Accidents and Coincidences

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Today, in an effort to chill out after the stress of flying, I took the day off of work. I drove Owen to school this morning and narrowly avoided getting into an accident.

We were headed west-bound towards a busy intersection. The street we were driving on almost always has the red light at this particular intersection but at this particular moment there happened to be a green light. So, without slowing, I proceeded to drive through the intersection. A vehicle coming from the opposite direction was attempting to make a left. It was a pick-up truck and he evidently had no plans to yield to oncoming traffic.

Once I saw that he was not going to wait for me, I slammed on my brakes and swerved to avoid being hit. He finally saw me and likewise swerved. The look on his face was pretty funny, actually.

At any rate, we didn’t get into an accident, and I was able to proceed west towards Owen’s school. Owen didn’t even notice that we came this close to being involved in a motor vehicle accident; he just kept yammering on about something astronomy related.

Friday, 23 September 2011

After a grueling week of work, in which I attended a class at a swanky hotel in Atlanta and then took a vacation day, I partook in a department outing today.

First, we met for lunch at Lord Fletcher’s, a restaurant on Lake Minnetonka known for their good food and slow service. While there, I bumped into my cousin-in-law. It happened like this:

I was walking into the dining area of the restaurant, following a couple of my co-workers. Ahead of us was a table of a dozen people and one of them called out to one of my co-workers. My co-worker immediately looked over and, noticing the guy that called his name, diverted over to say hello. I didn’t think much of it; after all, every once in a while someone is bound to coincidentally bump into someone they know, right? Well, from the very same table, I then hear a woman calling out my name. I look over and stare at her for a second. I am terrible at recognizing people out of context. A few months ago, for instance, Jennifer and I saw our chiropractor at Target and it took a good 10 seconds before I recognized her out of her ‘normal’ domain.

Anyway, I finally realized this was my wife’s cousin, so I went over and gave her a hug. Turns out, she was also at an outing with her department. More coincidentally, she does the same thing at her job as I do at mine and thus many of her co-workers knew many of mine. How funny is that?

After lunch, we went out on a boat on the lake. It was cold, but I had a fun time. When we returned to the dock, my cousin-in-law’s group invited us over to their boat (which had also docked). I got in the boat and sat with them for a spell. They offered me a beer, which I declined, and then one of them said, “Ah, I see you aren’t related by blood.” I assured them that normally I would love another beer, but that I had to drive home, and they all seemed to think this further proved my cousin-in-law and I did not share any blood-relations.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

So, I have this really unimportant goal of visiting all 50 states. I’ve been to 19 of them, which isn’t a bad start, really. But here’s the sad thing: I haven’t been to a new state since 1998.

A few days ago, as I’ve noted above, Jennifer, Isla and I were in Atlanta. This afforded both Jennifer and Isla with a new state on their respective checklists, but I had already been to Georgia once before: I drove through the state on my way to and from Florida back in 1991, even spending the night in Macon. Isla has now been to three states (Wisconsin and, obviously, Minnesota are the other two). Owen has been to five states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Florida. And during the past decade, Jennifer has added three new states to her list: Florida in 2003, Washington in 2009, and Georgia as of earlier this week. But I haven’t logged any new states in 13 years.

In my defense, it’s getting harder and harder. I’ve certainly gone on my share of vacations here in the 21st century, but I seem to keep revisiting states I’ve already been to before. I’ve been to two new Canadian provinces (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in 2001) and even a new country (The Bahamas in 2004), but I just can’t seem to get myself to a new state.

I’m going to try to do something about that during this decade.

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4 Responses to Accidents and Coincidences

  1. Melanie says:

    Visiting all 50 states is also on my list of things to do before I die.

    I have made it to 35 so far. Some of those were just briefly driving through or standing on the four corners (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Corners_Monument), so I would like to visit some of those states for a real vacation.

    Here are the 15 I still need to visit: Nevada, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Rhode Island, Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii.

    So I’m jealous of your trip to Georgia. :)

  2. James says:

    35! Very impressive!
    A couple of mine were brief drive-throughs, too (Tennessee, Kentucky).

    I’ve never planned a vacation with the express purpose of being able to check off another state. It looks like we both need to start doing that if we’re going to get to all 50 states. You should drive straight south – to Louisiana, then make a left and head to Georgia. That will take care of 6 of your remaining states.

  3. Melanie says:

    I noticed that that should be my next road trip when I was looking at the map. (I’m not sure David would go for it. I don’t think he has any desire to visit those southern states.) And quite a few of the 35 states were simply driven through, but that still counts!

    The two most annoying are Rhode Island and Vermont. We went on a New England road trip but didn’t have time to hit those two. Maybe I’ll have to plan a vacation in Vermont and take a little day trip over to Rhode Isand.

  4. James says:

    Yeah, I agree that “just driving through” still counts. That’s the only reason I count Tennessee and Kentucky on my list.

    I like your idea of a New England trip. When Jennifer and I were in Prince Edward Island, we drove past a bridge that led to New Brunswick. Jennifer suggested we cross the bridge just to say we were in New Brunswick, but it was a toll bridge, and quite busy at that hour, so we passed on the opportunity. So, New Brunswick (like Greenland), is one of those places I’ve seen, but not been to.

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