Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: The Maryland Swing and other moving(ish) violations

I should start this story by telling you that about 11 years ago, my sister moved to Ellicott City, Maryland. (That's right outside of Baltimore.) She moved from EC to Hanover, PA, then on to Waynesboro, PA before heading back to NE Ohio. While visiting her in Maryland and southern PA, we all noticed the same thing, people swing left of center for every. turn. they. make. Seriously. South of the Mason-Dixon, which was literally down the road from her in Hanover, folks are physically unable to just turn into their driveway, parking lots or whatnot. Is this a southern thing or just a south PA/Maryland thing?

Okay, now for my list of drivable gripes that covers all states in our great nation. Not all specifically moving violations, but the car had to move to get there.
1. Turn signals-- not just another pretty light.
2. Parking lot spaces are for one car, not for one car to take up two spaces. If you want to have your car far away from others, park far out in the lot. Since I do this often, I can tell you that 9 times out of 10, you'll still find that someone parked right next to you regardless.
3. People who drive vehicles larger than they can manage-- I have nothing against Hummer, Yukons or other behemoth vehicles. If you feel secure in it, have at it. I'm good with that. I'm just saying that the lady that stopped in at work last week in the Toyota Sequoia with both quarter panels scraped up with different colors of paint-- honey, I'm thinking it is too much of a vehicle for you. Don't get me wrong, I looked at getting the poor man's Hummer-- AKA the FJ Cruiser. (What we call it.) I like it, but I couldn't see out of it when I was in it. In fact, Hubs couldn't see me when I was standing behind the spare tire on the back door.
4. Texting while driving-- I've got to tell you that this is officially illegal in Cleveland and I'm hoping that it being illegal becomes a trend. It's just wrong. I don't care how pressing the issue. Pull over and text if you need. I don't want you to wreck into me or my loved ones. Keep in mind that my kid is with me about 90% of the time.
5. Running red lights-- We've all done it on accident, but you can tell if it is accidental or plainly thinking that you are above stopping. Woman in labor? Someone maimed? Extenuating circumstances are different. With that, throw on your hazards and lay on the horn. Let us all know that there is something major going on. We'll stay out of your way. But running the light? I've almost been plowed into a few different times by cars blowing through one of the main intersections that I go through several times a day. Don't be in such a rush. Slow down.
6. Speaking of, there are the school zones. It isn't a slow go area to keep you from getting to work on time. It isn't there to ruin your day. I will begin walking K- to school each morning that we can and will be using cross walks, making friends with the crossing guard (I completely plan on giving them a Christmas gift), and generally being in a school zone. Please don't make me run after you. Besides, our town uses school zone cameras. They are set up in different school zones different days. You'll get nailed with a $130.00 fine just like the kid at work. My heart will not bleed for you.
7. Make-up application while driving? What are you thinking?! There is no excuse. Sorry.
8. The interstate/expressway is generally constructed with three lanes. The furthest to your left is the fast lane. That's where the people with places to go and things to do in a lickety split go. That's usually me. Then, there is the middle lane. That is for folks doing at or a little above the speed limit. Then there is the slow lane. If you need to go a little slower than the rest, this lane is for you. It doesn't mean to go 35 MPH, but keeping at a good speed is important, but you don't need to fly. If you are a slow lane person, don't try to do your thing in the fast lane.
9. Have you ever tried to pass folks down the expressway all three lanes seem to be stuck in formation, with no one advancing ahead? Everyone is stuck behind, no one moving faster and you really, really just want someone to MOVE! If you don't want to go any faster and you are in the fast lane, let up on the pedal just a hair and drop back behind your formation buddy. It's all good. Those stuck behind you thank you.
10. If you can't see over the steering wheel, my guess is that you can't see what is in front of you. At this point, you may want to consider public transport.
11. Please don't rest your cart against someone else's car. That's rude.
12. If you put something into the back of a truck and are moving it from point A to point B down a busy highway, my guess is that the move will be way more successful if you actually strap the items down to your vehicle. That way when you get there, all cushions will be in place, you will have ALL of the dining room chairs and no drawers will have flown from the furniture.
13. Remember that slamming on your brakes in the snow is bad. Really bad. Don't do it. You'll slide, you'll cause others to panic behind you and then you will have caused a big pile-up and your insurance company won't like you so much.
14. Speaking of insurance, it isn't optional.
15. If you hit another car, leave a note. Don't smack someone else's car with your car door, back into it, rub up against it . . . and just leave the scene. Again, that is rude. My mother and father-in-law are now going to have to pay to repair their vehicle before they turn it back in on lease because some idiot backed up under it at Giant Eagle. You know when you hit a car. 'Fess up. My friend, April, did and she shocked the police department when she called to report her error.

