Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Like Living in a Goldfish Bowl (11/07/13)
TITLE: Isolated Location
By Wilma Schlegel
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That was the clincher. Too long I’d lived in a house that sat inches from the road. It was so close that it could be touched by hands, hit by rocks spit from the tires of speeding cars or by debris that flew from trucks or eggs thrown on mischief night (or any night).
The ‘isolated location’ spoke to me, hit a chord deep in my soul. Just minutes from town, and close to an old trail and completely hidden from view, it was a true answer to prayer. We loved it, we bought it, we moved in and we were home. We enjoyed almost ten years of bliss.
Then came the summer of 2013. They (whoever ‘they’ are) decided to do a sewer project and to replace an aging bridge along the same stretch of highway at the same time, our stretch of highway, the stretch which afforded our ‘isolated location’. This is a good thing in the long run, right? How bad could it possibly be for the time it takes? I wondered.
First they closed the trail head. That’s okay, I thought. I can access the trail from the other end. Of course that will require going four miles out of the way so I can come in from the other side and it will require waiting my turn for the road crew to wave me through. Or, I’ll just stay home and get my exercise right here.
Ah, another problem. The road crew was right in front of my property. Why, just last spring no one knew we were here. Now I have to wait my turn to get into my lane. Is it just me or is everyone gawking at me as I turn in, craning their necks to see where my lane goes. No problem, shrubs and ground cover near the road have been cleared. Trees have been removed. The view is much clearer. Constant stopped traffic has lots of time to look.
And look, they do.
My exercise of choice is running (okay, I’m not that fast - jogging then). Picture how humbling this is. Not only can they see my house, they can see me jogging slowly around it, with my dog, a blood hound, an old bloodhound. (Well he needs his exercise too.)
I don’t like this being watched stuff.
It took weeks, but the crew working on the sewer project eventually moved along. We’re still easily seen from the road and still being looked at. The project’s not done yet but at least we can get in and out of our driveway without being ‘waved’ out. I do my jogging in the rear of the property and pray for the reopening of the trail head.
This morning I drove across the old bridge and got a good look at the new one. It’s been over six months. Is that good progress or not? I don’t know but I suspect that those workers are up against a deadline because now they’re working through the night and on Saturdays. I know, I’ve been watching - just like hundreds of other people.
Funny, I didn’t think about that before, that they’re being watched too. I just thought about the inconvenience to me. I hadn’t considered that just about everything those workers do is open to plain sight. Maybe they don’t mind being watched. After all, people on the road are known for their patience and understanding, isn’t that right?
As I drove by this morning, I took a long look at the progress. All that I could see of the bridge looked beautiful. We humans are capable of amazing works. God has gifted us richly and He has blessed me richly. I have done my share of grumbling and complaining about these present projects, I haven’t enjoyed being so easily seen from the highway, but trees and shrubs are being replaced and sound roadways and clean water are being preserved.
When that new bridge opens up, I want to be among the first to cross and appreciate it. Then I want to go down to the trail head where I can run and not be so watched.
Eventually people will forget about that house in that ‘isolated location’ where they used to watch a jogger being outrun by an old dog.
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