It was the best of times; It was the worst of times...OK, actually it wasn't really that terrible, all things considered.
I got up this morning and left Alex and Bella in bed and went to town to run some errands. By myself. Yup, big stuff for recent times. I didn't attempt Wal-Mart (baby steps), but did go to the bank and the feed store. By myself. In Alex's happy, shiny red pick-'em-up truck. Wheee!
It was a bright, sunny, optimistic-feeling day. No line at the bank, I caught all the traffic lights just right, and in a real touch of serendipity, The 13-mile-long train that runs through Cabot arrived just *after* I'd gone over the tracks by the feed store. This never happens--I always get stuck waiting on this train, which really has to be one of the longest trains in existence. I think it's actually several trains put together. Anyway, this was such a noteworthy event that I snapped a picture of the train going by from the feed-store parking lot on my camera-phone., to send to Alex. Well, a picture of the train and my finger. I'm not that great with the camera-phone.
I went into the feed store and did not have a hot flash, even though they don't have air-conditioning. Browsed a little, picked up fly spray and an adorable pony halter for Bella's surprise tomorrow, and ordered my feed and hay. Still no heart-attack. How grand! Went back out, and was feeling so happy and accomplished that I took a picture of the feed-store to mark the occasion of my triumph (plus, I just love this place).
And through all this, the train was still going by. It was still going by when the boys loaded my feed. It was still going by when they loaded some hay bales into the truck. As I pulled back onto the side-street, the train finally passed, and the crossing barricades were raised, and traffic began to move again. I pulled into that stream of traffic, which was already slowing due to the red light about 100 feet ahead (other side of the tracks).
The way the traffic stopped, if I'd stayed right in line, I'd have had to stop right on the tracks. Well, you just don't do that, right? So to wait out the light, I stopped just short of the tracks. After I'd been sitting there about 10 seconds...the lights started flashing, the warning bells rang, and the crossing barricades came down. In front of and BEHIND ME. Trapped. Like a rat (a whole one). To say I had a bit of a freak-out would be...fairly accurate . Fortunately, the traffic light had turned green during those few seconds, and these barricades are the sort that only block one lane of traffic. So I was able to pull forward...QUICKLY. I never did see a train coming, from either direction, but I didn't hang around to look for it, either.
I find it quite heroic, if I do say so myself, that even with a serious case of adrenalin poisoning, I was able to brave the Wendy's drive-thru and procure chicken hunks and Dr. Peppers for my family. Such are the spoils of my victory...and a truckload of horse food.
I did have to inform Alex that he might want to check the status of both his tires and his upholstery.