The winding road to work


McZENA MUSE - Louise Swartzwalder



STATE ROUTE 95 —If you think your day is going swimmingly — goals met, appointments covered, photos taken — you probably need to think again.

Just about anything can turn you day upside down.

As the powerful editor of a weekly newspaper, I have to be accountable for accurate reporting and writing about all kinds of events.

A tree planting for a special person?

Got that.

A Veterans’ Day event?

Got that.

Honoring the request of a friend who has a different kind of request?

Don’t have that.

I had thought I would have the events of the day in hand, with a little time to spare.

I was able to get up plenty early to cover an early morning happening.

I ventured to my vehicle, ready to head off into the sunrise.

On this day, I chose a favored route, which takes me up and down hills and around wonderful curves.

I like this kind of driving because it makes a person feel more in line with many life events.

Handling a good car on a winding, up and down route, can be quite the challenge.

And, also the accomplishment of handling that vehicle is an elixir of sorts. Not a fan of something like a power building kind of drink?

Is that not the way you like to get your adrenalin fix?

Many years ago, when I was much younger, a certain doctor was telling people they could use a certain variety of diet pills. These of course would work.

My mom got some, and said we kids could also try them.

These were the worst kind of uppers this young person had ever encountered. The key, I think, was that they so stoked a person’s metabolism that the only thing you could do was to perform repeatedly. And that, of course, would help get your weight off.

This means I prefer the natural high.

Driving back roads and seeing fall colors is my choice on a good day.

I thought about problems I needed to handle during the day.

The first was to get to an event on time, meaning I wouldn’t have time to get to the office first.

I knew I needed to honor a request from a friend. I knew this was not going to be the fun part of the day.

When can anyone ever say dealing with money issues for a friend is particularly edifying?

Numerous thoughts filled my mind.

I decided to put nasty thoughts away and savor the beautiful, winding road.

I am tooling along, in my very steadfast German made vehicle.

I like the handling of my car, because it corners splendidly. I sometimes imaging I am driving it as a stick shift, because I have always loved to downshift, control the performance of a car.

My way getting me closer to Butler and Bellville lies before me.

I round curves, pretend downshift, and handle the angle in the road.

I come to the top of a hill, ready to coast down.

There, of course, stood a friend.

He was in a silver over blue Ohio Highway Patrol car.

He noticed me, and apparently, my speed.

He followed. I stopped.

I courteously told him I knew I had been bad. And had.

He kindly told me he knows driving in that area is a mixed blessing. Because it is “God’s country,” he said, people feel like they can drive it any way they wish.

Turns out I’m not the only person who had the fate of meeting Officer Doerfler.

He said the truth is many people take advantage of the rolling hills and winding roads.

And they travel much faster.

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McZENA MUSE

Louise Swartzwalder