106 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-13-16

  1. Good morning! What a gorgeous photo!!!

    I survived my sleep study– but was thrilled to be able to sleep in my own bed last night. I feel so much better today–yesterday was painful.

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  2. I see everyone spent last evening eating Mumsee’s cake.
    And I didn’t get none.
    But Elvera and I went to the Golden Corral with the Lions for our Christmas outing.

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  3. Good Morning…oh what a perfect Christmas card that would make Peter!! So incredibly beautiful….
    We don’t have that snow yet, but Saturday we are getting some hopefully….and cold…8 degrees will be our high πŸ™‚
    We had our store Christmas dinner/gift exchange last night at a restaurant in town….let’s just say I was glad it ended early… πŸ™‚

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  4. I LOVE the header. It looks so quiet and peaceful. Thank you Peter

    I posted last night that BG had a wreck. She is safe. No other cars were damaged. The couple she rear ended couldn’t have been nicer. The man kept telling me he was just glad she was ok. He did suggest I put her in a truck like he was driving. He told the police it really wasn’t her fault. A car ahead of th on a busy highway slammed on brakes. Two cars were able to pull to th we side and get stopped giving the man ahead of BG the ability to not hit them but BG went under his bumper. The other two cars also stopped to tell the police what happened.
    Of course she was probably tailgating but she is safe and her mother got a lesson in judging people

    The pickup truck she hit was an older Chevy. Faded. There were to people. The man had I n a faded pair of jeans and a ratty t shirt. He had dreadlocks down to the middle of his back. When I saw them my thoughts were LAWSUIT. I bet they try to claim whiplash.
    I was wrong. He even crawled under her car to zip tie the bumper so we could try to get the car home. He hugged BG as we were all leaving and told her to slow down and he was glad she wasn’t hurt.

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  5. Happjy with you K]
    I got an e-mail from a friend listing good and bad eleemosynary organizations to support this season. Among the ones that have zero overhead are VFW, Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army and (you guessed it) Lions Clubs International. We Lions pay our own way. Everything that comes in from the community goes back out.

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  6. Kim, I almost cried reading of such a kind response. So glad BG was not injured. It sounds like it was a blessing in disguise with both the driving lesson and the hopeful message of how not all people are the epitome of meanness, but that some are very kind and caring and rise up to occasions demanding clear thoughtfu tbinking.

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  7. In the Anglican/Episcopal churches where I have worshiped the Christmas Eve service ends with the lights dimmed, everyone has a candle and the light (Light of the world) passes from person to person. We sing Silent night as this happens and we file out of the church. Silent Night is among my favorite songs.

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  8. Thank you for all the nice birthday wishes yesterday. And that cake by Mumsee was bakery perfection ❀

    Art took Karen’s husband for his procedure yesterday. I am glad that worked out.

    When our son gets home we can all go out for dinner for my birthday. The only sweet treat I had yesterday was a kid size ice dream with chocolate sauce from Chick-fil-A. Since I am eating very few sweets, it almost tasted too sweet. Mumsee’s cake, oddly, did not taste too sweet. It was just right!

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  9. Advent – Day 13: From Pakistan yesterday to Lebanon today, this performance of a popular carol is sung by a Maronite choir from Lebanon. β€˜We Three Kings’ was written and composed in 1857 for a Christmas pageant by Episcopalian rector John Henry Hopkins Jr. of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It certainly gets around.
    We three kings of Orient are;
    Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
    Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
    Following yonder star.

    Refrain: O star of wonder, star of night,
    Star with royal beauty bright,
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.

    Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
    Gold I bring to crown Him again,
    King forever, ceasing never,
    Over us all to reign.

    Frankincense to offer have I;
    Incense owns a Deity nigh;
    Prayer and praising, voices raising,
    Worshiping God on high.

    Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
    Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
    Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

    Glorious now behold Him arise;
    King and God and sacrifice;
    Alleluia!, Alleluia!,
    Rings through the earth and skies.

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  10. Roscuro, didn’t you share this one not too long ago. Angie sang it Saturday night. It really is lovely. I chose the Julie Andrews version because, well, because she IS Julie Andrews…

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  11. Kim, I’m not sure if I have shared ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’. It was my favorite carol in my adolescent years – I loved that last verse.

