Crockpot philosophy


I got a lesson the other day. An unexpected lesson at that. Involved people, and how we perceive things. Result of a crockpot filled with meatballs and sauce.

Have you ever been driving on a road with someone ahead of you that’s puttering along? No need here to be considering how slowly they’re moving or how quickly you are. Only thing that matters is the basic concept that they’re in your way. Then, they pull over to side of the road, allow you to pass, and pull back onto the road.

I usually find that the driver of the passing car has one of two reactions in this situation…

First – “Who taught this nitwit how to drive? Get out of the way! Get out of the way… Get out of the way… GET… OUT… OF… THANK GOD!”

Second – “Hey, they started up again. Did they pull over because I was doing something they were worried about?”

I grant you that there are several possible reactions to such a situation. The general idea though, I believe, holds true. The result is this: almost never is consideration given to what is taking place in the other car.

Reaction one… relief they got out of the way. Reaction two… a general thought offered as to whether or not they moved as a response to you. Unless something is incredibly and suddenly obvious (a flat tire, smoke pouring out, etc.), we just don’t have it in our routine of standard driving protocols to debate developments or scenarios in the other car for the pull to the side and then right back in motion on the road driver.

Terry had a special event at work last week. Something she was involved in with her team. We live close enough that when such things take place… say a departmental holiday party… we will often prepare things at home and bring them over. This involves just about anything and everything from live floral arrangements in vases of water to my making a few runs of food hot out of the oven to freshen up the table service during the course of the day and change of shifts.

I’m not sure how many of you have ever had the pleasure of driving along with items in your car you really didn’t want clanging around or falling over. Water from vases is one thing… I assure you, a gallon or so of tomato sauce is quite another. And so it is that a couple of crockpots, featuring meatballs and sausage, brings about a desire for smoother operation of a motor vehicle.

Amazing thing driving with special considerations. You quickly become aware of things you might not ordinarily think about. For example, it can actually be easier to drive smoothly on the highway. Turns aren’t as sharp, or as frequent. Traffic generally continues moving, with no signals or signs bringing about stops at intersections, and few significant changes in speed.

Another great part of the highway… multiple lanes. People can pass you. Which in turn takes us to a backroad with a couple of crockpots and a bit of philosophizing.

While not often, once or twice I slowly moved to the side of the road and motioned for a car behind me to pass. And other than the care associated with the drive, with little to do except enjoy the view and think a bit, it dawned on me that the other drivers I encountered almost certainly never considered they were being waved around a delivery of meatballs, sausage and peppers, and buffalo wings.

For years, Terry and I have participated in fairs and festivals and more by bringing along her craft designs. Often, this participation ends up with us putting multiple vehicles on the road to get items from one place to the event. Our personal record is five… two vans, two cars, and one SUV.

During such parades, it was not uncommon for at least one driver in our line to be unfamiliar with the directions to our destination. It was extremely rare for all of the drivers to know where we needed to go for unloading once we arrived. This meant we needed to stay as close together as possible. Amazing what lights stopping a portion of our caravan or other vehicles cutting into line could do to those keep-together intentions.

And so, we come around to this: How often do you wonder about the vehicle near you having a reason for not making quick moves or adjustments? How often do you consider when merging if the cars that will be in front and behind are trying to stay together? How often do you really wonder why the other vehicles are moving in a certain way?

We apply our emotions and consideration to what is happening to us, in our car. We’ve been taught, and naively I’ll say we’ve all been taught well… to drive defensively, as though anything could happen… to pay attention to conditions and surroundings… and so on. And we, almost without exception, always believe it is the other driver that is an idiot.

I’m not going to end this essay with some grand attempt at connecting a car to a home or a family or more, with extensions to awareness and considerations for your fellow man. Nor am I going to try and get sentimental or creative in building the scenarios faced by others. This is about a crockpot of meatballs and not spilling it all over the back of a car.

Still, I am at times fascinated by the things we do and the interactions we have with others. Always have been. And, fresh off of my latest deliveries, for a bit of time to come, when I approach an intersection or pass another car I’ll be wondering if they’re heading to a party or working to stay within sight of someone else on the road with us. (And hoping they remembered to put something under the crockpot… just in case.)


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