I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
June 13, 2011
On Saturday morning, Hubs and I got up at 2:45am, threw on some clothes, made a pot of coffee, loaded up the kids and a few last bags into our SUV, and headed south for Hilton Head Island.
It can be rough getting up hours before dawn, but in the end it was worth it- The roads were relatively clear– at least until 8am. That’s when, just south of Atlanta, we hit construction traffic and went at a snail’s pace for about 45 minutes.
As we crawled along in one of two open lanes, our speed maxing out at 10 mph, we had ample time to examine the activity in the four shut-down lanes beside us. And for me anyway, this is where it gets to be frustrating when it comes to highway construction. Because for all the orange cones and the Let ‘Em Live signs, for all the police officers monitoring our behavior as we roll grumpily by and all the big , important-looking paving machines parked here and there beside the interstate, for all the men in hard hats and safety vests, 95% of the time, absolutely nothing is actually happening.
“What are they even doing?” Hubs asked, frowning.
“Well, that guy is taking a stroll, and he’s confused about something,” I said as we passed a man in a neon green vest, wandering down one coned-off lane with the look of a newly-minted zombie.
“And that guy,” I continued, pointing out a man slouched down smoking a cigarette atop a machine with an enormous roller on its front, “is taking a breather.”
We passed a group of construction workers huddled in a group. “Those guys are probably talking about what they did on Friday night,” I said, “and those men sitting on the median over there look like they might be overcome by the car exhaust fumes.”
We drove on for several miles and passed dozens more construction workers who were sitting, standing, smoking, belly scratching, meditating, praying, taking five, taking ten, taking twenty, planning, plotting, musing, loitering, lollygagging, and lazing about.
Finally, 30 minutes later, we came across one single, solitary man sitting behind the wheel of a moving paver. He was a loner, clearly scorned by his fellow construction workers. He was a man who appeared to be operating machinery, a man who was… wait for it… working.
“Wow,” I breathed as we watched the man do the unthinkable. “Wouldja look at that…” A moment or two after we passed the man by, the lanes opened up again, the congestion eased and we were once again on our way.
Road work. It takes a village.
Photo by Flickr/dreamglowpumpkincat210