    I wanted to share this performance of sung Scripture by that Lebanese choir – I think we could learn something about singing the Scripture from the Middle East, they are past masters of the art. It is Colossians 3:15-17: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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  12. That is a lovely scene in the header!

    We have Winter Wonderland here, sort of. We’ve had several inches of snow, it is snowing again, and our low tonight is supposed to be in the negative numbers with a high tomorrow of 8. Bah humbug!

    But the birds are quite happy to have a dependable place to eat, and they’re coming in by the dozens.

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  13. Beautiful photo today – thanks Peter.

    Ann, glad that sleep study is behind you. Are you back on the caffeine? πŸ™‚

    I slept a lot of hours last night, must have been tired. The bead board for the bathroom is supposed to be delivered sometime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. today so I’m stuck at home until that arrives. I’ll have to find space for it on the patio where it’ll be out of the rain since the bathroom work won’t be getting done until probably January now.

    I need to go shopping for the Angel Tree gifts today — and still need to pick up something for a couple other friends, though I may go the gift card route this year.

    I’m trying to strategize on staying clear of any large shopping mall πŸ™‚

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  14. Mumsee, that’s the main reason I got rid of the bird feeder — it created too much of a food chain. (At that time the problem was the squirrels that my then-dog would go after and come close to catching; the bird feeder was supposedly ‘squirrel-proof’ but there really is no such thing.)

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  15. Now we’re being advised by the city not to hang bird feeders anymore as they can be a coyote draw (not only the fallen seeds but mostly the critters who come to clean munch on them and the cats that stalk the birds …).

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  16. I will continue to feed the birds and my flocks will probably all die of bird flu. The chicken house seems to be packed with blackbirds. I feed the extra/free ranging chickens under their tree, the sparrows love that, as do the juncoes. And I feed the guineas under their trees, where the pheasants, quail, grouse, chukars, and partridges like to congregate Oh, and the rabbits like to go into the turkey run to eat their food. It is a zoo around here at times.

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  17. We have only seen one squirrel around here in the past eighteen years. No chipmunks. Lots of gophers, mice, voles, shrews, and their following of snakes, weasels, badgers, hawks, etc.

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  18. Kim, please don’t smack me, but I don’t think you are not doing BG any favors assuring her that was not her fault. It WAS her fault and she could use it as a lesson on how to drive to avoid it. Ducking.

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  19. That is funny, Linda. My nineteen now twenty year old keeps telling me which of her accidents are not her fault and I keep telling her they all were. “But the guy ahead of me slowed down too quickly!” Tailgating. “But the guy ahead of me hit the deer and it hit me!” Tailgating. Daughter has always been a concern to me. She is so focused on how things are supposed to be that she does not leave room for change.

    But as I recall, Kim did say her daughter was tailgating. Hopefully she emphasizes that.

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  20. I have at least one sibling who thinks the police make a huge mistake focusing on the speed people drive–that the real cause of most accidents is people following others too closely, and that should be ticketed.

    In Chicago, however, it was impossible NOT to follow people too closely for safety. The reason, as I learned in my first year or two as a Chicago driver, is that if you leave enough room between you and the car ahead of you that another vehicle can squeeze in, another vehicle will squeeze in, and instantly you have gone from “almost a safe following distance” to “super unsafe following distance.” So I had no choice but to stay half a car length from the vehicle ahead of me, which is nowhere near safe–neither humans nor brakes can react that quickly, especially if the vehicle ahead of me has better brakes than mine. But it’s a whole lot safer than inviting another car to slide in with an inch or two to spare!

    One day in Chicago I was on 290 heading out of town when the left two lanes (I was in the second) came to a complete stop. From maybe 40 mph to 0 quicker than you can imagine possible. I literally stood on my brakes, and I could hear squealing and smell rubber. Somehow no one hit anyone–it would have been chain reaction, for sure, if a single car had hit the one in front of it. After we all stopped, I saw what had happened–the front car in one of those lines had had its hood fly up. Now, in that situation you are supposed to brake slowly, but I imagine the driver panicked, maybe didn’t even know what had happened except that he couldn’t see. But braking too tightly very nearly caused a massive pile-up, not just in his own lane but somehow in two lanes. (Maybe he swerved out of his lane a bit, I don’t remember.) I made the mental note that that is why they say don’t slam on the brakes in such a situation. And that is also why following too closely is hazardous, though somehow in our case there were no accidents. It also is why “distracted driving” can be deadly, because if that had happened in the era of cell phones, one driver somewhere in that lineup would have been on the phone or even texting, and it would have meant an accident.

