My dad always told me I needed to slow down and take it easy. He also reminded me many times to chew my food, not swallow it whole.
I’m often reminded of those words of wisdom while driving these days. People drive too fast!
And it’s not just the big city folks who drive too fast, country folks do it as well.
When I’m driving 60 mph on a two-lane, and I’m passed, I know they are doing 70 mph or more. For most two-lanes, that is 15 mph over the speed limit.
I don’t know what a speeding ticket would be for 15 mph over, but it’s more money than I have to waste.
The same goes for the Interstate. If the speed limit is 70 mph, some people drive 80 mph or more. Most drivers pay little or no attention to construction zones.
I understand the need to push it, put the pedal to the metal, especially if you are late. I have a remedy for that – get up and leave five minutes earlier.
Even on the gravel, folks drive too fast. I can’t count on my fingers and toes the time people on gravel roads have gotten on my bumper, followed me for a mile a two, then when I turned on the blacktop, they sped around me.
That happened the other morning on the way to my day job. It was just after 6 a.m. It was dark and it was foggy. I could hardly see in front of my van headlights, let alone 100 feet in front of me. Someone came up on me on the gravel, got on my bumper and when I turned west on the Ewart Road, they passed me and off they went.
By the time I turned the first curve south of Ewart, I couldn’t see their taillights. There’s no way they could see through all that fog.
If a deer jumped out of the ditch, they were going to be late.
I admit, I’m not the fastest driver. I sometimes find myself driving a bit too slow. That’s why they have slow lanes for people like me.
My dad never really got in too much of hurry unless he was late for work or my mom, bless her heart, was fussing at him.
When it came to feeding the animals, working in the barn, tinkering with his tractor or pulling weeds in the yard, my dad would go outside and stay outside. It took him five trips to do what most would do in one trip. I think he did that just to be outside.
He could sit on a river bank on a five-gallon bucket with a worm on the hook and bobber on his line for hours, even on a hot summer day. Or attend a steam engine show. He loved reliving the good old days and seeing things the way they were back in the sticks.
There was never a stranger in his life. He’d strike up a conversation with someone while fishing, at the gas station or a restaurant. Often times, he’d meet someone with a connection to his upbringing in the Oak Grove School and Verdigris River Bottoms east of Tulsa.
I remember some years ago going on a family vacation. We were in either Joplin or Springfield, Mo. We were at a stoplight and some fellow was walking across the road.
“Hello Fred,” my dad yelled as he stuck his arm out the window and waved.
As a kid, I was thinking, “how does he know it is Fred?” It wasn’t Fred, it was my dad having fun.
I’m not suggesting yelling at a stranger with a made up name these days, but we do need to get back to the basics in this world, turn off our telephones and get to know people. I challenge you this year to turn off the evening news and take time to visit with your neighbors and reconnect with family.
Put the world’s problems on the back burner and get out and enjoy the blessings of life. There’s so much to be thankful for. And more importantly, slow down!
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.