Posted tagged ‘speeding’

Slow Down Day

June 26, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                    June 26, 2018

                                          

adult fashion footwear ground

Photo by Jens Mahnke on Pexels.com

Tomorrow, June 27, is Bike to Work Day in Colorado Springs. Since I’m retired, plus I don’t own a bicycle, I won’t be participating. I’m all for the idea, but I’m not sure a bike helmet will protect someone from the local Nascar drivers heading to work.

I’ve got another idea! How about a “Slow Down Day”? A day when people commit to driving the speed limit or UNDER IT!

I just shake my head at the number of drivers who seem to be in a hurry to get to the next stoplight before anyone else. They are over-populating the roadways more than the rabbits are taking over our neighborhood. 

About two months ago I was sideswiped by a man in a man-sized pickup truck who thought he would thunder over two lanes to the exit. He said he didn’t see my dark blue CRV with all the daylight around us! Thankfully no one was hurt…and I had a witness who pulled up beside my vehicle and said “I saw the whole thing!” I’m not bitter (Okay! Maybe a little bitter!), just agitated. His sense of hurry resulted in hours of my times in the next three weeks or so taking care of repair details, getting a rental car, talking to insurance company people.

Slow down!

One of our insightful neighborhood residents has posted signs at each of our subdivision’s entrances with the number “25” in large print, and also put these words above the number: “Drive like your own children live here!”

God had it right when he instructed his people to have a day of rest each week, a day of slowing down for reflection and renewal. It was law, but it was also therapeutic…kind of like someone in an art museum sitting and staring for a while at a sculpture!

So what if we had a Slow Down Day to the point that some bicycles whizzed by the cars and trucks? We’d know how the cyclists would feel all of the other days of the year. Instead of racing from work, what if people picked up the pace at work and took their time getting home?

Fast food restaurants could close their drive-thru lanes for the day. Jiffy Lube could keep their garage doors closed. Neighbors could schedule an evening walk together around the neighborhood. Baseball, the sport that has recently tried to speed up the game, could go back to its traditional ways of a nice and easy pace. Chess clubs could promote the game that takes thought and vision.

Slow Down Day! Churches could open their sanctuary doors for people to come and meditate! Doctors could slow down and talk to their patients. Families could sit at the dinner table and eat a meal that has been cooked slowly in the crock pot. 

Or…maybe a better idea is that people would just slow down a little bit each and every day so that everyone…everyone!…might feel a little more at ease with the flow of traffic and the flow of life!

Driving with Ill Will

July 10, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                               July 10, 2017

                                     

My wife Carol says that I’ve been a lot happier since I retired eighteen months ago. I’m not going to disagree with her and say, “No, I’ve been totally depressed!” If that was the case she would vote for more depression time in my schedule.

I have been happier…for some reason! I get to read more, walk more, hang out at Starbucks more. I laugh more and tend to spout some really bad puns.

But when I get behind the steering wheel I tend to take on a different personality, one that wishes ill will on some of the other drivers I encounter! I wish I understood it, but I don’t! Perhaps the inside of a car is a quarantined area where the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience… can not enter.

I pray for motorcycle cops to appear right when that oversized pick-up truck roars by me doing ninety! When the motorcyclist cuts over three lanes in a crazed burst of speed I long for flashing lights to come from behind.

When Mario speeds by me and we’re coming to a stop light I pray that God will change it to red so that we’ll end up at the same place and I can look over and smile. When someone races by me and then cuts in front of me I stretch my hand out towards him in a way that communicates “Go ahead, if that makes you feel special!” I’m hoping that whoever the driver is that he/she will be looking back at me as I make the mocking gesture!

Yes, I do all those things! I even yell at someone who sits stationary at a stoplight even after it changes to green. I say things like, “Come on!”, “Idiot!”, and “Wake up, fool!” I’m especially unchristian towards speeding BMW and Mercedes’ drivers. I’m guilty of praying for hail to pummel their vehicles! It’s not road rage, but rather the justified vengeance of God. I admit that I have a tendency to ask God to lower the boom on certain people that irritate me!

When I drive I am a different person! I am a firm believer in our need for grace, but I show no grace when I’m in the driver’s seat! I hear the words of Paul in my mind. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)

I’ve tried to remind myself that we are all sinners saved by grace, that there was a time when I drove my 1974 Gremlin a hundred miles an hour down a two lane Illinois backroad. I’ve tried to remind myself that I’ve fallen short and driven fast, but then about that time another Beemer goes racing by me and the vindictiveness rises to the surface again.

Oh, what a wretched sinner I am! What am I to do with myself!

I can hear Carol whispering, “Sit in the passenger seat!”

Poking Along At 79 MPH

February 20, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                               February 20, 2017

                                  

Carol and I were driving on I-25 Saturday morning heading to Greeley, Colorado, a small city about an hour north of the Mile High City. I was speeding at 79, but it felt like I was a covered wagon at Daytona. Cars zipped past us like we were sitting still.

