Friday the 13th Incident A Day Early

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So today is Friday the 13th. What does that mean, exactly? I’m not sure. I do know that I’ve had issues, this week, and I’m hoping, maybe, that they were not some sort of warning about today. Like warning signs on the highway. Slow, slower. Maybe you should park under your bed when it gets here . . . Last night (Thursday, the 12th) we had a nice hike over at the University of Richmond. Back in the days when I started walking and losing a lot of weight I used to walk the paths at U of R. So I felt confident about leading a hike with a group from the Central Virginia Trailblazers. The University of Richmond is an important part of the Richmond landscape and it has been voted, at least on one occasion, as the most attractive campus in the nation.

But I was worried about the weather. It was hot and humid yesterday and T-storms were in the offing. But then the weather took a turn for the better and we headed out on our walk around the campus. All was well until ominous, dark clouds headed in from the west and I took a sharp turn to the east, back through the wonderful International Center building and down the road to our cars.

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Everyone was returned safely to their cars and I headed home when the heavens opened up and delivered a deluge to our area. It was dark. The rain came down in sheets and I was relieved to reach my neighborhood and make the final turn to safety. Warmth, comfort and cheery lights in a dry house with two, slightly on edge, doggies was just a few feet away.

Except that when I made that final turn, seeing dimly our corner the street sign, I forgot that it is on the right side of the street, not the left, and I turned into a ditch that frames the property of our next door “neighbor”.

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It was at this point that things got a little odd. I called AAA and they assured me someone would come around in 15 minutes to back my car out of the ditch. But it took about an hour for him to show up because, he said, he had to pull 3 or 4 other folks out of ditches because they also had problems with this torrential storm. Not a problem, really, except that my “neighbor” showed up a few minutes before he got there and wanted “my information”. I told her I lived across the street! Then she wanted the police. So when the AAA guy showed up he called the police and they came. A young man, clearly endowed with innate wisdom, arrived and walked over to us for a short conversation. I told him what happened. My “neighbor” suggested that I had hurt her driveway. But the car was several feet from her driveway. It was in the ditch. It had not touched her driveway. She suggested that she couldn’t see the situation very well because it was very dark. He suggested she could come out in the morning and sweep the dirt and pebbles around. She retired from the scene. The AAA guy backed up my car in about 30 seconds. We all went on our separate ways. The young policeman told me on his way out that he hoped the rest of my evening would be “better”.

I don’t know my neighbor. Our other neighbors have had issues with her but I don’t really worry about that. I do know that she planted many plastic Flamingos in her yard as, I guess, some sort of protest, awhile back. A flock of plastic Flamingos in this neighborhood is not, generally, well received. People who are like this depress me. They obviously have issues. They have been abused in some way and feel it is necessary to strike back at every opportunity.

While I was waiting for the AAA guy a lot of our neighbors drove by and stopped. They wanted to know if everyone was alright. When I think about this incident I prefer to remember them. I prefer to think we want to help each other when an accident occurs.

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