Weatherford Democrat

Columns

July 19, 2011

If you think traffic is bad in Weatherford, think again.

WEATHERFORD — This past week, Jim and I had to go to Dallas for a doctor’s appointment and decided while there to go visit our daughter, Karen, and family in Plano. We had not seen our grandkids since school was out. It seems they are always going places with their friends, which is natural with teens.

After graduating from high school, our granddaughter, Kelly, was excited about becoming a part of SMU for her college studies. She is a member of SMU’s Hilltop Scholars, and one of the byproducts of that is attending a leadership conference this summer in Taos, N.M. The group of 16 girls and boys traveled to SMU’s campus in Taos, turned in their cell phones, put together 40 pound packs and headed off to the mountains for seven days of wilderness camping without the benefit of electricity, cell phones, comfy beds and generally “roughing it.”

Kelly’s idea of roughing it was to be without room service for a couple of hours. She is used to having her own bathroom, private shower and her electric hair rollers. They had none of these niceties. They got their water from streams to drink and cook with, with the help of purifying tablets dropped into their canteens, and slept in tiny tents with people they had only met the day before.

She hiked up 14,000 feet to the summit of a mountain in hiking boots that had not been properly broken in. Her mom had told her that she had better wear them before the trip. She didn’t and paid the price with sore feet. In other words, these kids were all neophytes when it came to camping. She said that by the end of the trip when they got back to Taos, they were so dirty, but none of them cared. They were no longer urban teens, but hardened campers. The important thing that happened is they all pulled together, made the trip and had an eye opening experience without any broken bones or sickness. Looks like college may be good for her.

Our trip to Dallas turned out to be somewhat like hers. We didn’t put together a 40-pound pack of supplies, but we should have. If you bemoan a three- or four-minute delay while driving South Main in Weatherford, just try to get through Dallas. Every freeway has road or bridge construction, a lane closure or an accident of some kind.

What is usually about an hour drive turned out to take almost two. In some places, traffic would come to a complete stop for several minutes for no apparent reason, then slowly move again. We merged right, merged left and detoured so many times, I think Jim forgot where he was going, almost.

This recipe will help settle your nerves in traffic.

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