People, be cool.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit my parents at their soon-to-be-full-time retirement house.  (My mom is living there half-time; my dad hopes to join her in the next 6-8 months or so, at which point they will both make the transition to “fully retired”.)  The drive from where I live to my parent’s place is rather long – 11 hours door-to-door if I only stop for gasoline and restroom breaks.  And while I’m pretty spent by the end of the trek, I honestly don’t mind the journey.  I enjoy driving: I love the sense of freedom I have every time I sit behind the wheel of my vehicle.  I like traveling: I enjoy seeing new scenes, interacting with new people, and witnessing new perspectives and points-of-view (many of which help to further inform/define my own).  And I like the time to myself: I get to listen to audio books or podcasts and learn new things, hear music that I may not have heard for years (sometimes even decades) and experience memories from those times in my life, or just sit in silence and experience a bit of ‘moving meditation’.

Yet with any trip, the opportunity for obstacles, delays, and inconveniences always exists.  This summer has been a notable one for road construction in my neck of the woods – and apparently nearby states have also chosen to invest significant funding during these warm months to improve their highway infrastructures.  While I always appreciate the final results, living through the process can be a bit of a hassle.  I left our house early enough to avoid the back-ups that occur just south of the city; but around 1 pm, I was confronted with a spot of road work that had reduced the highway to a single lane – which resulted in a long line of cars traveling at a mere 10 miles-per-hour.  Sigh.

As I inched my way through the congestion, I practiced cultivating calm.  I breathed.  I felt the sun on my face.  I listened to the sounds of the machinery working nearby.  I smiled to my fellow travelers, and waved to a handful of construction workers.  I tried to stay ‘cool’ in what can be a tense, even potentially volatile situation.

And then, as I approached the tightest spot of the work site, I saw this:

This pic is kind of blurry, but if you look closely, you might be able to see the face (and hair!) that this cone person is sporting.  Pretty incredible.

This pic is kind of blurry, but if you look closely, you might be able to see the face (and hair!) that this cone person is sporting. Pretty incredible.

Oh. My. Lord.  My first thought was, “Wow, someone has too much free time on their hands.”  And I started to frown.  But my next immediate thought was, “What a great sense of humor someone has.”  And I actually laughed out loud.  My final thought was, “How cool that someone spent the energy to try and bring some levity to many strangers in what can be a frustrating situation.  What a kind soul.”  And I smiled.

Stef

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About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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4 Responses to People, be cool.

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    Much appreciated at a tense time, I’m sure!

    Like

    • Stef says:

      I suspect many other drivers smiled (or laughed) at this cone woman – and likely relaxed at least a tiny little bit as a result. And any tiny amount of calm is a gift to appreciate indeed.

      Like

  2. That is so cute! That would definitely break up the monotony of the road construction traffic jams.Those workers have a dangerous job working so close to the traffic. I am glad you were able to stay “cool” and smile. 🙂

    Like

    • Stef says:

      I agree – construction workers absolutely have dangerous jobs; I do my best to slow waaaayyyyy down when entering construction zones. (I figure it’s the least I can do!) The cone person was a nice little “thank you for being safe” from the road crew, in my opinion. 🙂

      Like

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