It will happen, just because you think it won’t…

I just have to say that when the crossing guard stops you and asks you to investigate the blinking light way over there you are in for a big surprise. One should also take note of the sheriff that kindly nods to you at the stop sign on the way by on your pleasant albeit a bit chilly morning bike ride commute to school. I’m just saying.

Yesterday morning the sheriff was a bit lost. I was chatting with the other crossing guard and he kept pacing back and forth. Alright, not pacing as I am not sure that is what you would call it in a patrol car. We were, however, getting concerned as he had driven by a handful of times. Here we were two relatively young women and this patrol car keeps driving by. I will confess to being much her junior (discovered in one of our chats). It was evident that he was looking for something. Clearly, right? Finally, he pulls over and rolls the window down and unlike a man, asks for directions. He could not find the school. Clearly not from around here. We tell him where the school was. He was not far, one block out and a quarter mile down. Not far. He thought it was in the subdivision. Common misconception. It is actually on the road that the main drag out of the subdivision dead-ends into. He mentioned something about the problems he was sent out about. We proceeded to give him an ear FULL of all the problems he really need to be paying attention to – especially the speeding in the school zones and people on cell phones in those same school zones. That really is the big problems now. Right now it is speeding, people not paying attention, and people talking on cell phones and not paying attention to their surroundings while they’ve got an entire elementary school of kids feeding out into two subdivisions on two routes and a lot of traffic. He said he would be back in the morning.

So I really did not think anything about it this morning when I saw the sheriff’s car drive by. I was more concerned about my 7 year old on his bike and the traffic around at a four way stop sign. I was making sure he was doing what he needed to be doing so we could make the safest possible left hand turn at that four way, busy intersection. I did not get a good look at him, just saw him nod. We have several residents in the neighborhood here that work for the sheriff’s department so it could very well have been one of them. I paid no attention. Maybe I should be more attentive to my surroundings?

So we make our journey. Remember we have a 1.8 mile ride, so we do not have the luxury of dilly dallying around. It is a hike at best. The bike only shaves the time off. Since we have not done this frequently or regularly since late October due my health issues. There were some lateness issues on Lance’s part. Riding in the car was actually some form of punishment for Lance. He enjoyed riding his bike that much! I know the child is strange by any stretch of the imagination. There were even some laziness issues on my part (I’ll confess). We’re out of practice and I’ll even confess to being out of shape again (there is some question as to whether or not I was ever in shape to begin with). So it is hard. Again. Yes, it is.

It is even harder when it is cold outside. It was 39˚F outside this morning. Now some of you out there are thinking to yourselves that that is nothing compared to your own temperatures, but this is Texas we are talking about. It does not get cold in Texas, remember? Fine, fine, it does get cold in Texas it just does not get that cold in Texas. Now personally I like the 39˚F temperature just fine. I must just confess to not owning a winter coat that is bicycle appropriate. There you have it.

I have two winter coats. Two. Are they really even winter coats by any real standard? I then have my High School Letterman Jacket. Go Big Ike! The one coat is older than Andrew. I got it in High School. Yes, it is probably as old as my Letterman Jacket. Yes, it still fits. Yes, they both still fit. They’ve had different stages of fit, but they fit. That is not important. Then I have another one. Of the non-letterman jacket coats, they are dressy wool type coats. One is heavier than the other. The heavier one is the one that is older than Andrew. Anyway you look at it, they are not really made for breaking wind. Nope. The problem we had this morning was that it was cold and a little windy and then you put yourself on the bike and then you create more wind. I do not see that as a good combination.

Due to this, I have taken the more radical approach – layers. Yes, I just admitted to not wearing my winter coat out in this weather. I know. However, in all fairness, I probably just created what I would buy myself anyway. It is basically what the kids have. I start with a long sleeve t-shirt (although today I confess it was short sleeved). Then goes the heavier zip-up fleece sweater with the taller neck area. Love that thing. Then the wind breaker! Throw on the ear covers and the knit gloves. Let us not forget about the stuffy shoes and socks. I really need to knit myself a helmet cover and ear muffs. Lance said so. Since the body produces heat when riding, it does get toasty in there. I really should, however, go check the clearance racks before the stores decide that the cold snap in Texas is gone forever.

Anyway, back to what this was really about…the blinking light I was supposed to be investigating for the crossing guard…

She pointed it out. It was blinking over the top of the last fence in the neighborhood. It appeared anyway. It is no little blinking light. I could see why she would be concerned. Way over there by the last crossing guard. She mentioned that it had been blinking for a while. I told Wanda that I would find out what it was and off Lance and I went. As we’re getting closer and closer, Lance proclaims, “I see it I see it.” I am starting to see just exactly what that light is and I start to grin.

Remember that sometimes things do happen just when you think that they won’t. Remember that sheriff that drove by? Well I am not sure if it was the same one, but there was a sheriff’s car on the other side of the last fence making someone’s day a little bit “brighter.”

