Monday, November 21, 2011

INTERSTATE INSANITY

It was time to go get Falcor.  I pulled the door shut on the old Ford truck and drove away from the house and down the lane, headed for the interstate.  I was on my way to Knoxville to pick up Falcor at the dog trainer's facility.  Those of you who follow my blog understand that I despise cities and the interstates that penetrate them.  There were no choices for me.  I had to drive to Knoxville.  I would submit myself to the torture of interstate and city travel for Falcor.  I left home at 5:30AM.  My appointment to get Falcor was at 9AM.  It's an hour and a half drive at best.    I figured I could miss all the traffic if I hit the pavement early.  That was wishful thinking.

The rain fell in earnest as the truck left the "on" ramp and entered the foray on the three lane interstate.  Almost immediately a cluster of little cars rushed up from behind and passed me like I was sitting still.  A quick glance at my speedometer showed the red needle directly on top of the 65 miles per hour mark.  A little Nissan truck blasted past on the left and instantly swerved in front of me and into the lane to my right.  A truck in front of him caused the Nissan to swerve back in front of me.  Two cars pass me on the left.  The Chevy is twenty feet behind the bumper of the Dodge truck ahead of him.  The instant they both pass me; the Chevy cuts over in front of me and into the right lane behind the Nissan.  The action causes me to press the brake.  What insanity!  The first thought that enters my mind is "they really love their jobs and just can't wait to get to work."

I hold the directions in my left hand and affix the glasses to my face with the same hand.
"Lets see;   Gallagher Road.  Take a right onto Gallagher.  There it is just ahead."
Now, if the lady in the Chevy Suburban will let me over I'll be alright.  As I start to change lanes to get behind the Suburban, a black pickup moves to the right from behind me and pulls alongside me in the turning lane where I need to be.  This, of course, makes me slow down in order to get behind the black pickup.  Maybe my turn signals don't work.  I just made the transition to the turning lane in time.

The sudden realization overcame me that I was not in control of my own safety.  Everyone else was.  I either drive like everyone else, crazy and irresponsibly, or end up a statistic for trying to drive safely.    City driving is insane!

I am finally nearing my destination.  I'm in a suburb of Knoxville and following the directions that I've scribbled on a piece of paper during a phone conversation with the lady who owns the dog training facility.  The paper is still clutched in my left hand.  There's Middlebrook Pike.  We'll turn right onto that and go to Robinson Road.  A right turn onto Robinson Road and then a left.  I can't make out the road signs.  I'll have to wait until the sun comes up.  A church is dead ahead.  I'll wait for daylight in the parking lot.  A school bus pulled in and parked, waiting for his appointed hour to make the neighborhood rounds to collect the brats for school.  I walked over and bent the guy's ear about directions to my destination. 

"Bakertown Road?  You passed it.  Go back to the stop sign and turn right."

Well, it's dark and I couldn't read the signs.  It's 7:30AM and the sun is up now.  I'm sitting in the driveway of Diane's, the groomer/trainer for Falcor.  Even on this little suburban two lane road the cars pass behind me continuously and unending.  Who could live in this?   I'm only one and a half hours early.  I like to be punctual.  The little treasure I came to pick up is in one of the buildings not a hundred feet in front of me.  Maybe someone in the unlit house will notice the old red Ford truck in the driveway and come out to give me Falcor.  Then I have to make the return trip.  Great Scott;  the horror!

As it turned out, the unlit house was used as the office and no one lived there.  The employees started to arrive at 8:30AM and let me pull inside the gated compound.  After parking my truck I was asked to move it by one of the workers because the "boss" always parks there.  Ok, no problem.  A guy went into a building and walked two beautiful Golden Retrievers across the driveway and into another enclosure.  One was Falcor.  He was gorgeous.
Falcor was groomed, bathed and had manners.  I couldn't believe this was the same dog I knew three weeks ago.  When I picked him up he was nervous and was "up tight" during the ride in the truck back to Greenback where I left him with a friend who would have his medical work done.   It was obvious that Falcor did well in school.  He was calm, polite and was attentive to my commands, which were few. 
He was so mellow that he fell asleep on the seat of the truck with his head on my thigh.  What a sweet little guy!
We made it home safely, although I don't know how, and he met Shade, Happy and Chestnut.  The reception was a bit of a cold one.  It will all work out.  They're all laying on the floor around my computer chair sound asleep, so I guess everyone is getting used to each other.  The real sleeping arrangements for the night will undoubtedly be interesting. 

And so, Falcor is home and a new page is turning over in his life.  Very soon now Falcor will take his place beside Douglas, the golden dog of the lakes.  Douglas was a king on the lakes and in the wilderness.  Falcor's adventures will begin soon and he will fulfill his destiny as the prince of the lakes and wilderness.  The golden dog saga continues-----------