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  21. Mumsee, I was listening in on a conversation once, in Chicago, between two adult sisters, and one of them was saying to the other something like “Another accident?”

    The first sister said, “I’ve been in a lot of accidents that weren’t my fault!”

    At the time I thought, “That’s funny, because I’ve been in an awful lot of near accidents that were not my fault!” The other guy did something foolish or illegal, but it didn’t result in an accident.

    In fact, I have only been in one accident in my life, and it was definitely the other driver’s fault. I had the right-of-way; she was drinking and driving on a suspended license; and she was driving a red pickup in the middle of the night without using her headlights. Still, when I think about that accident, what comes to mind is that it would have been another “near” accident except for one factor: It was 11:30 at night, and I was returning from visiting my bother and his family in a hotel room in town, and I was tired enough my reaction time had slowed. Had I been alert, I might have been able to miss the collision. Now, that doesn’t mean that it was my fault; it wasn’t. Nevertheless, it might have been “avoidable,” and I didn’t avoid it. (Not that I suffered regrets for that–the insurance company basically bought me the newer car I was desperately in need of.)

    It is, of course, possible to get into an accident in which you bear no blame at all, or one that is impossible to avoid. One time in Chicago, a van started to come into my lane, and I simultaneously swerved a little, braked, and hit the horn. Because I hit the horn, the driver realized the lane wasn’t open and pulled back into his lane, and because I braked and swerved, I didn’t hit him. But it occurred to me at the time that it took a decent amount of driving experience to do all three of those actions simultaneously, without overcorrecting and swerving into a different lane myself, and that any two of those actions would not have been sufficient. Had I been 18 at the time, I would not have been able to do all three of those together and there would have been an accident, and it would not have been my fault. Had the van continued over in spite of my honking, there also would have been an accident, and it would not have been my fault. But in my nine years of driving in Chicago, I probably avoided at least two accidents a year that would not have been my fault. In Nashville, my accident-avoidance radar was on lesser alert, and I did not avoid the one accident that was not my fault–and it clearly was not my fault. But had my reaction time been half a second faster, she might not have hit me.

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  22. When it comes to insurance claims and speaking legally, I believe anytime you run into someone from behind it’s automatically your ‘fault,’ regardless of mitigating circumstances. Maybe the cars can be fixed without insurance involvement?

    And nice of the people she hit to be so understanding. I was involved in one of those chain-reaction accidents some years ago, there are a couple places in town where traffic will just come to a dead stop a good half block before the intersection even when the light is still green. You kind of learn to know those places and either avoid those lanes or really slow down & keep a big distance between you and the car in front of you.

    Our pastor was saying 2 of his 4 kids are now driving and it’s the one who is convinced that everyone else on the road will follow the rules and do what they’re supposed to do who worries him the most.

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  23. The one close call at that spot I had was when I was heading into the doctor from work — turned out I had bronchitis. I felt awful, was running a fever and suddenly everyone in the lane came to a complete stop unexpectedly. I managed to stop in time but they people behind me didn’t. It was one of those times when you groan, oh, not today. …

    Another time I was waiting to make a right turn and a guy just plowed into me. That was a trying time, too, I had a rat in the house and I’d lost my iPhone. Ugh. The two probably were not related.

    But my new-to-me Jeep was still new to me and it messed up the back end enough that the rear gate-style door wouldn’t open or close right, so into the body shop it went. Guy behind me was older and very apologetic, said he didn’t know what happened or why he didn’t stop.

    Traffic out here is horrendous and fast moving — we often forget how potentially dangerous it can be since it’s such a normal part of our daily routine.

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  24. Well, there was a time the Animal Control truck back-end collided with my car’s front-end, and it was not my fault. The truck had pulled out too far while waiting on a red light to change and proceeded to back up and backed into me before I could honk. I have been in some quirky accidents. It’s mostly the fault of too much traffic in Atlanta.

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  25. Ah, Janice, the exception to the rule. No animals were hurt in this event, I presume?

