Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rainy Days & Lit Stuff

I went to the “big city” today for the Penwomen’s monthly luncheon. Normally on first Thursdays, I stay over for the Valley Writers’ meeting, but tonight I was scheduled to do a reading at a local elementary school.

On my way to Roanoke, I stopped by Marion’s mailbox to leave a folder of essays from the Lake Writers' essay contest. I’m co-chair of the contest; I log the essays in as I receive them, package them into folders, and start them on their journey to a multitude of judges. Each essay is read by several people before a half-dozen of us meet to decide which should win. Thinking I might run into Jim, the fearless leader of both Valley Writers and Lake Writers, I took a couple of other folders with me.

Anyhow, after the luncheon, I stopped briefly in Salem to see how fellow Penwoman and fellow self-pubbed writer Peggy is doing with the house she’s remodeling into a craft shop. By then rain was falling.

I figured I might catch Jim at the Roanoke County Library, and I was right. I gave him the two folders of essays (one each of middle school and high school) and chatted with him a bit before I headed south of home. Rain was really pouring at this time.

When I went through Boone’s Mill, rain was pounding so hard I could barely see. Big trucks were flying on Rt. 220 and throwing up water onto my little PT. Just south of Boone’s Mill, the weather improved. I could see where I was going. Then I came upon what was left of an accident.

Near Wirtz, a half-dozen ambulances had their lights flashing, as did several cop-cars. Both northbound lanes were at a standstill; the remnants of a car still blocked them; northbound traffic was backed up for a mile. The southbound lane crept. I couldn’t tell from the crowd how many vehicles had originally been involved, but it must have been a messy accident. If I hadn’t stopped to give Jim the essays, I’d have been in the midst of it. Saved by the essays!

When arrived home shortly before four, the rain had tapered off. I left for my reading at five: good travel weather.

I had a wonderful time reading to elementary students, their parents, and grandparents as part of the “Read Across America” program. When I left the school about seven, rain was pouring again. I had 14 miles to travel on Route 40. Besides heavy rain, fog obscurred my vision, so I had to drive slowly at times.

If I hadn’t been doing a presentation at the school, I’d have stayed in Roanoke for the Valley Writers’ meeting. I’d have been on I-581, 220, and 40 much later, when the fog would have been much worse and more big trucks would have been on the roads. My odds of being in an accident would have been much greater. Saved by reading!

Saved twice in one day by writing and reading.

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Blogger Farrar Richardson said...

As I read about your narrow escape, I feel further comforted in our decision to give up country living and move to the city. If a retiree like me wants to stay active in the country, there's just too much driving to do. Now that we've sold our car, we are free from auto slavery, producing less carbon dioxide, and saving money. I do miss some pleasures of rural life, but feel that these regrets are more than offset by our new freedom.

5:45 AM  

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