Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Little Assist

Stillwater, Minnesota has its hospital about a mile north of the highway along Greeley Street. It's posted for 30 mph, and if you don't remember that, there are cops in abundance who will help. I got my own indelible memory assist in the matter years ago on a very sub-xero night when I was late picking up my daughter after a school theater function and drove that same street with my mind on the image of her stuck outside the school waiting for me, not on my speed.

Luckily for her, she wasn't stuck outside, since the wait turned out to take a few extra minutes.

What's tempting on that road is a dip that runs past a park and between lakes. With no houses and only the one turn-off, 30 mph seems terribly slow. But sometimes it's just not slow enough.

Yesterday, I drove through that area on my way to pick up something from the hospital. Traffic was stopped at the bottom of that dip, backed up about ten cars when I arrived. There was a squad car at the front of the line, holding everybody up. No lights, no siren, just patiently sitting there and by its presence keeping everybody else from moving.

There on the street in front of it was a big, mossy-backed snapping turtle, slowly making her way across the road either to or from her busy day of egg-laying. Traffic stopped until she was safely up on the curb and crossing the sidewalk, and we all went on our way, smiling.

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