Monday, August 29, 2011

I'd Like You To Meet Fred

I have "borrowed" a thing or two from my daughter's blog before and posted them here. That was easy enough and worked well enough for me that I am taking my blog filching a little farther afield in the family.  Fred is my daughter-in law's Dad. He is also a great guy and a terrific writer. He doesn't write often but he writes very well. You can find his blog here: Upper Middle Age Guy, and you can often find Fred here, at a local lake paddling one of the many canoes that he makes himself.

Since Fred and I share something as important as grandchildren, a little blog sharing seems like a good idea.

This is a post Fred wrote last spring about ROAD RAGE.
Oh yes, there was a time when I would not easily forgive the fellow who cut me off or tailed my gate. It never led to fisticuffs but words exchanged were heated. The wife and kids would make themselves as small as possible, waiting for the storm to subside, while I used my horn, my lights, my loudest voice and my longest finger to explain to that poor fellow exactly what he'd gone and done wrong.

The over-reaction was one more trait I can trace right back to my old man; he drove mad, worked mad, watched TV mad, and often got very mad at being so mad. Some of that rubbed off on me. But then, somewhere along the way, I began to question the sense of getting angry at every stupid driver. Several things helped me change my ways. I realized that if I had gotten my behavior from my father, I was possibly passing it on to my kids. Duh. Then there was that incident right here in town where someone had expressed his displeasure with another driver's style and the other driver replied with "bang, bang, bang". And finally, somewhere between middle age and here, I admitted to myself that I was -- infrequently and totally accidentally -- a stupid driver!

I put away the loud voice and the longest finger and took on a new identity, replacing rage with age, and the wisdom that accompanies it. I looked back another generation to find a gentler role model, and found a good one: my father's father. He'd been feisty in his youth but turned the corner when his hair turned gray and became wise and patient and peaceful. Why not, I thought, be like him.

So now I drive the same routes but in a different way. I give people all the space they need to cut corners in front of me, I slow down responsibly when the guy behind comes dangerously close to my back bumper, I wait quietly for the guy ahead of me to realize that the light's turned green, and whenever somebody does something truly stupid I strain my brain and remember that time when I did exactly the same stupid thing.

Wish I'd wised up sooner.

If you enjoyed Fred's writing as much as I do you can read more at Upper Middle Age Guy.


  1. Yeah! i really liked that! Thanks for sharing! I need to learn a thing or two about road rage ;-)

    And to be honest about that hose... i didn't do it all by myself... D. was there and my friend who pulled us to his house!

    Thank you!

  2. I have made so many bad moves as a driver I feel I can't say much to anyone else. Great post! Serenity is always the best choice.

  3. One of the things I enjoy most about reading blogs is when someone is honest enough to admit mistakes and become vulnerable to the reader. Lots of great wisdom in his words. Great writing - thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. I agree, he is an excellent writer. Wiser words were never written. Kudos to him!

  5. I need to get Stew to read this!
    He still gets all hot and bothered at idiot driver's who do dumb things.
    I cringe often I'm afraid.
    Fred is very wise indeed.

  6. Good going, Fred. You are so right, he is a very good writer. This story should be in the AAA magazine.

  7. When I first moved to Atlanta - I was trying to get on the expressway. They do not know how to merge here. So I yelled out my window when I passed the men who almost killed me - "Don't you know how to merger?" I had my mom and daughter with me and we were going to go shopping. Well the men followed us to the mall and we had to lose them in the parking lot. Needless to say we didn't shop there that day. And I
    ve never done it again! Lol Sandie

  8. That touched me. Because I have road rage too. I´m trying to control myself in these situations, but some drivers down here just make me soooo mad.
    But I think I would like to been in the way he wrote too.

  9. excellent post...good reminder...

  10. Good for Fred! Thanks for the introduction!

  11. That was a great post...
    nice to meet you Fred (o:
    I am a very patient driver....
    I am sure people are annoyed with me....
    because I drive the speed limit (o:
    Liked your Friday post.
    It is a mixed blessing to have your town praised like that...
    then even more people want to move there ... yikes

  12. Fred seems like a wise guy!

  13. I have to agree with Sweet Tea's comment, my sentiment exactly. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Jeanie.

  14. Hi Jeanie, You're right! Fred is a very good writer... and wise as well. I'm off to check out his blog. Thanks for the tip.
    xo jj