Finally! We, as moms and residents, have been calling since school started in August and here we are in January and these are the first flashing lights we have seen. The school zone has been there all along. It is a very short school zone. We’ve just had a lot of traffic congestion and just general discourtesy from drivers and people who do not know the general rules of the road and frankly do not care about them or about the children who are on the road or the sidewalks. So as moms and residents we started calling. Did you know that if you are persistent, they learn who you are and they just put you straight through to the same person every time? If you call enough they start to listen? Yep. So if you have a problem like this in your own area, I can assure you, do not give up. Pick up the phone and call. When they tell you to call your school district’s police department and/or your home owner’s association by all means do that too, but pick up the phone and complain to them. You are a resident in their jurisdiction as well. If the crime happens on their street, they need to write the ticket and frankly people will not stop speeding in a school zone until it hurts and in order to make it hurt they are going to have to be out there writing the flipping tickets for a few days. School zone tickets are, however, of lesser importance than greater crimes so be persistent but be patient!

So I get to that last crossing guard and as she’s crossing us across the street, I ask “so is someone making someone’s day a little bit happier today?” She just laughed. “Depends on how you look at it.” I don’t know if she saw what was going on from where she was standing. She said he came back. I still did not know what was going on. He was then leaving as we pulled up onto the sidewalk for our just over a quarter mile stretch to the school. We’re almost there. In the morning we can ride in until we hit the school representative that stands outside the fence by the MUD (municipal utility district) facility’s gates. She stands there to help keep the kids from climbing on the fence and playing with their keypads and/or entering the gate when it opens I am sure.

It was there that I learned what happened. Oh how enlightened. Of course we are still not entirely sure what happened. Mysteries still abound. [hearsay starting] Evidently, there was a adult male that was sitting in the middle of the street. It dead-ends behind the fences there. There is a railroad there and it does not cross them and connect to the neighborhood (Gleannloch) on the other side. She mentioned that she said that she saw him sitting there, Indian style in the middle of the road. She saw the sheriff car drive by, then whip around (u-turn) with his lights on and go back, the guy take off on foot, and the sheriff get out and start talking to him. Evidently the guy’s car was partially hidden behind some trees further down the dead-end. [hearsay ending]

Evidently, we just missed all the excitement as they were just driving off as we were crossing the road and getting to the sidewalk to exit the sidewalk. Wow!

All I can say at this point is this, if you are an adult male and you are sitting Indian style in the middle of the road you are going to raise suspicion under the best of circumstances. If you are sitting in the middle of the road on the corner of the only exit on a route out of a subdivision on the way to an elementary school where children are walking to school, your motives are questionable at best. If your car was partially hidden down the road, your sanity is even more in question. You are one lucky individual this morning because you were allowed to drive away. Just saying.

I thought that would be the end of it. Lance asked where the police man had gone. I honestly did not know how to answer him. I was a little disappointed to be honest with you. You know that at least one of those cars that drove past you in that short school zone was speeding and maybe if just one of them would get a ticket maybe one more of them would pay attention. I just told him I did not know and left it at that. Honesty is sometimes the best answer.

Oh but wait, the story does go on.

See we’ve been waiting for these flashing lights for a while and you know that if I willing to spend the time typing out an entire post about them then there must be more, right? I thought I was going to be let down, but nope. I hear Lance say, “I see the police man again. What is he doing now?” I look up and sure enough there was his flashing lights and there he was pulling over a car into the bus parking lot. Should I really admit that it brought a smile to my face? My response was a simple, “He is doing his job. He is doing his job. See if people just did what they were supposed to do in the school zone he would not have to do his job this morning.”

Yes, I smiled.

Now let me preface this by saying that if you ever tell yourself “I am not getting out of the car” you should really keep telling yourself that all the way to where ever you are going and back. I am just saying. I am wearing a big goofy grin on my face right now as I have been one of those people who has done the “I am not getting out of the car” and remembered that I needed to get a case of water and had to stop at the gas station on the way home from dropping a kid off at school in my pajamas to get that case of water so the other kids could make their lunches for school that day. So if you EVER tell yourself that, you just keep telling yourself the ENTIRE way. Just saying.

So as we are approaching the two crossing guards that cover the entrance and exit for the the school’s parking lot where the drop-off line goes through we are watching the events unfold and we are getting closer to all as it unfolds. The sheriff gets out of the car. Then the lady and a little girl get out of the car. The lady walks the little girl across the parking lot to the sidewalk because the little girl is now not being dropped off where she is supposed to be dropped of (this is not the drop-off location).

Remember what I said, if you are not getting out of the car you had better keep telling yourself all the way there and back! In order for you to achieve this, you must do everything possible to make sure that you do not have to get out of the car. This includes following all traffic laws. For example, not speeding in a school zone, stopping at stop signs, not talking on your phone in a school zone. I don’t know which one she broke, but she did something that made that sheriff not so happy. Since he had his happy hand held radar gun out I am pretty sure it is safe to bet she was speeding.

If you are unable to make sure that you are going to “not get out of the car” you had better make sure that you look good! This lady had on fuzzy slippers. Must have been comfortable. Satiny pajama pants with something on them. Creamy colored. Couldn’t tell from where I was. Something red around her neck. And a leopard print robe.

I do have to give big kudos to the sheriff, he did preserve her dignity. He did allow her to get back in her car and carry on his business with her while she was safely and securely back in her car. They were there for a while I should add.

Be warned though, if you ever tell yourself “I am not getting out of the car” you should take every precaution to ensure that you do not get out of the car. Just makes more sense to me.

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