***You may remember that I was on vacation in August, and that while I was relaxing with my family, several guest bloggers were nice enough to fill a lot of my spcae with grace and humor. One of the bloggers that I had invited to post was the talented Devra, who is a very busy lady. Devra said that she would be happy to guest-post, but whe I didn't hear from her, I figureds she just had too much going on.
Fast forward to last week. I got an email from Devra telling me that she had written this,b ut had forgotten to send it.
I swear, I didn't even know I was going to El Paso before I agreed to be a guest blogger.
After I had made the commitment to be a guest blogger while Gunfighter went on his vacay I found out I would be going to El Paso, TX for a business trip. Immediately I smiled and thought, "Perfect timing. Absolutely perfect!" Seriously. It is what I thought. I meant it too.
Before you whisk me away for a drug screening to see if I am blogging while high, I'm going to explain that I am fully aware El Paso is not on any list of the Wonders of the World. And yes, I also realize August is not the best time of the year to visit any part of Texas whatsoever. In fact, the last time I was in El Paso was over 20 years ago when I was pulled over for speeding by the real life version of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. The experience went like this:
The sheriff swaggered up to the window of my car and stuck his sunglass ensconced face through my driver's side window.
Sheriff: Hi there lil lady! Can I ask you if you are aware that we have speed limits in the Great State of Texas?
Me: Yes. I am aware of that fact sir. I believe I was most likely exceeding one, if not more,of them and this behavior is probably the reason we are meeting right now in the middle of nowhere.
Sheriff: Why yes indeedy. Darlin' this is NOT the middle of nowhere, this IS Salt Flat, Texas. And I clocked your veeehickle goin' about 92 miles per hour in a 55 mile an hour zone. Can you tell me, lil lady, does that sound about right?
Me: You mean I didn't even break 100? I've got to admit I'm disappointed. The whole reason I was speeding was to see if my car could break 100.
Sheriff: Sweetheart, you do understand you're behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Rabbit. Dontcha?
Me: Yes officer, I know. I was bored out of my mind while driving from Tucson on my way to Lubbock. I thought it was as good a time as any to see how fast my car could actually go. I figured no one would mind. It's a straight shot and no one was around. This is my first time driving through Texas. It's way flatter than I ever imagined. There's nothing out here!
Sheriff: No one except you, me, my radar gun. Oh...and the laws against speeding in the Great State of Texas.
Me: (deeply sighing) Yes. I now realize I was not as alone as I had believed myself to be. I'm sorry.
Sheriff: I'm gonna give you a warning lil lady cuz you didn't boo hoo all over the place and try to convince me not to give you a ticket. Plus the fact you was tryin' to run a Rabbit like it was a Hemi made this good ole boy's day.
Me: I appreciate that very much officer. I hope you understand that if the radio signals were stronger out here, I wouldn't have become so desperate for something else to do.
Sheriff: I smell what you're steppin in, darlin'. Stay safe now. And remember you ain't in no 'Cuda.
And with that, he handed me a warning and swaggered off into the sunset.
While I am happy to report my recent trip to Texas did not include being jacked up by a member of law enforcement, I did see my fair share of people in uniform. The purpose of my trip was to provide training for a group of soldiers at Ft. Bliss who are members of the Warrior Transition Battalion or the WTB. WTB's are special units set up on Army posts which have high numbers of Iraq and Afghanistan deployments. These units of men and women serve their fellow soldiers, and their families, as the soldiers deal with the transition from being at war to being back home. As you might well imagine, these battalion members are working all the time. I would bet most of them have recently strapped on a cell phone more often than they have strapped on a rifle.
The training I was providing is part of a Zero To Three military projects program for which I am a consultant- "Coming Together Around Military Families". The purpose of this training was to increase awareness and discuss the dangers surrounding Compassion Fatigue. Hopefully as we look upon our horizon- to the beginning of a new administration- we'll be able to bring our soldiers home soon, heal them, their loved ones and our country.
And in the meantime, I'll make a concerted effort to resist the almost overwhelming urge to break the speed of sound in this.
*****Thanks for this, Devra! It was worth the wait. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Devra Renner, she is the co-author of the award winning book; Mommy Guilt. Devra blogs, along with her co-auther, Aviva Pflock, at Parentopia... and I have seen her drive her minivan, but I think the sound-barrie is safe... for the moment.*****