    Actually someone backed up into me once, too — he was making way for a huge truck making a right turn onto the small street we were on (stopped at a red light). Car in front of me decided to back up to give the truck more leeway and his reverse lights went on. Aak. Who backs up without looking behind them?

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  26. Well, my son did. When he panicked because he had gone too far into the intersection on a red light. He got the guy behind him. Automatic fail of his driver’s test. Oops.

    And son number seven did it as well when he took the neighbor to a VA appt in the big city of Spokane and went too far into the intersection and failed to clear behind him before backing.

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  27. I guess that’s why there’s a law about that πŸ™‚ (not backing up in traffic)

    Getting in a wreck during your driver’s test is epic. I remember doing a story once (it was a slow week) by interviewing driving instructors at the local DMV about some of their crazier experiences.

    I failed my first test, too — I didn’t notice there was a left-hand turn pocket when instructor told me to turn left. I tried to do it from the existing lane, upsetting all kinds of people behind me. πŸ™‚

    He didn’t say anything, just jotted something down on his clip board before giving me instructions on how to get back to the DMV office.

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  28. Linda, I think more of what was said is that the accident was unavoidable due to a car ahead slamming on brakes. We have discussed tailgating. Here, as Cheryl said above, if you leave a car length they a car will squeeze in. We have had a lot of heavy fog the past couple of days and slick roads to me are worse than storm drenched roads. She was not ticketed for following too closely. She has lost out on a couple of major items she wanted for Christmas because her father and I will have to front the money to have the car repaired. She will pay us back.
    What came out last night is that she is fighting depression. She cried asking if I would please call the doctor and take her to talk to him about putting her back on something. As I have battled depression most of my life I am sympathetic. I know it took a lot for her to ask as she HATED taking it last year when I forcefully gave it to her. Mr. P and I just had lunch with her and he told her that it was all chemical and there was no shame in asking for help. He also told her that we would be here for whatever she needs. After they last 6 or so months that was HUGE.
    She has an appointment at 4 today.

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  29. Oh and I think most of you know I have never made excuses for her. I know her faults quite well. She didn’t get them from strangers. Her maternal grandfather and her own father felt/feel the world is out to get them. Neither have ever been wrong about anything except once or twice and that was a mistake.
    All of her other faults she gets from me including the tailgating. The defiance she gets from her maternal grandmother and the intolerance she gets from her paternal grandfather.

    Oh that she would be more like her Nana. Smile and the world smiles back.

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  30. In Nashville we had a corner to turn that had a “yield” sign, and to me that yield never made a lick of sense. First off, the cars to the left heading our way had an actual stop sign, and second, the lane that turned with a yield sign was being added to the street (we we starting a new lane to the right of the existing lane). Most people coming through that yield sign did not even slow down, unless it was just slowing down a little bit to round the curve. Well, I once was going through that sign and the car ahead of me stopped at the “yield.” I didn’t hit him, but it was too close for comfort–he wasn’t following the proper traffic pattern for that area. Again, don’t assume the other drivers around you know what they’re supposed to do, or that they will do it.

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  31. It’s so fun to drop in here every couple of years and see you old WMBers all still hanging out together every day. I don’t know why I can’t seem to stay engaged. I guess it’s cuz I just don’t have anything of much of interest to say. Anyway, it warms my heart to see this community still going strong. The last time I was here was when I came to ask about how my younger daughter should dress for her scholarship interview at Furman University when she was a high school senior. Kim’s advice was helpful, and now she’s half way through her junior year at Furman! Time flies!

    Anyway, Cheryl, i think the reason the cops don’t focus on people driving too close is because it’s not easily measurable, provable, and enforceable. And honestly, at least where I live, most of the traffic stops are more focused on revenue building than safety. And it’s just so profitable to set up cops all over the city, especially in places where the traffic and speed laws are counter-intuitive, and have them hand out tickets by the bucketful.

    Just curious–does Random Name (under any other name) still come around here ever?

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  32. Ree’s back!

    We have not seen Random here in some time but I do think to pray for him especially when a news item crops up from his neck of the woods.

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  33. AJ, I sent you a bunch of pictures from my trip to Banff. I wasn’t sure if you spelled your name Allan or Allen so I sent it to both.

