Massachusetts: In the woods again, plus two birthday dinners — and surprising finale

Son Sean and and I hiked into the nearby woods two days ago, with his dog Lily and the grandkids, Kiera and Drew, both on their trail bikes. Here they are, heading for the Great Hill conservation land. I got a slow start.

Though the clouds had finally parted, the pace was sloggy.


Before and after: my birthday dinner that daughter-in-law Sue paid for on the 19th.


And her birthday dinner, that I paid for, on the 23rd.

Afterwards, leaving the parking lot, Sue impetuously followed another car into a forbidden left hand turn onto the road — and, BTW, almost got slammed by another car — when, of course, up come the flashing blue lights behind.

“Oh oh, we’re going to be pulled over! I’m going to get a ticket! I haven’t been pulled over in years!” She stopped, got out the registration, then frantically searched for her small purse with wallet. Oops! No wallet. Must be back at the restaurant!

The officer came up, looking mighty mad. “Do you know what you’ve just done?” He asks, sternly.

“Yes,” she said, honest and contrite. “I went against the sign and followed another car turning left.”

After he mentioned how very dangerous that intersection is, to her emphatic, rueful  nodding head, Sue abjectly confessed that she didn’t have her wallet, that she must have left it at Burton’s restaurant. “Want to follow us there?” I asked, helpfully. Then, as an aside, blurted out, “And on her birthday!” He took the registration, went back to his vehicle, and seemed to take forever checking Sue out. At one point another police car came up behind him, but then left. Meanwhile, Drew called the restaurant. Yes, they had the little tan baggellini. “And on your birthday!” we all kept muttering, half laughing, half worried. What would the ticket cost? And how much would it effect her insurance?

Finally he returned. Said: “Was this your birthday dinner?” Yes! (He must have checked the date out from headquarters data base.) “Okay, I’m letting you off with a warning. Just know that we have lots of accidents here. This is a very dangerous place.”

“Thank you so much, officer!”

Sue, this morning: “It was totally a conscious decision to go against the sign. I really kind of deserved to get a ticket. But . . .”

Thanks, universe! And yes, thanks, officer! Lesson learned.

We spent the rest of the ride home discussing how people in uniforms are real people, human beings, just like us.

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