How are we all feeling about navigating streets like a PacMan game these days?
That’s what I came to realize this past week, as roads around town continued to be shut down for maintenance and underground work. It’s just plain crazy.
Recognizing the necessity and the reality that there really is no good time for roadwork, I began the school year exercising patience and just learning to navigate the obstacles.
A longtime local, I’d be lying if I said I navigate regularly on F Street because, well ... I do not. I’m happy to ride the backroads and hit an extra stop sign or two in the name of forward motion. My kids and I joke often that the best way through town is the back way through town.
Well, that still holds true if traveling to certain areas, if you’re on the southeast end, however, well rethink that.
Chauffeuring a high schooler and junior high student each morning and afternoon from the west side has indeed taken some adjustment. Morning drop off truly isn’t that bad. We have a back route we navigate that seems to go off without a hitch. Once the car is student free however, that’s a different story.
Making my way down F Street post a.m. drop off or afternoon pick up is definitely an experience which has shown me how patient (and gracious) I can truly be.
It’s not easy.
As I shared earlier in this piece, I prefer the backroads, however once all campuses are released for the day or parents have completed the drop off duties well back roads and side streets seem to take on the PacMan effect and I’m just trying to avoid being eaten by the ghosts.
I’ve heard a lot of horns the past few months. That always makes me chuckle and never makes me move any faster. Most recently I got the horn treatment from an eager driver with my daughter sitting shotgun.
Living in my own neverland, I looked to her and said, was that for me? She shrugged, turned her head and confirmed indeed it was.
“How rude,” she said.
As I offered her my two cents on the situation, I noted how I find it funny when one uses their horn in a non-threatening situation. Typically speaking we still end up at the next stop light no sooner or more efficiently than if I had gunned the engine immediately as the light changed.
Another fact which I always found entertaining in my previous car which was a manual transmission. Sitting at lights in neutral to give my foot a rest was customary. I never moved quickly enough for some and horns were tested on occasion.
The point of this I guess is really more about that than the actual road construction. It’s inconvenient, no doubt about it. No one likes to be stuck in traffic and while I might be going out a bit on a limb, the way I see it, we all climb in our car for a purpose.
In short, we’re all pretty much in the same boat. Each of us trying to reach a destination and burdened by the traffic as a result of road work.
So this is for the honker, the impatient, the annoyed and the angry. I’m truly not exactly sure what honking the horn does for you. Perhaps you think I’m color blind or stop signal challenged. Maybe you think I’m on my phone, when I’m in fact catching up with my children on their day. Maybe you just think your time is more valuable and worthwhile than the rest of us.
As one car of many, I’ll just simply offer this, as you think your thoughts and feel your feelings, the honk will make no difference. It reminds me of a phrase we used to use when I was younger, “I’m the boss of me,” it’s just that simple. Honk if you must and well … I’ll see you at the next stop light. Peace.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.