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  34. “I guess it’s cuz I just don’t have anything of much of interest to say”

    hahaha — like that’s ever a requirement. πŸ™‚ Good to ‘see’ you

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  35. Hi, Ree! Notice that the group who hangs out on the news/politic thread is a bit different (with some overlap) from the group that hangs out here, so you might want to stop in there, too. And for all I know, they might have snacks in that room.

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  36. Ree, if I’m not mistaken, your daughter came all the way from California to go to Furman.
    Are you the one?
    She could have gone to a good school, U. of S. Carolina though.
    But Greenville is a nice town.

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  37. Kizzie keeps up with Random the most I think. I have popped over to his blog several times but nothing new has been posted. I was on his notification list at one time but no longer have access to that email.
    My suspicion is that he was slipping into dementia….

    Oh, and it is good to hear from you Ree

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  38. Cheryl at 11:55

    I tend to agree that tailgating is worse than speed as far as causes of accidents, but I disagree that closing the gap is the solution. I think it’s better to follow the 2 second rule. If someone else drops in, ease off the gas until you again have a safe distance.

    It’s actually been shown that this strategy works better at busting traffic jams when it’s “bumper to bumper” than trying to zoom up and minimize the gaps.

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  39. That is how I deal with it. I figure there is nothing I am trying to get to that is worth killing or injuring somebody. Somebody wants that spot, I will back off.

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  40. I try to keep a good distance back from other vehicles in traffic which is the opposite of how Art drives. He drives more like how Cheryl described her Chicago driving.

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  41. Karen is going back in the hospital. She has continued to do more physical activity than she should have due a lack of help at home.

    I spoke with my brother earlier, and he sounded down. I know his job is really rough and makes his feet ache.

    This has been such a tough year on so many in my world. Now even the stability of church is slipping as we consider the merge with the other church.

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  42. Donna, are you looking for a classic or something current?

    Seems like my son enjoyed The Phantom Tollbooth, books by Raold Dahl, the Sideways School books, Bunmicula, and Boxcar Children series along about that time. He also loved the Golden or Peterson’s guide books to identify things nature. I am not up on the more current series for young folks. Oh, Tin Tin books are good, too. If he likes particular movies, you could find companion books.

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  43. There are millions of good books for an eight year old boy. And it depends on his reading ability. A book, series of books, that all of my children have enjoyed (and I have not) is the Geronimo Stilton series. It is colorful and funny and lots of pics and really stupid. Currently I listen to ten year old boy going through them and laughing hysterically as only he can. Also, nine year old daughter likes to go back and reread them and they laugh and laugh.

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  44. Anon, have you driven in that sort of traffic? I tried that for a year or two, but Chicago traffic really is nutty–people can be aggressive to the point of dangerous. Thing is, if you leave a big enough gap that people can come in, people will–and I mean constantly. The result is that you have just let ten cars ahead of you in the last two minutes, and you never had a “safe distance” in that time. Furthermore, cars behind you are getting annoyed that you have let so many cars in, and so they start speeding around you and cutting you off themselves. It’s actually safer in that sort of aggressive driving environment to drive somewhat aggressively in response. I tried the safe-distance thing, but in four or five lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic with many cars looking for a chance to change lanes, it is truly impossible.

    I did as little aggression as possible, but the truth is, unless you are willing to force your way in at times, it might literally mean death. (I once had a choice between going over even though a car refused to let me and slamming into a concrete barrier–or slamming on my brakes and sitting exposed while cars whizzed by me at 50 mph–I figured it was life or death to force my way over, and that the car that refused to let me in would yield if I forced the matter, as it did–and if he didn’t yield and move over, it was still better to sideswipe someone’s car than to hit concrete full-on!

    By the way, on the exit ramps (which might be a mile of traffic curving around from one expressway to the other) I would ease off, trying to drive a constant speed rather than constantly braking and starting up again. At that time I hadn’t read of studies that say that’s a better model, but it just made sense to me. And I could see that cars behind me benefitted from my strategy. But it only worked where there was only one lane of traffic. With multiple lanes, cars in other lanes just move over and cut you off, and they nearly take off your bumper when they do.

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  45. On following too closely, ice and slush are wildcards when it comes to stopping behind vehicles. Fog and snow can make cars in front disappear and it is almost safer to tailgate them than lose sight of them.

