OK, it's been a little while
Since the word of the day here was "Gratitude."
Well, today's the day.
A couple weeks ago, I was headed home from Houston and a two-day visit to MD Anderson Cancer Center for my first three-month blood work and screening. All went swimmingly until I hit this little podunk town out in the middle of nowhere on the way back that is apparently one of the Top 10 speed traps in the great state of Texas.
I was minding my own business going through this little blink-and-you'll-miss-it metropolis, when I saw a cop car parked on the other side of the highway, facing the opposite direction. I glanced down and my cruise control had me crawling along at 54 mph, a little above the speed limit but usually not enough to get anyone's attention.
Except this guy.
I saw him in my rearview mirror turn around across the highway and start coming after me, lights flashing. What the hell? No effin' way, yo?
He asked me, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
Well, the only effing thing it could be is speeding, I thought, but I wasn't speeding, so why don't you tell me?
I didn't really say that.
I said, "Well, I have an idea, but I was only going 54."
He said, "Actually, I clocked you at 53, but there's a school zone and the speed limit between 3:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday is 35 mph."
You gotta be shittin' me.
I thought about pulling the cancer card, telling him I was happily on my way home after getting a clean report, maybe distracted by the good news I was packing, and he'd cut me some slack.
Besides, throwing that card for something like a traffic ticket could bring bad juju in my direction.
So today, I went back to this run-down little hole-in-the-wall to turn in a bunch of paperwork and request being able to take defensive driving, which was approved.
I've done this at least once before over the years, and even though you take defensive driving so the ticket won't be on your driving record, you still have to pay these fairly exorbitant "court costs," which is ridiculous since you don't even go to court, but nothing you can do about it.
There was a time when a big-ass ticket like this one (speeding in a school zone) would put a serious dent in ol' John Henry's finances. Remember, I used to buy $10 "maypop" tires back in the day, and I probably would have had to request a payment plan for those court costs I mentioned.
This time, the very nice court clerk asked me if I wanted to pay the court costs today, and I said, sure, which I did.
That's a bunch of Benjamin Franklins that I could have used for something else -- probably spent frivolously, but, hey -- but it really is a blessing to have enough money in my pocket to take care of it.
So ... things to be grateful for today:
Money to pay my ticket.
A vehicle and full tank of gas to go take care of the damn ticket.
Not getting another ticket on my way there and back.
A relaxed day for setting up some appointments for next week, working on some stories for the paper, and possibly even trying for a 15-minute nap.
OK, and go.
What're you grateful for today?