Delays and Distractions

A lot has been going on lately. I’m having a real hard time processing the emotions and confusion from this “stuff” I’ve dealt with for the past couple of weeks (or months, depending on how I look at it; but definitely this past two weeks). I felt the need to get away yesterday, so I did. Most of the fireworks shows in the area for the 4th of July were cancelled due to rain. No, it wasn’t just rain. That first week of July was like monsoon season in TN! The photos below are from a walk I took at Cane Creek Park on July 5th. The lake was higher than I’ve ever seen it. I had to walk the high paths all around the lake that day because most of the lower paths were under water.

Click on any of the images to view larger or view more photos from July 5.

Back to yesterday, I decided to head out to Pates Ford Marina for the fireworks show that had been rescheduled for last night. David and I went there last year for the fireworks, and had a pretty good time; so I thought, why not? As I was getting ready to leave, the neighborhood kids came over to talk to me. The neighbor’s granddaughter told me I looked pretty. That really made my day, and I told her how much I appreciated her saying that because I haven’t heard that from anyone in quite a while. It’s funny how a compliment like that can uplift your spirit.

Then, there was a man at the gas station who showed me a random act of kindness by guiding me through two parked cars, one at the pump in front of me and one at the pump beside me, blocking my exit from my pump. I wasn’t sure if I had enough clearance between the cars to get through, but his help as he motioned me through gave me the confidence to try to succeed. His big smile as he said, “There ya go!,” as I drove up to him was totally deserving of my thanks and gratitude.

Pates Ford Marina is a little over an hour’s drive away from where I live. I decided to get there early because parking was such a nightmare last year. However, I got there a little too early; and the advertisements for this year’s show left out a very important detail. There was a $10 fee to park this year, probably to cover the expenses of hiring police to direct traffic and the golf carts they were using to shuttle people up and down the hill from the field where they parked us. I decided that since I drove an hour to get there, I might as well pay the parking fee and stay for the show. Luckily, I had $10 on me or I would have had to drive all the way back to Smithville to get cash.

Shortly after arriving, the sky darkened and it began raining. I sought shelter at the Fishlipz Bar and Grill. The young waitress who served me allowed me to stay long after having finished my mozzarella sticks and lemonade because by this point, it was pouring rain. She deserved a big tip for that alone; yet I didn’t tip her at all which I feel very bad about, now. That was the point where I let fear take over and began worrying what David would say for me having spent $10 to park and another $10.71 for 8 mozzarella sticks and a lemonade. I almost left completely due to my anxiety about the money , the rain, the cooler than expected temperature, and having to be there alone.

I took one of the shuttle rides back up to my car in the field and just sat there for almost two hours before I finally talked myself into going back down for the fireworks show. I’m glad I did because I would have missed the company of some very nice ladies there with their children.

The fireworks were a real disappointment, though. Some very low clouds had moved into the valley causing huge dead spots in the fireworks. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that happen; but I guess, it will actually make this year’s fireworks show even more memorable. They began a half hour later than expected and kept pausing the fireworks which led to lots of people packing up to leave mid-show. I think the pauses were an attempt to wait-out the clouds. Over-all, not the best fireworks display I’ve ever seen; but no one has control over the weather.

I didn’t even bother taking my tri-pod down with me for photos even though I had it in the car. I decided to simply enjoy them this year. After realizing that the clouds were going to be a problem, I did take a few short videos in order to memorialize this odd, cloud phenomenon. I’m not really sure how visible it is in the video clips, though.

I decided not to wait for one of the golf cart shuttles because the crowd waiting to be carted back up the hill was pretty huge. I would have waited there forever! Thankfully, I had my flashlight with me for the walk back to where I parked because I wasn’t expecting there to be shuttles. I knew from last year how rough that walk is without a flashlight. I walked up the hill as quickly as I could with ease this time, compared to last year. In fact, I got up the hill so quickly that I was one of the first to leave.

I had to laugh as I was walking up the hill every time I heard someone complaining about the walk. It was a long walk; I’ll give them that; but I must have passed at least 30 people on my way up, all complaining. Well, everyone but that one drunk guy who almost staggered into me, lol. I, honestly, didn’t mind walking at all. I rather enjoyed it after sitting around all day. The drive back was good, very little traffic, even getting out of the marina.

At first, I was a little mad at myself for spending the money and disappointed with the actual fireworks show; but after thinking about it for a while, I’m glad I went. It’s always a challenge for me to take these adventures on my own. I do it because they strengthen me and prove to me that I can, at least sometimes, overcome my anxiety. I really needed the distraction, and the good parts of the day totally made up for the bad. I’m thankful for that.

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