    DJ, Re: books for eight year olds that are in store – that’s a tough one, I was just looking for books for the little folk on my list, and so few of the classics are carried on the shelf. It depends on the eight year old’s ability to read, as some are more advanced than others. I kept my then eight year old nephew entertained on a long car ride by giving him The Horse and His Boy to read on my ereader. So, if you know he can read well enough, I’m sure one of the Narnia books or The Hobbit would be perfectly acceptable. If his reading is less advanced, you might see if there is a copy of Hugo available – I haven’t had a chance to read it, but my nephews have and they liked it. It tells parts of the story entirely in pictures, but it is a full length novel – it was made into a film a couple of years ago.

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  46. DJ….when my 11 yr old grandson was 8 he love the Flat Stanley books….I got them at Barnes and Noble.
    My two 8 year old grandsons both like fact books….books about animals their habitats, behaviors, regions where they live…books about space, planets, stars….I have found several of these types of books at Mardels….

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  47. My family is getting Little Britches this year.

    Cheryl, I have to disagree. I always leave space and if someone comes into it, I just slow down more and leave more space. I will not tailgate to keep my space. They can do what they like, but I control the space in front of me.

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  48. Jo, have you driven in Chicago (or other large cities that operate the same way)? Theoretically I disagree with myself also–but practically, I tried it “my way” for my first year or two of driving in Chicago, and quite simply it was more dangerous. Cars cut me off constantly, and it angered drivers behind me, leading to “road rage” type incidents as they raced around me to get ahead of this idiot who keeps letting people in. It’s easy to say “Just slow down and leave more space,” but riding the brakes constantly to add more space as people constantly cut in isn’t the safest way to drive, either. I finally determined that it was safer to leave too little space for people to cut in than to constantly have people moving in on me with only a foot to spare.

    When I started driving in Chicago, I had never driven in snow–had barely even driven in rain–and so I asked a man who had a good deal of experience in winter driving about how to drive in it. He told me, “The first thing you need to know, is that in terms of having an accident in Chicago, it isn’t a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’ There is no way to be totally safe driving in Chicago, so defensive driving is the most important priority.” And then he went on to tell me some things about driving in ice and snow. Well, I didn’t own a car for my time as a student or the first year afterward, but I drove in Chicago for nine years without so much as a fender bender. (I touched another bumper a couple of times, but never anything that made a scratch.) My parked cars were sideswiped twice, but I wasn’t in them at the time. Nine years of driving in Chicago without an accident does say I managed to do it safely. And see, when I lived in Phoenix, my sister used to get on my case since she saw me as far too timid a driver. Caution is my default mode–it just is dangerous in a city with aggressive driving.

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  49. Kim, except my son was one of them while living in Los Angeles, he picked it up from the Italians and Greeks. Interestingly, one of the work buddies was killed on her scooter shortly thereafter, while driving between the lanes and another was seriously injured in a separate accident. Value life. Others as well as your own.

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  50. Driving in LA they also tell you to be a power driver, as well as New York. But I would just get with the slower folks and we would convoy, letting others do their merging and flying around stuff. Some of those flyers ought to consider that not all of the drivers are from their area but they seldom seem to.

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  51. I’m a stickler for following distances, and consider the 2 second rule to be a minimum. But I get what Cheryl is saying about Chicago. I’m glad I don’t have to go there too often.

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  52. City driving has it’s own rules. When I’m driving in the city I don’t at all consider it aggressive driving to ‘force’ your way in; it’s expected. In fact, when I see someone ‘waiting for a hand-graved invitation’ to enter traffic, I always think it’s not only annoying, in many cases it’s downright dangerous. I can’t break to let them in because of the cars behind me, but I often reduce gas to let them in, and if they don’t take the opening…at least I have extended the courtesy of the offer.

    Of course you can go too far. I was once on the Turnpike near Hackensack during morning rush hour going about 65 or 70mph and another car passed me with a newspaper opened on the steering wheel—reading. So I learned not to be afraid to use the horn whenever needed.

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  53. Re: traffic – The times I drive in heavy traffic in large cities, I get in one of the middle lanes and drive whatever speed that lane is going. I also watch the traffic ahead of the vehicle in front of me so I can anticipate the need to slow down. If that vehicle is a semi, I go to another lane. It’s called defensive driving.

