Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sod's First Law...

Do you ever wonder about the peculiar way things sometimes play out?  Innocent things, small things--the slight pressure of a gas pedal, the sun breaking through clouds--little moments that can change the tempo of a simple day.

Sunday, walking the boys at the VA compound, I decided to pop into the grocery story when we were finished.  There are two entrance/exit points, the South gate and the North.  Since I had parked at the south end and the main road to the grocery was out the other gate, I leisurely drove the winding, narrow road through the grounds.  It's a beautiful place, as I've mentioned before, and I always drive less than the 15 mph speed limit; this is a hospital zone after all.  Besides, the flowers and trees are just beginning to show signs of life and I enjoy the slow drive.

I come to the stop sign at the three-way intersection.  If I carry on straight ahead, I will continue the long loop road around to the South gate again, the left turn leads to the Emergency area of the hospital, and the right turn takes me directly to the main thoroughfare and the store.  I only have to drive less than two city blocks and I'm out of the complex.

Turning right, I'm thinking about the store when suddenly red/blue lights flash behind me.  Well effing hell.  I glance down at the speedometer...unbelievably it reads a notch below 20 mph.  Crap.  I pull over, the cop gets out of his car, all serious and cranky, while I'm thinking of the dozens and dozens of times I've driven through this place at 10 mph.

He starts right in with the federal property spiel, how my ticket for speeding means Federal Court in front of a Federal Magistrate, and more threats words to that effect, until finally he winds down enough for me to tell him that for over two years I have driven under the speed limit, and I'm very sorry that within feet of the exit, I wasn't paying attention.  But he doesn't care about the many, many times I have driven slower than posted.  No, he only cares that right in that moment I was speeding.  I apologize again, and again, then with a final scowl and another warning to heed the 15 mph limit in the future or else, he waves me on.

I stewed about this most of Sunday.  Why, in the cosmic joke scheme of things, did I not get karma credit for every other time I drove slow?  Why, in one moment of forgetfulness, was there a cop in the exact time and place to nail me?  Why don't all the good deeds that have gone before outweigh the one minor transgression?


Yesterday, it's overcast and cool.  I have a ton of work to do in the garden.  I gather up the wheelbarrow, rake and tools, put on my gloves and start to work on the front.  At first it's not too bad, though the work is grueling.  There's nothing quite like that first day of gardening, is there?  You have this dimwitted idea that you're in shape, but a few hours of digging, pruning and raking and you realize the stupidity of that notion.

When I reach the point of no return--piles of debris, twigs, leaves, branches, weeds, the flotsam and jetsam of the front garden's clean-up--the sun suddenly appears in the sky like an alien laser beam.  The temperature rises almost instantly, and I'm bathed in sweat.  But now I can't stop.  I have to haul these many piles out of the front yard, down the drive, across the road, and dump them down the embankment.

Eight loads later, I am nearing extinction.  My hoodie has long been tossed aside, my tee shirt is plastered to my back, and I know my face must be a lovely shade of tomato red based on the heat waves melting my eyeballs.

The one day I decide to garden because it's cool and overcast.

It reached 76* before I was finished.  It took a cold shower, two bottles of water, and the rest of the afternoon to cool off.  The intense workout to muscles used only when gardening, and the potential brain damage from heatstroke?  That recovery could take days.


This morning when the alarm went off, I reached out as I always do and slapped my hand over the snooze button.  This gives me five more minutes.  Five wonderful, delicious minutes.  I roll over and snuggle down under the duvet and am instantly asleep.  Five minutes later, I fling my arm out, hit the snooze and fall back asleep.  The third time, I shut off the alarm for real, but still lay there without getting up.

The bed feels so comfortable and cozy, the pillow gently cradles my head, and I'm cocooned in heavenly warmth, serene in the quiet before the day has to officially begin.  Why does this feeling of bliss feel so compellingly wonderful, just before I have to leave it?


Sod's First Law loosely translates to "mocked by Fate." 

Yeah, that pretty much says it all...

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