After our radio show on Tuesday, Susan Chambers and I eat lunch together. Last Tuesday, we also had a mission to take inventory of our books at each location where they were sold. Susan offered to drive. Usually, I drive because the books are kept in the back of my SUV. There is also another reason. We began in Summer Shade at the Country Tyme Diner (wonderful food).

On our way to Summer Shade, my good friend must like to hear the grating noise of the shoulder’s warning ruts because we rode them often. A couple of times, I raised my left hip as if I were avoiding whatever might come at me.

“Oops,” she said.

It is a good thing Susan is a slow driver; well, in some cases, it is good.

We left the diner and took the shortcut across to Randolph on our way to Hunley’s Grocery near the Barren County line. Along the curvy road, I pointed out where an individual lives, and as she looked one way, the van went off the road on the other side, nearly missing the warning sign of an impending curve. I grabbed her arm (was going for the wheel) and she brought my side of the vehicle back on the road.

“Whew, that was a close one,” I thought and I’m positive she was sweating at that point (just one side of her head sweats as you know if you listen to our show).”

We turned left on Hwy. 68 and soon were at Hunley’s. I went inside while she waited for me. We should have backed up to the open area to turn around before pulling out, but we didn’t. She thought she could “whip it” from the front of the store to our lane, but that didn’t happen. With her permission, I tell this account.

A car or truck can appear in seconds coming at too high a speed, so we had to move quickly. Quickly and driving and Susan don’t go together. After looking both ways, I said, “Nothing’s coming.” She slowly pulled out but was unable to get back into our lane with one turn, so her car straddled the highway. We are across BOTH lanes and when a car came over the horizon, I yelled, “Gun it!”

Instead of trying to get back into our lane, she sped across both lanes, drove off the highway onto the grassy shoulder of the opposite side of where we need to be, and waited. Let me be clear: we crossed 68, drove onto the shoulder of the wrong side of the road, and waited for the driver to pass. The driver politely waved.

The story doesn’t end there, but I take half credit for this nearly fatal moment. We are sitting in the grass, waiting for traffic to pass both ways before pulling out, when I see another car in the mirror. “Wait,” I said. The car never passed, (we thought it must have stopped at Hunley’s). I couldn’t turn my head around far enough or I would have seen it. (Mirrors are often deceitful.) JUST as we eased back onto the highway, the same silver car zoomed by us. If we had pulled out a few seconds earlier, both cars and perhaps our bodies would have been scattered on the highway.

I have never ridden a rollercoaster where the next turn is frightening and scream-worthy, but I have ridden with Susan Chambers.

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