I realized, that at 79 miles per hour, I was now my dad! He would have been doing 70 in a 75 speed zone, but the speed of pokey people has now been raised to anything under 80! Call it the evolution of driving! Some of the cars that lead me in the dust should have NASCAR numbers on the side panels!

A motorcyclist shoots by us on the right like a fireworks rocket launch. A pick-up truck with tires as tall as I am thunders by…obviously on his way to the monster truck show. In my rearview mirror I see a BMW bearing down on me quickly…and then threading the needle between the car in the lane on my left and my left front bumper.

Is it the white Honda Accord that gives me away? Do people now see that car and think AARP? Should interstates have one lane labeled “Safe Drivers’ Lane?” Or perhaps a toll lane for those who want to go over 80…with rubber bumper railings on each side, like a bumper bowling lane!

Our driving habits and fights at early morning Black Friday sales are two indicators of a cultural affliction. Most of us live by the theme “It’s all about me!” Who cares about the mom with three pre-schoolers trying to navigate the highway and parent crying babies at the same time? Who cares about the senior citizen whose reflexes are now a little slower who has the impatient over-caffeinated twenty-five year old riding his bumper?

Our highways reflect how we live our lives…out-of-control, living for the moment, thoughtless, risky, entitled, and ready for the excuses to sputter to the Highway Patrol officer.

 

Experiencing Grace On the Way To See Grace

April 28, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 April 28, 2013

My first words were actually “Oh, crap!”

The flashing lights came on as the Highway Patrol car was approaching me going the other direction. I was heading to my great niece Gracie’s soccer game.

On my way to see Grace!”

I pulled over to the side of the river road and waited. The Highway Patrol female trooper came up to my passenger side window. I already had my driver’s license in my hand ready to grovel and look financially destitute.

Did you see those wild turkeys heading up the hillside there?”

Huh? I was expecting “License and registration please.”

No, I didn’t see them.”

Yes, several of them”, she added, turning towards the roadside slope to our right. I glanced up the hill and caught sight of the bird moving higher.

Got an idea of the speed limit on this stretch of road?”

Here it comes.

Yes. It’s fifty-five, and I believe I was doing sixty-five.”

True confession is good for the soul. For some reason it made my sin seem more plausible, more normal.

Sixty-seven.”

Oh!”

Do you have many problems with speeding?”

No,” I thought, “it comes natural.” Instead of saying that however I started in on the disclaimers.

Not usually, but I’m driving my dad’s Buick that has a little more get-up-and-go than my car.”

What do you drive?”

A Civic.”

Oh!”

And then I added “Hybrid!” to further explain my unfamiliarity with a vehicle that actually has engine power.

Colorado. I’ve got a brother that lives in Colorado.”

Really! Where at?” This speeding violation is taking an interesting turn in the conversation.

West of Colorado Springs. He says he can step out his front door and see Pike’s Peak.”

Woodland Park?”

I believe that’s it!”

I’m thinking, “Will this take $25 off my traffic ticket?”

He says half of the time that people get stopped there is because the law enforcement is looking for marijuana…with the whole legalized thing going on.”

Yes, ma’am!”I reply as I shake my head in a kind of “what’s the world coming to” kind of expression.

Do you have any relatives in Wheelersburg?” she asked as she surveyed my driver’s license.

No, ma’am! However, I did grow up in Ironton!”So some reason I thought creating ties with my growing up roots would cancel out my excessive speeding to get to a fourth grade girl’s soccer game.

Well…Mr. Wolfe, I’m going to give you a warning about your speed today. You need to be careful and go a little bit slower. Okay?”

I agree. I’ll make sure I’m more careful.”

She took my license and my Dad’s registration back to the cruiser and ran a check on them to make sure I wasn’t a convicted runaway felon on the lam. I waited, knowing that I was, as my grandfather used to say, “Guilty as sin!” Regardless of the power of my Dad’s car, or the justification that driving to my great niece’s soccer game should cancel out breaking the law, or even though I had been in church last Sunday (I had to be. I was giving the sermon!), a blazing pink speeding ticket should have been the rightful ending of the situation.

Mr. Wolfe, I hope the rest of your visit goes well.”

Thank you.”

I can’t believe those wild turkeys. You take care now.”

Thank God for wild turkeys to break the ice in conversation starters between grace-givers and law-breakers.

I slowly made my way to Gracie’s soccer game. I watched her with new eyes, not focused on her missed kicks, or other evidences of not achieving soccer perfection as a ten year old, but rather I focused on the fun she was experiencing playing a game and laughing with her teammates. As some of the adults watching shouted their disappointment in the mistakes of their sons and daughters who were playing on the field, my vision was on a Grace who was giggling. Perhaps I was able to see the upside of her soccer skills a little bit more because I had just experienced grace when I was on the downside.

On the way back to Dad’s place I watched my speedometer…and also saw the wild turkeys.