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  54. Well, when you guys aren’t being interesting, at least you’re fun!

    Yeah, Chas, you’re right, we’re in California, so my daughter is a long way from home. I think it helped make her a good candidate for their full scholarship, though, so it was worth it. Can’t wait to see her on Thursday when she comes home for Christmas.

    Sadly, though, she just told me today of a female student from China who just committed suicide at Furman. She was one day and one final away from graduating. So tragic!

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  55. Hi, Ree. Nice to hear from you. How sad, though, about that Furman student.

    As others have said, Peter, I like that header, too. Nice shot. It’s beautiful.

    Busy day, and I’m tired. I’ll talk to you all some other time. Blessings on your evening and night, or whatever times of day you’ll be in until we meet in a new day’s thread.

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  56. When I speak of “forcing” one’s way into another lane, I am actually speaking of something a little more aggressive than just not waiting for an invitation. πŸ™‚ Two examples come to mind–one, the time that construction was forcing my lane to close and merge left and I was very close to running into a concrete barrier, tried to merge, and the guy I was trying to merge in front of sped up–but it felt like a matter of life or death for me to get over, because I was a split second from running out of pavement and a second from hitting concrete, and so I went over anyway and let him figure out how to get out of my way. I don’t remember the details of what car was where, except that he could have let me in safely and he refused to, and I insisted because I simply had no better options.

    Another example was that two expressways came together a block or two before a place where I had to turn left to go to work, so I had about a block to change lanes and get into my left-turn lane. If I missed it, the next block was a one-way street going the wrong direction, and the block after that got me far enough out of my way (in downtown traffic) that I had to do some serious renegotiating to get to work. Well, most mornings I would turn on my blinker and look for someone to give a bit of a pause to let me get in, but very seldom did that work. Usually everyone closed up the gap to make sure I could not get in. So I was on to strategy 2–watching for the light to turn red. And when the light turned red, I chose the best person to cut in front of, and maneuvered just enough of my car in front of the person that they pretty much had to let me in when the light turned green. I didn’t like to slow down the person who was thus “forced” to let me in, so I tried to be moving as the light was turning green, basically a merge from zero. Once in a while the person I tried to edge ahead of tried to outdrive me and not allow me in, but nearly always I managed it. It really felt rude . . . but in normal cities, someone with a blinker on is going to be allowed in, and it was a serious inconvenience to me (and a few extra minutes of driving) not to turn left at that light, so I got good at forcing my way in. It helps that I got most of my experience when I owned a Toyota Tercel, which was smaller than most of the cars I tried to get in front of. I was always relieved when someone waved and motioned to let me get ahead of them, but it didn’t happen very often. If I was the car in the lane and someone else used their blinker and wanted in, I let them–but that wasn’t really the Chicago way.

    Funny thing, though–I had a friend who had already been driving in Chicago for about 25 years when I moved there, and she made me look like a real wimp. But her driving scared me a bit. Well, one day we were attending some event together, and though she usually drove when we went somewhere together, her car was in the shop and I drove. And as we made our way through downtown she fretted that we were going to be late, and then she said she should have driven us. (She meant she should have taken my keys and driven my car, with me as passenger.) I didn’t say anything, but my thought was something like “Over my dead body. No way I’m trusting you with my car keys. I have to put up with your driving, and now you have to put up with mine!” We got there in time, with several minutes to spare, but from her perspective the only way to drive in Chicago was whipping in and out, and I never chose to do that. She could parallel park better than I could, though, and I did once get out of the driver’s seat and let her park my car when the only available space was about six inches longer than my car. There had to be at least 18 inches extra for me to parallel park a car, maybe a foot if I was desperate enough for a spot.

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  57. Thank you for all your good book advice. I seized initially on Geronimo, found it at B&N … But then I read the other posts and decided to go back to exchange it for a Tintin book recommended by Janice & Roscuro (found the specific title Roscuro mentioned).

    Found Minecraft things & two shirts on sale at Macy’s. So we’re good, all except for the wrapping part, I’ll have to do that tomorrow.

    It was kind of nice shopping for something other than bathroom fixtures for a change.

    Oh, and I saw real estate pal at the dog park, he says guys will be here Saturday morning to start on the foundation work and we *might* be able to line up people for the bathroom sooner than we thought also.

