It's been a bit since my last post. Last Monday we arrived back from our annual trip out to Chicago. It was great to be out in the Midwest, but it is great to be back
On our return trip, I was tested in ways I did not expect.
First, after a pit stop at Cabela's in Wheeling, I swung into the nearby gas station. As I parked, a sketchy-looking female emerged from behind the building near the dumpster. We made eye contact, and I watched her swing behind my minivan. As I exited the vehicle, I checked my six to see her coming around to ask me a question. I did not like this--my own van was possibly being used as interference for a second person to sneak up on me from behind. Subconsciously, I put space between myself and the van so that it would be harder for a second person to close the distance quickly for a surprise attack. The doors to the van were locked and the key was in the ignition. I angled myself so that my strong side was away from the girl as she made her request for money. I said no, watched her walk away, and then entered the building.
While standing in line to check out with my waters. I watched another sketchy fellow enter and purposefully give me a hard look. I met his gaze and concluded my business passing him on the way out. My only thought is that he was either just another jerk out there or her accomplice. Either way, I got in the van and continued on the trip.
The thing here is even though I reacted pretty well, I was not on my A-game and it bothered me. I was 10 hours into a 14-hour trip. I just walked out of my favorite store. And I was on vacation in unfamiliar territory. Positionally, I was at a distinct disadvantage. But I was at least not clueless about being attacked and I was ready to drop this chick without having to draw my weapon.
What could have happened? Nothing, or a full blown mugging attempt. If someone approached from behind and I looked she could have produced a knife or gun and attacked. It could have been ugly, with my family being right there to watch. I'm just glad everything worked out. This had me silent for quite awhile, running over the events in my mind. When someone circles to backdoor you, you know something is up.
Secondly, Clare began choking on a seemingly innocent pretzel while I was in the driver's seat doing 70 on I-79 South in WV. With no room to pull off on either side it was a husband's nightmare. In a catch-22, I swung into the median as quickly as I could, and then once things were slightly more stabilized I juiced out of there a half mile ahead where I was able to get onto the shoulder.
Pulling onto the shoulder on an interstate is always a sketchy thing. It't the last place you want to be, but sometimes you gotta deal with existing circumstances in a hurry. We got Clare changed quickly and headed out to finish the trip.
When we finally arrived home, I opened the door to an odiferous dwelling. The smell of rotting, molding food assualted my senses and we discovered that the freezer door opened, that everything melted inside and began growing mold. A total mess, which we cleaned the next day. Things appear to be running better now, but it was not exactly a friendly welcome home greeting after a long-ass trip.
Since I've been back, I've had a new lease on life and getting things on our homestead in order. My goal is to accomplish one significant improvement to the house or property each day, so we can see some progress. Also, my boss is leaving for a new assignment and this has provided an unexpected sense of liberty. The new guy is coming to be sure, but the game will be different and likely there will not be so many items on the table at the outset.
Transitions and odd connections seem to be occuring all around me right now, as if the pieces on God's chess board are being aligned. It could be nothing, or not. I don't know, but I think this is a good time to polish the gun and buy a few extra magazines. Let us remember that July 4 is a terrorist holiday and that we need always to be on guard, especially when we think it's time to celebrate.