Striking a conversation or two while on the road

Due to the fact that I am a part-time farmer nowadays, I don’t have the material readily available to write about farming every other week. Instead, it seems I gravitate toward the happenings off the farm, and I am a little bummed by that — for after all, I’m a farm girl at heart. I would rather write about heading down the road on my tractor, pulling the chopper and wagon behind but unfortunately, those columns are becoming few and far between.

Instead, once in a while, I find myself writing about traveling to my different job assignments, which occasionally provide more material than is necessary to complete a column of approximately 900 words. Something my husband could relate to you in, say, closer to 20.

At any rate, one day as I drove back and forth to an assignment, I was carrying on a one-sided conversation with my fellow occupants of the road.

“Man! Could you please turn on your lights? Do you realize you drive a tan car, and it’s foggy and raining?”

“Get off my butt! I am going the speed limit.”

“OK. Ya. Nice blinker.”

“Oh gosh, I like those brake lights. They go up and around. Gee, I like that; I can really see you.”

“Can you move it along please? Come on, come on. I don’t have all day.”

“OK, OK. Just go around me then!”

“Hi!”

“Seriously. You couldn’t wait five seconds for me to pass by before you went?”

“Wait. Did you just beep at me? What?”

I always try to allow myself enough time to get where I gotta be when I gotta be there. But once in a while, I am rushed for time. Which brings me nicely into the next segment of my column. (I like to connect subject matters. Have you noticed?)

When I work a Saturday in a certain location, I must come back in the afternoon for a short stint to complete the day’s work. I do not mind this in the least. However, this particular Saturday I started out for the second part with less time to get there, so quite by accident (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), my speedometer crept up past the speed limit. Way past.

Too late, I spotted a Shawano County squad car approaching in the opposite lane, their very colorful red and blue lights blazing. My stomach dropped somewhere around my feet and with a sinking heart, slowing, I pulled over to the side of the road, all the while watching the cruiser make a very determined, quick U-turn, pulling up behind me with what looked like all the colors of the rainbow filling up my rearview mirror.

I started to unsnap my seatbelt but then thought better of it, realizing I am supposed to be buckled in and didn’t want a fine for unbelted on top of a fine for speeding. Reaching over to retrieve my insurance information, I called my husband.

“I just got picked up for speeding.”

He always gives me just what I need to hear.

“Ya big goof.”

I waited. Presently the sheriff’s deputy made their way to the side of my car. “He” turned out to be a “she.”

Approaching, the officer asked incredulously, “Do you know how fast you were going? What’re you practicing for, the Indy 500?”

“Oh goodness. I know. I’m so sorry. I’m heading back to work, I’m on a split shift today and must meet the route driver. I’m so sorry.” (Also, what I did not tell her was I wanted to make it back to attend 4 p.m. church service with my husband but I didn’t want her to think I was trying to get off on a sympathy spiel — but it would have been the truth. I was going to church.)

I must have been furiously talking (surprise, surprise) for through my angst I heard her say, “Calm down, calm down. Let me see your license and registration.”

Walking back to her squad car, I exhaled and sinking back into the headrest I thought: “You. Are. An. Idiot. Every bit of the money you made for the day going absolutely nowhere.”

So there I sat, steaming and cooling my heels all at the same time.

Soon she came back, handing me a print-out, saying the most incredible words, “I’m giving you a warning. I’ve been late for work myself already and know the feeling. Just slow down, you hear me? Slow. Down.”

Sweet relief is such sweet relief. Gratefully gushing, “Oh thank you so much, I will, thank you, God bless you, thank you,” I drove off.

She was stern and compassionate, all rolled into one, for which I was extremely grateful. Yes, I will slow down and yes, officer, I heard you loud and clear.

Talking at fellow travelers or getting talked to by a kindhearted Shawano County deputy, traveling to my many different job assignments is never dull.

When the spring planting starts, this farm girl will have a farm story.

(“Take good counsel and accept correction, that’s the way to live wisely and well!” Proverbs 19:20, The Message Bible)

Kay Reminger writes about farm family life. She welcomes comments on her columns. Contact her at news@newmedia-wi.com.