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  58. I don’t know about the female student, but I can imagine the trauma about having lived in Greenville, SC and having to go back to China can be devastating.
    We don’t know how well we have it here.
    People get used to going in and out at will, the malls, cars, no pollution. Women are respected. And safe.
    It’s possible she couldn’t face the prospect of returning and leaving this forever.
    Also. She may be leaving a boyfriend.

    So sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. Hmmm, I hadn’t thought about that. I was thinking about school and family pressure, etc., but she was finishing school. At least her undergraduate work. I don’t know what she had planned for next, and I don’t know what was waiting for her in China, though.

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  60. I think one hasn’t really seen crazy traffic and crazy drivers until one has driven in India. Except I’m always a passenger, and never a driver there, so at least I don’t have to navigate it. In that way, it makes it somewhat less scary than kinds of experiences Cheryl had. Somehow you just seat yourself down in your vehicle, whether an automobile, a scooter, a 3-wheeled auto-rickshaw, or whatever, then whisper a prayer, trust God, trust your driver, and just go with it.

    But our last road trip in India earlier this year involved two occasions of stopping from a speed of about 45 miles per hour within a couple of feet of a cow crossing the highway. One instance where we were going through a one lane tunnel when our driver decided he could get through faster if he squeezed ahead of a few cars. The other drivers were forced to slow down and squeeze themselves over to the side to let him pass. (I think he was motivated by the fact that a driver had pushed him out and entered the tunnel before we did.)

    The year before that was my first time back in India after 15 years, so I was happy to see that they’d actually constructed divided highways where I figured it would make things safer than they used to be when being on the highway felt like a nonstop game of chicken, dodging head-on collisions at the last moment. The problem now, though, is that drivers aren’t always willing to drive to the next exit to turn around, so they just drive in the wrong direction on the divided highways. I remember one near-miss with an ox cart.

    I remember a couple of decades back, riding in a wide tour bus up a narrow windy road to a hill station, looking down the side and seeing another tour bus that had rolled down the side.

    It’s really something to experience!

    I prefer the trains, but we hardly get to take those anymore.

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  61. Hi Ree!

    (I used to be Karen O – you might recognize my blue teapot – but don’t tell anyone! πŸ˜‰ )

    Sadly, I have not had any communication from Random Name in quite some time, & he seems to have stopped writing his blog. One comment he made here, maybe two or three years ago (?) was that his daughter made him go to a doctor, & they thought he might be in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. I say a prayer for him & his family now & then, when he comes to mind.

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  62. I don’t mind the forced merge, but then I let the car ahead get a bit ahead.

    Cairo traffic is interesting.. There are lines? I wonder what those are for. Many two lane roundabouts had five or six cars alongside each other.

    And Italy? Stop signs and yield signs mean the same thing as go for it, you have the right of way.

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  63. The Chinese tend to have an incredible amount of pressure to be the best of the best of the best. And to do their duty, whatever that is supposed to be. Going back to that could well be challenging. But we don’t know her mind. We can pray for her friends and family, that the Light would bring Truth into their lives through this sadness.

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  64. So sorry to hear that about Random. The sad thing about online relationships is that people can just drop out and you never know for sure what eventually happens in their lives. I pray that, after all that fight in him, he might finally receive God’s saving grace.

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  65. Atlanta drivers can be competitive with other big city drivers. Somehow I manage it, but mostly we are driving against the traffic, but lately even that has gotten much worse.The population must be on a big upswing or people are not using public transit as much.

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  66. Yes, true, Mumsee. And when a family sends their kid to America to study, the expectations are even higher. Thanks for the prayers.

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  67. Afteing moving to a rural city whose main road was two lanes with a continous left turn lane, my brother-in-law commented that drivers all drove like they were on their own farm.

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  68. You take a look at the top (the number of posts are notated) and try to hurry up and post before someone else jumps in!! πŸ™‚ I thought I might be 101 but nah….I took too long after refreshing the page!

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  69. Good day at school working with my aide. I was showing her everything that needs to be copied for next term. As we looked at the small, reproducible books, I realized that for some of the class they were too difficult. I pulled out a box and found some blackline masters of books we had put away last year because they were too simple. Just right for some of my low students this year, God is good. It hadn’t even occurred to me before then.

    Liked by 2 people

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