Post trip Reflection--I know, not a witty title

Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
Trip End Feb 27, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Friday, March 8, 2013

Obviously, things we encounter and do in our lives impact us.  Duh.  However, it is interesting what things hit me randomly now that I'm back.  A few I wanted to share (as if anyone cares to read it)--regardless, it will be out there.

Emergency vehicles.  I was driving over to eastern Washington and had a lot of time to think.  I passed the aftermath of a recent wreck in which the car was totally destroyed but the people appeared to be mostly okay.  They were standing outside the car, huddled against each other in the cold, drizzling rain.  The apparent other vehicle, a semi, was parked on the side of the road.  Now, anyone who has been in a wreck, and especially one with a flippin 18-wheeler on the Interstate, knows how scary the experience can be.  The things I noticed were the fact that there was already an emergency vehicle on site with flares laid in the road and the lighted vehicle parked to offer protection against any potential further wrecks.  I drove past and not 20 seconds later, two more emergency vehicles were screaming to the wreck from the opposite direction.  It hit me then how lucky we are to have this whole structure of emergency readiness.  Despite the terribly frightening experience of being in an accident, we all have the luxury of knowing that within minutes, someone will be coming to help...someone that has been trained, someone that know how to handle the situation.  (Of course, I realize that not all first-responders, police, EMT's, etc. are amazing and perfect, but on the whole, they know what they're doing).  If the accident calls for transport, we can rest easy knowing that the vehicles will be equipped with all of the basic and even not-so basic machines and medicines to keep us alive.  It is really amazing actually.  When I was overseas, it was a very scary feeling realizing that there was no safety net.  That safety net is treated as our right here.  I certainly never thought about it and, therefore, took it for granted.  To know that perfect strangers are there to take care of us whenever we call them....pretty amazing.

The other thing that has hit me is my new set point concerning cleanliness and appearance standards.  I was driving over and had to stop for gas.  I decided to use the restroom as well and when the cashier handed me the 'outdoor bathroom key' I didn't even blink an eye.  I realized that a mere two months ago, I would have felt the involuntary curl of my lip as I tried to mask my displeasure of having to use an invariably scuzzy 'outdoor bathroom'.  I mean, "Ewww!" Right?  Well, yesterday, my thoughts were 180 degrees different.  I remember thinking nothing about the appearance of the bathroom--which would have caused recoil a few months ago.  This bathroom had toilet paper, hot water, AND soap.  I mean, what else do you need?  To top it off, it was fairly clean.  Definitely not pretty, but not terribly dirty.  I am sure that within a few months, the perspective I currently have will fade.  But, hopefully, I can remember some of these lessons, and keep a bit of perspective to our phenomenal lives. 
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Linda on

As with most things in our lives, we truly find the value when we have lost them. The ideal process would be to realize and appreciate them everyday, but as you say we take it for granted that they are our due and they will always be there. At least you have had the opportunity for this reflection of life.

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