Smiles in my day:
-- My boss preparing me for what I might expect while being interviewed for Cleveland Magazine! They are going to interview me about holiday decorating, but don't get too excited. My bit may not actually make it into the magazine. It is fun to think about it, though. Yes, I'll let you know in October if I made it in or not.
-- For the unexpected shower this evening. Not that it was hot today, but it did cool it down nicely.
-- K- had a much better day today. In fact, both Hubs and K- enjoyed the Slip and Slide this afternoon.
-- K-'s Klean Kanteen arrived! It fits perfectly in her lunch pack.

Don't forget the blog hop giveaway!

A prayer request:
Grandma was admitted to the hospital today for a 3 day testing extravaganza to see why she has such weakness in her legs. The doctor has said that she is currently unsafe to be residing on her own, as she has fallen 4 x in the last week and a half or so. They have ruled out stroke. She does have stage 4 Small Cell Lymphoma. She was diagnosed with that in June, 2005. She has been suffering from some memory deficits that they've been trying to remedy with the use of dementia medications. These medications made her lethargic. She didn't sleep restfully. They also made her nauseous and gave her some pretty hefty intestinal discomfort. I think that they guinea pigged grandma with so much of the memory preservation stuff that her thigh muscles atrophied as they were trying to pull her noodle back around. Now, her memory is shot and so are her thigh muscles. She wants to eat little outside of sweets. After her three day visit to the local hospital, she'll be going on to rehab. Personally, I don't see her improving enough to be released. I saw it happen with my grandfather. After all of that (sheesh already, yes?), I pray that God's will is done. This doesn't mean that I want grandma no longer with us. I love her very much, but I also don't want to see her suffer, continue falling and causing herself bodily injury. Grandma is knocking on the door of 92. She has been gifted a long life. I just want Grandma's life to continue to be comfortable for her.


Rach said...

I'm so sorry about your Grandma. Seeing a loved one suffer like that is so hard. I'll certainly keep her in my prayers. HUGS to you all.

I'm so excited about the possible article. That would be SO amazing!

Now, the driving. UGH! I live in the land of really REALLY bad traffic. I64 is the main thoroughfare to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks of NC. I also happen to live in one of the big tourist Meccas for history buffs. Combine an already crowded road system with 100s of 1000s of tourists each year and I'm sure you can imagine the chaos and back-ups.

As for that turn thingy? I think we all do it down here. Not sure why. ;o)

Here's hoping K has another wonderful day. She is a sweetie. :o)

Jamie said...

Thinking about your Grandma and hoping that she endures no further suffering. It sounds like she has been through the wringer already.

I won't comment on the poor driving habits. I am from Pittsburgh and we have some of the most awful driving habits here. Ever heard of the tunnel monster?

Bailey's Leaf said...

No. Do enlighten me. What is the "tunnel monster?" And yes, every few months we go to your neck o' the woods. I'm always driving and telling the GPS, "No, I'm sorry that I can't turn right there. It is a bridge abuttment." Pittsburgh isn't as crazy as Virginia (around you, Rachael!), Chicago or Boston.