A few years ago, I was heading north up a hill on the Kidron Road near our store. There was a horse-drawn buggy in the other lane headed downhillÂ towards me. Suddenly, a Pepsi-Cola delivery truck crested the hill behind the buggy bearing down on us both at 60 mph.
Realizing that there was likely going to be a serious accident, I pointed my car towards the ditch on the right side of the road. The truckÂ driver, meanwhile, swerved hard to his left and barely managed to squeeze between me and the buggy.
I threaded the needle, trying to keep my car out of the ditch and missing the truck by what felt like inches.
Back then, I was younger, moreÂ impulsive and had a hotter temper. I was so angry at the truck driver that I turned around and followed him to his next delivery.Â Fortunately for me, he was contrite and apologetic.
“I had no idea that buggy was there!” he told me.Â Still angry, I asked, “What did you expect in this part of the country?!”
Surely, I thought, he had been driving here long enough to know that this kind of thing happens. Of course, all it takes is a moment ofÂ inattention.Â It would be hypocritical to claim similar things have never happened to me!
There are two lessons, or maybe three lessons, in this story.
First if you visit our area, watch out for horse-drawn vehicles! You never know when there might be one lurking just over the next hill. AmishÂ folks are killed every year by thoughtless drivers who had no idea they were going too fast until it was too late.
Second, in life (as in driving), it is wise to pay attention to the signs. And, the signs in America today–roadside, economic and elsewhere–all warn “Caution!” Always be ready for the unexpected.
The economy remains uncertain four years after the recession started. Wide swaths of our population, from recent immigrants to long-time unionÂ workers, have been disenfranchised. Virulent diseases are barely controlled by modern medicine, and no one can agree on how to control the costÂ of treatment. Our access to resources seems to be in decline, whether we are talking about oil, money, jobs, steel or just the time we need toÂ maintain a healthy family life.
It is because of these signs that we advocate for a prepared and sustainable lifestyle. The signs say it’s time to be prepared for the unexpected. In life as inÂ driving, it’s too late to slow down after you reach the end of the road.
I did mention three lessons, didn’t I? The third thing: don’t chase after drivers who ran you off the road. In this age of frightening road rage, theÂ life you save may be your own!