Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some Things Folks Just Have To Learn For Themselves

It was last Thanksgiving when it all started, and at least for this one time, I can blame my wife.

My wife, I suspect, is one of the few people that swim in Lake Travis all year long. I’m sure there are others, but I don’t see them. Anyway, as is her custom, she gets up early and heads down to the lake. As the drought deepened last year, and the “sometimes peninsula” where we live grew, she would drive her car further out and closer to the water to park before her daily swims. This all came to an abrupt end on Thanksgiving Day 2008.

I was enjoying sleeping in on that holiday morning when my phone rang. It was my wife. Matter-of –factly mentioning that her car was stuck in the mud; she calmly asked me to come down and help push it out. Knowing my wife’s propensity to understate the gravity of a situation from time to time, I woke up my two boys, home for the holiday, as insurance.

When we got down there, it was immediately apparent that all the pushing in the world would not dislodge a car up to its hood in mud. My sons were laughing, but I was not amused. This was a job for AAA.

Surprisingly, despite being a holiday, the call for help was answered promptly and soon a truck was out on the sand with us. After nearly getting stuck himself, the driver finally got the car pulled out, and after giving the car a bath, we enjoyed the rest of the day. We all learned a lesson that day about staying well away from the water’s edge with any type of vehicle. The trend my wife started that morning, however, would live on.

It seems that our family lesson had to be learned repeatedly by others. Since that holiday morning last year, we have watched with increasing amusement as hundreds of golf carts, cars, police cars, trucks, tow trucks and jeeps have been stuck. We’ve seen it all. Golf carts, for reasons unknown, driving straight into the lake. Trucks pulling trucks pulling other trucks getting stuck. We’ve learned to predict the vehicles which will get stuck with uncanny ability. Most amazing, are the “repeat offenders” who for some reason continually drive to the same place and expect a different result. You would think after nearly a year of watching people digging out, folks in our small community would start putting two and two together and stay out of the mud. Nope. It is now just a couple months shy of a year since my wife started it all, and the mud and sand claimed two more victims today. Some things folks just have to learn for themselves.

A month or two ago, my wife had to call AAA again for some car trouble. The AAA driver got out of his truck took one look at her and said, “You’re the lady who got the car stuck in Lake Travis last Thanksgiving.”

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