall that I realized I'd made up the 10 minutes. Then a wave of anxiety fell upon me. Then I was shaking. A fraction of a second was the only difference that I was sitting there instead of being a highway statistic.

My favorite piece of Latin translates to "It is time for a drink." Aloud I said, "Nunc Est Bibendum!"


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