Vices and Grace

I was guilty.

Zooming down the country roads of Michigan about 30 miles away from any major highway I was on my way home. I had visited my parents for the weekend. It was a GREAT weekend. I met my newborn niece for the first time. She was one-week old; beautiful, sweet, and as perfect as they come. I watched my boys, 6 and 3 play with their cousins, age 3 and 1 1/2. I laughed and smiled, enjoying the time with my two brothers and sister-in-laws. I thoroughly enjoyed being with my mom and dad. Going ‘home’ is always a funny thing for me. “Home is where the heart is.” Very true sentiments for me as I have *never* lived in Michigan, yet, I go ‘home’ to Michigan whenever I can.

Sunday evening came and we hit the road back to *my* home. DVD player was playing in the back. (A god-send for out of state trips.) I had a Pepsi in hand for the caffeine factor. It was 6:30pm and we had a five hour trip in front of us. But it was well worth the time with my family.

I have a vice and it is my lead-foot. My lead foot has driven me across the country, literally, several times. It helped me get back and forth between Chicago and Cleveland when I was long-distance dating my now-husband. It gets me back and forth to Michigan quicker than most folks. However, I do have to interject: Despite my speeding I am a very *aware* driver. When I am driving, that is all I’m doing. Very rarely do I pick up the cell phone on the road. I am constantly watching my 6s, 3s, and 9s (Can you tell I’m a pilot’s daughter?). Usually, I see a speed-trap, a reckless driver, an accident, WELL before the other cars around me. I don’t sit in the left-lane and am very aware of what is going on around me. Learning to tune-out my boys in the backseat when necessary has been a gift I quickly acquired.

In my 20-years of driving with hundreds of thousands of miles under my belt I had been pulled over three times for speeding; one ticket (ironically, five miles from my house).

Well make it four times. There I was on the country roads of Nashville, Michigan going not 10, not 15 but nearly 20 miles-per-hour over the speed limit. That is major. I had done these roads hundreds of times and had NEVER seen a police-officer. So there I was pulled over and the *very* handsome sherrif walks up to the window.

“Good evening, ma’am. I’m the Sheriff for … Do you know you were going 74 miles-per-hour? Were you just not paying attention?”

In a very shaky voice, “Yes, sir. We were just heading home.” I handed him my driver’s license; buried under my military-id. I found my registration right-away but the only insurance card I could find expired in 2007. I knew I was going to be hauled off to jail. How was I going to explain this to the angels sitting in my back seat?

By the grace of God “Mr. Very Handsome Sheriff” gave me a verbal-warning. “Please slow it down. I realize it is a beautiful evening and you were on a straight-away but slow it down.” As he walked away all I could say to him was “I’m sorry”. Grace like that left me feeling guilty. A ticket probably would have made me mad (at myself more-so). I know when I have been wrong and I was.

I’m not sure what happened to warrant only a verbal-warning: girl-power? the Army sticker and ID? pure-grace? Whatever it was I’ll take it. I still made it home pretty-lickety split but did take it down quite a few notches on those country roads. Being pulled over twice in one night would be pushing my luck a little too far!

– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.combyLeanneonMonday, March 23, 2009Military Life:,

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