Forgetting to set alarm clock a twist of fate? Sets off chain of reminders that life is good

Posted: 06/09/2014 in Uncategorized
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Sometimes you get a reminder that life is good.

No matter how messed up the world is and no matter how screwed up things like the Idaho Health Exchange are – highest premiums I’ve ever paid for the worst health coverage I’ve ever had – you need that occasional reminder that you have it good.

Monday, June 9th is one of those days and I first want to express my condolences to the families of the three people killed in two separate crashes on Highways 55 and 95.

These accidents caught my attention for this one simple fact: I stayed up late Sunday night to get some NBA Finals responsibilities done so I could have my first complete day with absolutely no work since the mid-February Friday during the NBA All-Star break.

So Sunday night I pondered what I could do with this day off with the bad thing being that Boise is six-plus hours away from any real cities. Once I moved past that stark reality I decided that perhaps I should head about two hours north to McCall, a resort town in Idaho that at least has a nice lake to look at.

I thought about how I could leave around 10 or 10:30 and head due north up Highway 55 to McCall. Then it hit me that I have never been on the Highway 95 route to McCall. It would take me through Payette, the hometown of baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and through an outpost called Weiser, where apparently baseball Hall of Famer Walter Johnson lived for a while shortly before beginning his pro career. The Highway 95 route would add about 50 miles to the trip but I could see things I’ve never seen.

I had some concerns about the Highway 95 route as I’m unfamiliar with the road and I’m aware accidents occur on the highway. Then I remembered my two times being on Highway 55 – in 2009, stuck in traffic both coming and going for lengthy times due to construction and a 2006 drive back from Montana with my brother’s family in which we sat on the road for a while waiting for an accident to be cleared.

I filled up the gas tank late Sunday night, cranked up the ice maker and cleaned the cooler. Figured I’d see how I felt Monday and make a decision on which road to go.

Apparently this is when fate intervened. I started doing my NBA work for Tuesday’s Game 3 and was up late getting it done. Relaxed with a couple beers and before I knew it, it was 2:30 a.m. (In other words, like nearly every other night in my life!).

I went to bed – but forgot to set an alarm.

I needed the sleep badly and I slept 8 1/2 hours – yes, 8 1/2 hours with no interruption – and was lying there in bed pondering the situation. Finally, I decided leaving around noon to make a day trip to somewhere in which the round trip is more than 200 miles made no sense and I used my afternoon to run errands and even vacuumed for the first time since, um, 2013.

Basically, I figured there will be another chance this summer to go to McCall on either the direct route or the roundabout route before my work commitments heat back up when college football season arrives. Thought I was done thinking about it for the day.

Well, until I saw these new stories crossing my path on social-media sites.

An accident on Highway 55 occurred between the towns of Smiths Ferry and Cascade around 11:30 a.m. in which two people died and four others were transported to hospitals. Definitely could’ve been right around that area myself if I had departed around 10 a.m. Most certainly would have been stuck in the traffic – this article says the road was blocked for more than two hours – if I had left later. (http://www.ktvb.com/news/Six-injured-in-Highway-55-crash-262421111.html)

Guess what happened approximately 50 minutes later on Highway 95? Yep, another fatal accident near the town of Midvale. Never heard of Midvale until I was studying the map on Sunday trying to figure out how many little towns were between Weiser and McCall. The crash happened at 12:20 p.m., which would again be within the timeframe if I had departed around 10 a.m. I had decided I would stop in Weiser to check out the field named after Walter Johnson so if I hadn’t already made it past Midvale, I would have been likely sitting in traffic on that highway as the road was closed for 3 1/2 hours. (http://www.ktvb.com/news/One-dead-in-crash-south-of-Midvale-262426601.html).

So if I had gone through with the hatched-out plan to go to McCall, it would have at least been a very frustrating day. Since I didn’t, it becomes one of those days that reminds you how well you have it.

The odds are certainly very, very, very slim that I would have been the one involved in either of those crashes. But you can also count on it holding true that the people who died today had no clue Monday was going to be the last day of their lives even two minutes before the respective accidents.

I remember getting this type of reminder once before since relocating to Boise – right around Thanksgiving of 2010. Two drunk drivers ran into each other on a road – one was on the wrong side of the street – and three of the four people died and the one woman who survived suffered major injuries. One of my brothers and I made it through the area about 45 seconds to two minutes prior to the  2 a.m. crash and only learned of it in the morning. (https://mrsportsblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/first-of-the-month-rant-december-brotzmans-misses-not-reason-for-boises-black-friday/)

Sooooooo – sometimes not setting the alarm clock is the best thing one can do.

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