Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Back in the groove

What’s the difference between a groove and a rut? Why does being “in the groove” sound so good and right and cool, while being “in a rut” sounds so bad and boring and un-cool? Must be a fine line between a groove and a rut.

Now that I’ve made that distinction (have I?), I’m not sure which I am in. I’m in one or the other. I don’t feel bad, or un-cool, so it must be a groove.

Okay, now that THAT’s behind us, let me make my excuses for yesterday’s lack of post.

We actually planned our day so as to be home by about 6 p.m. PLENTY of time to unpack everything, clean up, relax, and type out a witty, entertaining post for you to read. So what happened?

Golf was slow. Well, it was a holiday, so what did I expect? Making it seem slower was the fact that we were “paired” by the starter with two very nice gentlemen and a non-stop talker.

By the third hole all the rest of us were wishing that the talker would SHUT UP already! It seemed he had a story to tell about every hole on the golf course. Plus he had funny (?) jokes and tales to tell about OTHER golf courses, both near and far.

At one point a flight of four old military prop trainer aircraft roared low overhead on their way to a fly-by at a Memorial Day service not far away. We all stopped play and watched them respectfully until they were out of sight. But then Mr. Talker had to tell us tales about how he learned to fly in an aircraft just like those before he went off to fly bombers in the Air Force. That topic kept him going for about 30 minutes.

I was tempted to let him know that I, too, had been a military aviator and had over 250 carrier landings and cat shots. But I’ve learned never to try to “one-up” a talker like that, so I held my peace.

Carol and I had planned to play 27 holes yesterday, but at the end of 18 we were tired and thought it would be nice to get home a little early, so we put our clubs in the car and drove off. We were making good time until we reached a spot on U.S. 290 about 10 miles east of Elgin, TX. Traffic came to a halt, and we could see flashing lights about a half mile ahead. We waited.

It was cloudy, so we (and everyone around us) rolled down the windows and killed the engine. We sat. No traffic moved, and the opposite lanes were empty as well. Emergency vehicles arrived from behind us, traveling on the unused westbound lanes. Then more emergency vehicles. State police. Several ambulances. A “Fire & Rescue” truck. Then a helicopter circled once and landed.

By now we had been there 30 minutes; parked. (I would have turned around, as some others did, and sought an alternate route. But with that 27-foot camper attached to my van, my turn radius wouldn’t allow it.) One or two MORE emergency vehicles came by, heading toward the scene ahead, but we couldn’t really see what had happened. After an hour, a SECOND helicopter circled and landed. Finally, one of the helicopters took off and headed southwest. Ten minutes later the second one did the same. Then, slowly, some of the emergency vehicles left heading back westbound, but without their lights and sirens.

After nearly two hours traffic began to move. It turns out we were just 4 tenths of a mile from a multi-vehicle chain reaction wreck that looked like it included a high-speed head-on collision before other cars were scattered. The worst two vehicles were almost crushed (70 mph speed limit there). There were cars and pickups upside down and in the bushes. It must have been spectacular, but deadly. We haven’t heard anything on the news about it, but I imagine it made the Austin paper.

Anyway, we made it home by dark and I had no wits left to use up on a blog post.

Sorry about the long tale. I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! You’ll get some good “Carol” pictures soon!


Charli Cole said...

Don't feel bad, luv.

From what I've seen...everyone is slacking.


Unknown said...

I'm just glad you and Carol are safe and avoided being part of the pile-up.

Candace said...

Glad you're back in one piece!

NotCarrie said...

Bust for the traffic:(