IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2006
TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES
29 August 2006
Everybody tells you that it's a good thing to take time to smell the roses, but when you're in a hurry and are forced to take your time, I'm not sure how beneficial it is.
Jeri was leaving Davis for good on Sunday, her plan being to return to San Rafael, spend a day or so with her grandmother, and then go to Berkeley on Tuesday, in preparation for flying out of Oakland on Wednesday.
She talked with my mother about taking the train from here to the Bay Area, as she frequently does, and then rendezvous-ing with my mother, who could drive across the bay and pick her up, an arrangement they often use.
Then Jeri got the idea that maybe Walt and I could drive her to my mother's and we could all have a final family dinner. My mother thought that was a good idea and Jeri suggested that maybe Walt's brother and his wife, who live nearby, would like to drive over and have dinner with us as well.
And so it was planned. A quick little jaunt over to Marin County, have a little dinner, and drive home in time to watch The Emmies on my DVR before going to sleep.
To get from here to there, you go across a 2-lane road, Hwy 37 (which, for years, was known as "Blood Alley" because of all the accidents there, until they finally installed a concrete divider between the lanes). Hwy 37 connects I-80 in Vallejo to Hwy 101 in Marin County. It goes along the edge of San Pablo Bay which, in this area, is a nature preserve.
When you first turn off onto Hwy 37, you pass Marine World, with all those huge roller coasters. Then you go up over a bridge from which you can see Mare Island, an old Naval shipyard. And then it is some 20 miles or so from there over to 101.
But as we came down off the bridge, we saw cars stopped. I mean stopped. As in not. moving. at. all. Walt tried to find a traffic report, even calling the DMV's traffic line, the recording at which said there was no reported problem on Hwy 37.
But the traffic was not moving. At all.
When it finally began to move, it was literally 5 mph and as far as I could see ahead of us, cars were creeping forward at that speed...apparently indefinitely.
In truth, there were perks to moving 5-10 mph along this stretch of roadway. There are always interesting birds to see, but since it's a 2 lane road that always has lots of traffic, you can never slow down to appreciate the nature. Here we were being handed "nature" to us on a silver platter. I opened the window and heard bird calls I'd never heard before, and watched birds I couldn't recognize stick incredibly long beaks into the mud to look for bugs to eat.
The traffic continued to inch along, foot by agonizing foot. It wasn't until we had gone quite a long way that Walt suggested that perhaps there was an event at the racetrack. If you look up at the map above and see where Road 121 is, that is the road to Infineon Raceway. Not being devotees of auto racing, we were completely unaware that the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma was taking place this weekend. I'm sure this description means something to someone:
(At least I recognize the name "Danica Patrick," if nothing else)
We had arrived at Road 37 just as the weekend's activities were all coming to an end. There is a stoplight at the intersection of 121 and 37 and all this traffic was backed up from the stoplight, in both directions on 37 and, presumably, along 121 as well.
Of course knowing what was probably causing the traffic jam didn't help any. It just made us realize that we were stuck there until we made it through the traffic light (and very grateful that we had filled the gas tank before leaving Davis!)
Once we made it through the stoplight, more than 30 minutes after we started on the 20 mile road, it was clear sailing to Hwy 101 and we figured we were home free.
Ahhh...but it was Sunday evening, when all the week end vacationers are returning home. We hadn't been on 101 more than a few seconds before we caught up with that parking lot. That moved a little faster, but not much. Thank goodness it's only 3 offramps before you get to my mother's.
So we had lots of time to smell the roses and
watch the birds at the wildlife preserve and listen to bird calls. But somehow I
don't think any of us felt truly rested after we reached our destination!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I'll bet they went faster than 5-10 mph!