If I can’t be on time, I just don’t want to go t want to go

Published 1:47 am Sunday, April 20, 2014

I left home in a hurry, knowing I would be late for my appointment if I didn’t speed things up just a bit.

Several things had delayed me, including making a fast trip to the store at the last minute for milk, since that was the only way we could have cereal for breakfast. Then, eating breakfast made for further delay.

The other concerned feeding the pups, Sassy and Lola, who both chose that morning to sleep late, bless their little hearts. Any other morning it would have been welcomed, as they usually rouse me from sleep. After finally rising (with some encouragement), they had to drink water, then a trip outside (they are never in a hurry) and then they were eager to eat. Only then was I able to be on my way — a little later than I planned.

I do not like to be late for anything. I’m usually at least 15 minutes early for church or any other meeting or appointment. If I can’t be a little early or at least on time, I just don’t want to go. Some people are late for everything. It is a built-in mode of their character. It’s just the way they are.

I also have a built-in mode, and it’s “get there a little early or just stay home — but whatever you do, for Heaven’s sake — don’t be late!” It’s just the way I am. Blows my mind when I get ready to go somewhere and those going with me are in no hurry at all!

I was finally on my way, hoping the road would be open and I could still make it in time when a big rig hauling heavy equipment pulls out in front of me. I inwardly groan and hope and pray they will speed up and get going in a minute — but that didn’t happen! They chugged along at 40 miles per hour and not one mile faster.

I knew the stretch ahead of me had double no-passing lines for miles and miles. There was no hope of getting ahead of them anytime soon, and the clock in the car was steadily ticking away. I knew there was no way I would make it in time. So I followed, fuming, until at last I got a chance to pass – but it was miles on down the road. I made sure no cars were coming before I went around them.

And wouldn’t you know? As I went around this huge truck, they actually got faster! All this time I was following them at this slow speed and now they decide to speed up. What’s with that? Did that driver get his jollies by making me follow at 40 and then suddenly speeding up to 55? I suppose I’ll never know.

By now I am within range of my appointment and sweating getting there, not early, but hopefully on time. I did make it one minute before my appointment, so I guess you could stretch it a bit and say I was early… but somehow that wasn’t much satisfaction.

In my heart of hearts I know this is how accidents happen. One driver gets angry because another driver is poking around and they can’t get to where they are going fast enough. Then they attempt to pass and the accident happens when another car appears from the other direction — or pulls out from a side road.

Being careful to observe no passing zones is critical, even if they do make us late. We should allow enough time to get to our destination as we may have less than perfect driving conditions. We have no way of knowing what we will encounter on the way. Lack of preparation made me late and anxious.

With all the construction on our local highways, drivers are using alternate routes and that puts extra traffic on less traveled roads. A lot of that traffic may be big trucks like the one I encountered. We have to be super careful under these circumstances and learn to be a little more patient.

While the local highway construction is putting some of us off our usual routes or slowing us down, we do have the satisfaction of seeing improvements made to our roads. If you are in a hurry and get stopped for 10 minutes or so, console yourself by remembering this is good! Our highways are improving.

“My goodness, the world won’t fall apart if you are a few minutes late,” I told myself later. When did I get so impatient?

Unfortunately, no such thought entered my mind as I slowly followed that truck with no other option.

I ultimately blamed it on being human — like that’s an excuse!

Retired Lifestyle Editor Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column and may be contacted at bobann_b@ yahoo. com.