Headed over to the Doniphan County transfer station with a load of garage sale leftovers and some additional trash, I was driving a bit slower than usual. About twenty miles an hour slower as a matter of fact. Since I had most of the load covered with a tarp, I probably could have driven faster without losing much of the load.
But, I was sure I could not lose any of the load if I drove at forty-five. And… since the transfer station is less than three miles away, what’s the point of being in much of a hurry, right?
That sense of deliberate pace was apparently not contagious. Headed up a half-mile straightaway (the last passing opportunity for another three miles if you’re going east—and I was) I saw an older, larger pickup coming up behind me at a rate possibly exceeding the speed limit and definitely exceeding my leisurely rate.
I maintained my speed but pulled over and drove along the edge of the pavement, giving the other driver an easy open view of the road ahead and a fair amount of extra maneuvering room. As he closed the gap, I saw a west-bound tractor trailer rig rounding the curve ahead of us, maybe a quarter mile away.
Apparently, the driver of the pickup truck has a keen knack for tracking speed and distance on the go. Using part of our lane and part of the oncoming semi’s lane, he ripped on around me and swung back fully into our lane with about a half-second to spare.
As soon as he was back in our designated channel, he flashed his lights twice. I first thought he was thanking me for making space for him but then it occurred to me he might be thanking the big rig driver for a similar favor from the opposite direction.
Whatever the case was, I appreciated the gesture on his part. Nice to have at least a bit of acknowledgement when we have deliberately shown some small courtesy. It wasn’t anything big on my part, fer shure. I didn’t even have to slow down and it gave him a chance to pass in relative safety.
I think it’s probably a fairly frequent thing in this life that we can show consideration to others without any real inconvenience to ourselves. And that helps the rest of the world keep motoring along at their preferred rate of speed. Unless, of course, a U-joint breaks and their driveshaft drops out less than a mile up the road.