Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fear and Loathing in North Texas

I have to be honest with you. I am a worrier. Anyone and everyone who knows me, knows that I worry about getting things done, being practical, being frugal, being correct to the point of obsessiveness...but there are few things that I have phobias about. One is wasps and bees. Don't like them...keep 'em away from me. But I'm not scared to go walking through a forest or do outdoor activities because of it.

My one phobia...and I'm holding on to it with fingernails is:

Myself or people driving on ice.

I admit it. Its a lack of control thing. People lose thier frikking minds in North Texas when it ices. Driving way too fast, slamming into bridge barricades and sliding down embankments. I have to drive 25 miles each way to get to work. I'm not doing that through the center of overpass hell attempting to get to or from work. I'll call in sick or dead first.

I've had one accident and one near miss on ice. In 1994 on New Year's Eve I was driving back to Hurst from Arlington about 1 am when I hit a patch of ice crossing over Lake Arlington on I-20. My car spun completely 180 degrees and I was facing oncoming traffic. Luckily I was far enough ahead that I was able to get turned around and on my way.

The accident occurred in 1996 when it iced in Bryan and I was trying to get to work. I was on a small road and lightly tapped my brakes when I hit a curb and swung the tail end of the car into traffic and was hit from behind. I had braked because there was already police activity in the area. The police report stated no fault on my or the other driver's part, but my insurance was SUED by that guy for his injuries. He hit me! Anyway, they paid him off with $300, but it left me with worry about the next time. My Grandfather, Randall Stelly had it right:

"You watch out for the other fools on the road."

I can't control them or the weather. My best bet is to stay at home and work from the computer.

Last night, in anticipation of bad weather and no other time allowances in the coming week, I put up Christmas lights on the bushes in the front of the house. No interior decorations, just the front of the house. I went and splurged $30 at Wal-Mart for all new lights as my strands had become non-responsive after using them for several Christmases and various decoration church events over the past several years. I threw the old ones away. How much time and effort can be made to repair light strands that only cost $2 in the first place?

The only bummer of the evening last night was Alexander. He came outside excited about seeing the lights...jumping around and laughing...then he stumbled and took a header down the sidewalk leading up to the house and scraped the hide off of his left knee. Almost 2 hours later he calmed down enough to sleep.

I'm really enjoying Alexander more as we can have conversations and talk about cool things like Star Wars and Justice League, but with that happiness comes the difficult parenting of the screaming fit...the "I want this, but I don't want that" especially at mealtimes. These are typical of a three-year old, particularly a smart one with a high vocabulary. I just need to train myself better at handling those situations better. Meredith is really good with the baby aspects, but gets exasperated with the little boy aspects. I need to help her out too.

Pray for no ice accumulation.

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