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Traffic Jam

Tuesday day before Thanksgiving, and the house is almost ready.  The kids’ room is at Defcon 2 (down from a catastrophic level four), most of the laundry’s done (that was going to get done before Sunday), beds are made and ready for guests, and I only have the shopping left to do.  I dropped the kids at school and turned south on Route 7A going out of Arlington.  I got to the turn off for the highway but, not seeing anyone in front of me, decided to stay on the slower road to Bennington.

A meandering two lane country road dotted with  a few farms and the occasional white-steepled church, Historic 7A (as it’s known in the tour guides) is even more scenic as the November morning brushed the trees and meadows with a muted pink and green frost.  Usually I’m too preoccupied with to-do’s to absorb the view, but this is my last bit of quiet before a long weekend of entertaining, and I am determined to enjoy the drive – as long as it doesn’t take too long.

But I’m coming around a curve, about to set the cruise control when the back end of a decelerating dump truck magically appears in front of me, interrupting my view and my plan.  He continues to slow down, and I roll my eyes.  What now?  We are now crawling forward, but my curiosity is short-lived.

A few seconds later we get to the cause of the slowdown. It is a single flagger directing traffic around another orange-vested road worker. On the side of the road, parked in someone’s yard is an orange VTrans pickup.  And then I see the flagger has a couple helpers.

As the flagger steps out into the road, a couple of Rhode-Island Reds appear, inspecting the scuffed dirt around the parked pickup.

The dump truck and I slowly down a bit more, but we don’t even stop. I watch the dump truck weave carefully around the flag man, and the flag man waves.  The dump truck driver probably doesn’t know the guy.  I don’t either, but a second later I pass and wave too.

I accelerate out of the last curve.  The car speeds up, but I’ve completely slowed down.