Some people are just unlucky and actually go through life wondering when the next shoe is going to fall. I am not one of these people, in fact I have often boasted about how lucky I have been. For the most part, little day-to-day problems usually don't plague me and unlike some people, I don't knock on wood to ensure they won't happen.
I have always maintained that people make their own good luck. Positive attitudes, active participation in the decisions that affect their lives and being thorough and organized, usually wards off a lot of the situations that can mushroom into bigger problems.
That's not to say I haven't had a few things that still stick in my memory that are just plain unfortunate. Most of these have happened when I am traveling and in most cases, weather or transportation methods have been the causes of these annoyances.
I remember the time I was living north of Seattle and returning from a ski trip to Montana with my kids. The morning I was heading home it began to snow and what normally takes eight hours took nearly five days. If it was going to happen, it did and I was right in the middle of bad weather problems the entire way. Everything from three feet of snow on Montana's highways, to a closed mountain pass in Idaho to ice and slick roads through Washington. I trudged on with my little sports car, carefully staying on the highway, even though it was officially closed in some spots. I finally made it to Wenanchee, Wash. where I learned that every pass into the Seattle area was closed because of avalanche threats. I remember sitting in a motel room for four days, frustrated because I was missing a New Year's Eve party. Snow was so deep it was hard to get around Wenanchee and I finally had to return home via Portland, Ore, about 400 miles out of my way. Was it bad luck or just the reality of living in a mountainous region?
Last Thursday turned out to be the makings of a similar nightmare. As usual, I had booked my day pretty full with interviews, appointments, photos and meetings. I was taking everything in stride, running from one appointment to the next when the trouble began. I ran home from taking a photo downtown, to show a driver where to put a load of gravel that I had purchased for my yard. I must not have set the park brake on my jeep after I pulled in my driveway because no sooner did I got out of the vehicle then it rolled into my garage. While I was waiting for the trucker to back into my driveway, I noticed a dry plant near a pond in my yard and reached down to get a pail of water to give it a drink. As I did this my cell phone fell into the pond. Still in my dress slacks and leather shoes, I jumped into the pond to save the phone. As I stood there dripping, I realized that the phone was already soaked and I could have waited a couple minutes to take off the shoes and roll up the pants and still salvaged it.
I was also hurrying because the Western Outlaw Lawman History Association was meeting in Price and I was late for the bus tour up the canyon to visit the location where Butch Cassidy robbed the payroll office. But first I needed to get a new cell phone because the weekend was just around the corner and I knew I would need it. That took a half hour. So I rushed back to the convention, still in my wet shoes and slowly drying slacks, caught most of the speakers remarks, and boarded the bus.
But my bad luck was just beginning. We made it about three miles out of town and the bus quit half between Price and Helper. The convention had a second bus, which went to the wrong location initially, but which I eventually caught and headed again off to Castle Gate. All was going smoothly until we arrived at the construction on the Peerless bridge. I am sure I am exaggerating but the bus, filled with the convention goers, passed over the bridge at the same time as a semi truck coming the other way, and it was pretty clear we both weren't going to squeeze through together in the narrow lanes that are there. As the bus driver swerved, the door at the front caught one of the road barriers and I thought for sure we were going to either hit the semi or loose the door. It was that tight. As construction workers jumped out of the way we squeaked through.
We rounded the corner a little shaken to find bumper to bumper traffic waiting for another road construction project a little further up the canyon. We finally made it through that congested area and were about to arrive at the turnoff where the actual robbery took place but as it turned out the construction crew just happened to be paving that particular stretch of road and there was no simply no place for the bus to turn off. As the bus went up the canyon and then found a place to turn around Joel Frandsen did a great job telling the story of the infamous robbery since no one could experience it.
Arriving back in town almost an hour late for my next appointment, but with dryer feet and slacks, I sighed. I was so grateful that these things don't happen often in my life.
I just can't imagine going through life where these kinds of unlucky things happen on a regular basis.