It has been quite a long weekend here with so much packed into each day that it is a big blur of activity, emotion and general exhaustion.
I had been calling the jury duty hot line all last week to receive instructions on the selection process. I had a high number - in the 800's - so I was pretty sure that I would not be called to come in. After calling at 12:45 and 5:30 every day, I thought I was safe by the time Thursday night rolled around. No such luck. I was ordered to report and be in my chair with a sharpened #2 pencil at 8:30 am on the dot, Friday morning.
OK, they said nothing about the pencil, but I still felt like I was in high school again.
Roy had to take the day off of work to watch the kids and I fought morning rush hour traffic to get into the city, found a parking space in a very over-priced parking garage, and spent the next 2 hours sitting in a very uncomfortable chair. I filled out a lengthy questionnaire concerning my opinions on asbestos, the US Navy, company rights and if pain and suffering was a legitimate reason to sue someone.
We were then dismissed until 2pm so I went home, ate lunch, cleaned up, stressed myself out, and drove back to the city. Another expensive parking garage spot and another uncomfortable chair to sit in for the next 2 1/2 hours.
At 4pm, I, along with about 35 other people who were left out of the original 300 or so, were dismissed and thanked for our service. Based on the surveys, we would not be questioned as potential jurors. Great, but couldn't you have just told us that and let the 35 of us go at 2:01 instead of making us sit there for 2 1/2 hours when you didn't want to talk with us anyway?
On the bright side, it is here that I must publicly thank my husband for the years of constant prattling on about asbestos and all its uses, problems, regulations, removal requirements, side effects and general nastiness. I honestly answered all of the survey questions which made me sound like an asbestos expert. All those years of listening to Roy's boring work related stories of asbestos paid off and I was not selected for what would have been a very lengthy and very complicated civil trial.
Given that this past week was so up in the air as far as daily plans go, I had a full weekend planned with visits to friends and errands. I spent Saturday morning puttering around the yard cleaning up various messes, wringing my hands over the poor performance of this years vine crops and cleaning up the remains from the latest round of "late night raccoon garbage feasting". Lunch and early afternoon were spent at my friends home - the friend I helped earlier this year with her very first garden - and I was eager to see her progress.
She had done very well and we picked some ripe tomatoes, carrots, peppers and beets. We also dug a small exploratory hole into a mound of potato plants and saw that her red potatoes were doing nicely. It was great to spend time with her and her family and to sit with their big husky 'Tahoe'. I miss having a dog and Tahoe is the sweetest husky around. Even the baby loved him and he was very tolerant of the fur pulling.
Saturday evening was spent with another friend I had not seen in a while and we passed the time at the local Ihop discussing our kids, her job, my chickens and the general state of things. An after dinner trip to the Goodwill resulted in her taking home a 1960's edition of the Life board game in great condition (the doctors salary was $10,000 per year!!!) and I scored a 1970's edition of Parcheesi - my favorite game - in perfect, never really used condition.
I arrived home after dark to find that Roy had already taken care of the chickens, the little man was in bed, and he had even fed our outdoor stray cat, Bailey. He collected 10 perfect eggs from the ladies to boot.
Sunday was to be filled with the errands and some chores, as are most Sunday's here. The little man and I were out on the front porch around 8am enjoying the cool morning air before the humidity set in, when we heard some fire truck sirens out on the main road. Not 10 minutes later, there was a constant stream of cars on our road and we learned that there had been a terrible accident on the main road. Traffic was being diverted and we left for errands unable to observe anything due to the detour.
After our grocery shopping we turned on teh car radio and learned what had happened. A motorcycle had hit a bicyclists and knocked her into the path of a car. She very sadly passed away at the hospital. The motorcyclist had very serious injuries. Watching news reports later we learned that the driver of the car was drunk (at 8am!!) and the motorcycle rider, who was a friend of the car driver, was driving recklessly and trying to pass on the right when he hit the bicycle.
Traffic was diverted down our road all day as the police conducted their investigation and friends of the cyclist were gathered at the site as well. So heartbreaking and horrible. I thought about that poor woman's family all day.
I tend to complain a little more than I should about things here on our little farm. I lose sight of what is important sometimes and I hate to say that it takes things like this event to shake me back, but knowing that life is so fragile really hits home. You can do everything right - pay attention, obey the rules, be a good person - and something can still happen that can change your life or your family's lives forever.
Two children are going to bed without their mother tonight. I am asking everyone who reads my blog to say a little prayer for them during your day. I did not know her and you probably didn't either but I don't think that matters. She was a lady out for a bike ride on a beautiful Sunday morning, enjoying her life, enjoying the same cool morning air that I was enjoying less than a mile away.
I am giving thanks tonight, and sending a prayer too.