It’s easy to tell when summer arrives in our little town of River City… It’s not the warm temps, or sun shining down so heavily that you feel like an ant under a magnifying glass. Nor is it the slower pace of life around town once the university students have fled.
No, in our fair town, Summer is also known as “Construction Season”.
Squat Construction Cone Orange barrels, cones and signs sprout up seemingly overnight. They appear with such ferocity and in great numbers – not unlike mushrooms in a picturesque lawn.
The number of trains moving through town has also increased, and the switching yard in town is no longer long enough to accommodate all of the cars that are transported on a daily basis. The tracks cross many of the few roads connecting the northern part of town to the southern so when a train is in the yard, traffic in town rumbles to a halt. For many, many… many frustrating minutes.
Where once you could expect to wait for ten minutes for the train to clear and be on it’s way, now the typical wait time is often in excess of 45 minutes, and there is no way to escape or to avoid it as the there is no published or reliable schedule to rely on.
What with traffic delays due to construction and the unpredictability of the trains one often is either incredibly early, or frustratingly late to appointments, lessons, activities or on this particular day, late to ‘Pick-up’ which ripples into further “Late tos” that leaves one feeling like giving up, going home and falling into bed. Alas, that’s not how we roll in The House of Chaos.
I found myself leaving a team meeting a bit tardy only to find that outside, the day’s temperatures were in the low 90’s, and judging from the smell emanating from the car door as I opened it – clearly it was well over three digit temps inside the family truckster.
Another item of note, Kind Readers. Another very important… fact that is important to this story… For some God, Why the Hell me reason, my voice is deeper than most women and it literally carries on the wind. I’ve had friends at sporting events approach me and exclaim that they knew I was in the stadium because they could hear my voice from the other end zone.
Discovering that the one blissfully ConstructionConeOrange free road I’ve depended on for free flowing travel was now subject to two lane closures and a traffic guide blocking the third lane, I quickly detoured to another less reliable road.
I explain all of this to you kind reader so that you might see the humor in the following moment of Case #472 of Foot-in-mouth.
Approaching a point of no return intersection, the railroad crossing arms began to flash and lower into place, eliminating even the slightest possibilities that I’d arrive at BW’s school within the category of ‘fashionably late.’
No, this was nearly, ‘We have to call the authorities for an abandoned child’ late meaning that I would receive disapproving glares from all the other moms for the next 6 PTA meetings or other school functions.
That was it.
So it was not without fail that after seeing the long running rows of ConstructionConeOrange construction cones, withstanding the 90+ degrees of the season, and finally this…. this….
Having lost my reliable route to kid school, quick navigation required all of my attention and I forgot about the windows and released the stress of the day to no one by myself.
Pummeling fists down onto the steering wheel I frustrated-scream-chanted the following, a number of times.
As I turned my head to the driver’s window, distracted by the ‘that didn’t sound right’ realization that ‘Yes, the windows Were down.’
Nodding my head and shrinking down into my seat, I winced, wondering how many people heard me, and how many of them did I know. *shit*
The train finished its chores and had gone on its merry way. Over the noise of engines turned on again a distant voice could be heard
It’s been a long, hot summer.
For all of us.