I recently got pulled over for going too slow. I love to take my time on the country roads between my home and visiting my Godmother at the nursing home in Centerville. I set my WAZE navigation app for avoiding freeways. That way it takes me through the small town of Lebanon and along beautiful tree lined roads with large homes and gardens, farms and pastures.
On Fridays or Saturdays, I stop at all the garage sales if I have time. I love garage sales-not just for the small items or books I may buy for a couple of dollars, but also to chat with the sellers. This Friday on my way, I stopped at one sale, and the house had the most beautiful landscape. There were flowers everywhere neatly groomed into garden areas around the mailbox, and light post. There was a large manmade pond in the front yard surrounded by perfectly groomed flowers, hosta plants, and garden sculptors and decorative pots. There were 8 foot Dalia plants and a variety of perennials and annuals. The back yard was a beautiful array of retreat areas, trellises, rocks, and stone paths. There was a fairy garden and a tree house, a quintessential potting shed and a beautiful wooden swing set and play yard. As I got to know the owners, I learned they had several grandchildren who enjoy visiting and exploring Grandma and Grandpa’s paradise. They also enjoy the small pontoon boat sitting peacefully in the front yard pond. I didn’t buy anything at the garage sale but learned more about gardening and then headed on my way.
I continued to traverse the country roads and enjoyed a couple of more sales before finally reaching the nursing home for my visit. After taking my Godmother out to a small quaint European Café for lunch and a trip to the doctor, I brought her back to her room, hugged her, and looked forward to my 40-minute drive home again enjoying the country roads and catching any sales I might have missed along the way.
I never worry about the speed limit as I love just taking my time if I’m not in a hurry to get home. Today was one of those afternoons. As I was driving I saw some garage sale signs, I hesitated for a minute before realizing I had been to those sales, so I kept driving. I noticed a police car following me and feeling innocent I didn’t think much of it until the car in back of me had turned, and the policeman kept following me. I got a little nervous as I was driving by a school zone-however the lights for the lowered speed were not flashing. I thought I better be safe so I only went 25 miles an hour in the 20- mile school zone. And there went the flashing lights. I thought, Could he have gotten me for going 5 miles over the speed limit? Or was he stopping me for something else? Was I speeding before? Oh dear!
I pulled over into the school parking lot and sat there waiting for him to come to my window and ask for my license. I rolled down my window and said, “ What did I do wrong?” He said, “ You have done a lot wrong!” Gosh, I thought I’m in big trouble-although I couldn’t imagine what would make me so guilty. He continued, “ For one thing you hesitated at an intersection where there was no stop sign! I started to tell him that was because I thought I saw the garage sale sign but realized I’d already been to that one. He interrupted me without humor, “ And do you know you are going 45 miles an hour in a 55- mile speed zone? Then you go slow in a school zone, and the lights were not flashing so you were supposed to go the speed limit.” I apologized. I said I just like to take my time and felt nervous with you behind me.” He said, “ I have to ask-Are you impaired? Do you have any warrants? Are you a diabetic on the verge of coma? I can see you were not texting, but if you were, that would be another problem.”
I politely said with sincerity, “ No, I’m fine. I just like to enjoy the country roads and stop at garage sales along the way. And truthfully I did not know what to do in the school zone. I could see it wasn’t flashing, and there were no cars in the school parking lot, but I feel nervous when a policeman is following me. “
Then he smiled, and said, “ Well I’m not giving you a ticket or anything but in the future go with the speed limit and be careful at intersections. I do still have to see that you are a legal driver and have a license so please take your license out of your wallet.” Gladly I gave him my license. He took it back to his car, and I remembered I had expired epinephrine injectors and albuterol inhalers in my trunk. They were from an old emergency drug kit from Steve’s dental office. I needed to discard of them and had not yet taken them to the local police dept. God, what if he searches my car! Drugs. Then I thought of anything that could be on my record. I think I’m clean and hopefully my license plate ALLARONE will soften him a bit.
He came back to the window. Gave me my license and was much more congenial.
He said, “ You are clean. Not a ticket in 10 years. I had to do my job. When I see someone going slow, often they are either impaired or texting. My sister is diabetic, and I have been called more than once to come get her on the side of the road when her blood sugar was off.” I empathized with him and acknowledged that had to be hard and make him more aware of impaired or sick drivers.
I told him I understood and I appreciated his concern, but I’m fine. Just like to take my time. I did think about the danger of texting and driving. I told him, generally I use my blue tooth for calls and avoid texting, but I do occasionally have to adjust my WAZE while driving. He said they are not allowed to ticket for using a navigation system and mentioned they hadn’t ticketed much for texting but the time is coming for more stringency on this issue. Just like to take my time. I thanked him for caring, and we both agreed to “stay safe.”