I was determined to get to my son’s school for his awards ceremony on time this morning (Determination=believing you can make a 20 minute drive in 15). It was a late start, but I was sure I could not only get there, but be in the gym before my son walked through so that he would know I was there. So, I set out, my truck racing to destiny (yes…it was that important)…that’s when I got behind the giant field spraying tractor…thing. I looked under the huge vehicle. If only I had drove the mini-van instead of the big truck, I think I could have went under it. Instead I cursed under my breath and followed. He finally found a place to let me around after a mile or so of driving 2 MPH, and I promptly floored it. I probably got four miles closer before I started driving through every kind of slow zone you can think of on a county road. First, they were filling pot holes. So, one lane…drive by slowly…floor it…for half a mile. Then we were on to the tree trimmers. Slowly pass…floor it for a couple miles. Then they were doing something to put in some new fangled internet deal…wait there while the dude shuffles through a side compartment of a truck for who knows what, then floor it….for one more mile before the whole dang road was closed. There was another mom looking defeated sitting next to the road closed sign, holding up her phone for a signal. The sign was only over one lane so maybe…”No,” she muttered, “I had to back out the whole way (better her than me is an understatement…I don’t know that I’m that talented). The bridge is closed.”
I had talked to my mother-in-law one second before I left the house and knew she had got through and was there, so they must have put out the barricade as soon as she passed (just for me). At least he would see her there. We took a minute (what’s a minute now)to discuss our options, there was something going to stop us at every pass, and at best it would take us another half an hour to backtrack (not even considering all the irregular delays I would meet again).
There was a gravel road. Our problem was that we both tended to stay on the pavement and really had no idea where we’d be headed. Oh, no. Not today. The unknown would not keep me from where I wanted to be! I announced my decision and she shrugged. What else was she going to do? Her cell phone wasn’t getting reception so she couldn’t get a second opinion! I went on and she pulled out behind me. It was all dukes of hazard style, skidding around turns, and…ok I’m lying (I think I’d given up being there when he walked into the gym like six miles ago), but I was moving along steady enough that I couldn’t see her behind me for the dust I was kicking up! Then there were two old dudes preparing to start fencing at the coolest old farm house I’ve ever seen, so I crammed the brakes. I asked if the road would take me to the highway and got old man style directions. He didn’t really answer the question, just, “hang the next left and after the old bridge you’ll be close.”
“Thanks!” I yelled, already pulling away. There was hope again, and even better I wasn’t going to drag the poor woman following down with me! So we took the next left, drove just a bit…then there it was! The most awesome old wooden covered bridge in the world!! The condition surrounding the title is only that it’s the one I get to drive through…but really…the most awesome wooden covered bridge in the world! My husband had taken me through it once and for my life I could never quite remember where we had been, but man was it good to see it again!! I marveled as I steered my truck carefully to stay on the reinforced rails at what a precious commodity this bridge had become. For that moment it was almost like a time tunnel. I couldn’t hurry and I didn’t want to. I forgot my frustration. I just went through the tunnel. It was like some time gone by when the fact that you could commute at all was amazing, and you couldn’t do it any faster than a slow jog so no use in trying. Nothing else on my mind. Just “easy does it”. My twins were in the backseat, completely mesmerized by this new experience. My daughter was the funniest, calmly explaining to her twin that Mommy drove through the house so we could go to [brother]. They seem to be pretty sure that I will in fact do anything to get to them (they’re not wrong)! When we emerged on the other side everything just felt…better. Just a few more minutes and we were there. I was stunned when the woman who was following said she was literally still shaking because she was so scared crossing that bridge!
My son hadn’t seen us when he walked in the gym (my mother-in-law had waited patiently for us in the parking lot) so he didn’t know to look at me when he was called up to be awarded for good citizenship and Straight A’s all year (do I come off as braggy?). Every time I tried to snap a pic he’d drop his certificates and bend over to get them, bring the papers in front of his face, just everything, unaware I might be trying. We may have slipped out early (think two 3 year olds for two hours…that was long enough!) and it wasn’t until we were leaving that he finally saw us. That’s the picture I would have wanted, anyway. He lit up and smiled so big…it was worth loads more than life can throw at me!
I took the same bridge route home and explored further to bypass all the hold-ups. This time I stopped to take a pic of the awesome old time tunnel.
It turns out he was happier to see us when he had thought we weren’t there. If I hadn’t been running late, if everything hadn’t been in my way, I would’ve made the first bridge before it got closed. I wouldn’t have rediscovered that treasure of a bridge. The way things turned out I think I was perfectly on time.