As I've written about many times, I get out and walk a lot with my little grandsons. I have a double stroller with Dylan in the front seat and little Cooper tucked into the one behind him. We go everywhere but, with this being a city, if I'm going a truly long distance, I stick to the busier streets because we're more visible and I feel safer should anything awful ever happen. I carry a can of pepper spray and I wouldn't be afraid to use it if I had to...but, truly, for the most part I do feel safe and have only had a couple of instances where I've felt what cops call that "hinky" feeling about someone. So far, thank the good Lord, we've done just fine.
But, the sad thing is, it isn't the foot traffic that worries me so much. It's the insane drivers in this city. The ones who are so involved with their cell phone conversations they run red lights when I'm in the crosswalk. The ones who make left turns off of busy boulevards without looking to see if there's anyone walking across the intersection of the street they want to turn on to, then putting their gas pedal to the metal to beat the traffic, only to find ME and my precious grandbabies crossing that street! People who make right turns onto streets without stopping at red lights, only to find ME and my precious cargo walking LEGALLY in the crosswalk around that corner. And bicycles....oh, my. BICYCLES!!!!! Sneaking up behind me on dozens of sidewalks without a word and whipping around me and the stroller within inches and never saying a word to let me know they're there. Bicycles riding down the sidewalks towards me and expecting me to give them the right-of-way and, if I don't, cussing or snarling at me. And, believe me, with my Dear Hubby being a devoted bicyclist, I hate to even say anything against bicyclists as a whole because most are like my husband...law-abiding, careful, and decent people. My husband has had his close calls, too, but this isn't about my husband...this is about me and trying to keep my precious cargo SAFE!!!
Let me tell you about the encounter I had today. I'm lucky I'm even here to tell you about it. Honestly. The boys and I had walked to a small market a mile from our house to pick up some bananas and as we got to the intersection near it that we needed to cross to get home, I waited until the light was red, looked every which way and then some to make sure it was clear to walk, and then stepped out into the crosswalk. And at that moment I heard a vehicle with a BIG motor rev up to who knows how many RPMs and I looked to my left to see a Chevy Suburban up on one of those high chassis' GUNNING RIGHT FOR US!! Going at least 40 mph!! I have never reacted so quickly - or with more coordination, considering the awkward load I had - in my life as I did at that moment. I whipped that stroller around and yanked it out of the way with all my might. And then I literally shook in my shoes, realizing how close we came to being killed. The light had been red for him - you big old fat low life nincompoop with the beard!!! - for more than 5-10 seconds so it wasn't like he was trying to beat the light....it was like he was truly planning on hitting us!! When I told Dear Hubby about it later he asked me if I'd gotten the license plate number. You know, that didn't even enter my mind. I was so intent on saving our lives I never thought about it. But other motorists who witnessed it were sitting there in open-mouthed shock, too, so that gives you an idea of how this nut was driving. And the sad thing is, there are real nuts out there who would do something like that intentionally.
What a world we live in.