Happy Trails, Part 92

LOCKHART STATE PARK, Texas — We are glass half-full types of people. My wife and I have tried to live that way for our entire life together, which totals more than 46 years.

Thus, it is with that optimistic outlook that we ponder what could have been a catastrophe, but which turned out to be only a minor hiccup on our retirement journey.

We ventured to San Angelo State Park a few days ago. As we approached the park, about 30 miles from our first night’s destination, we made a sharp left turn across the median on U.S. 87.

The steering wheel locked up. The brakes weren’t nearly as responsive as they should have been. We limped across the highway and onto the parking lot of a state rest area.

I noticed at that moment the water temperature gauge on the dashboard was registering “very hot.” We managed to get the truck — with our fifth wheel in tow — to a spot out of the way, next to a curb.

We spent the night in the rest area. We got the truck repaired the next day and proceeded to the state park.

Why is this good news? Because what happened to us about 30 miles from our destination could have happened in the middle of nowhere. It could have happened, say, in the middle of the Eisenhower Tunnel just west of Denver; it could have occurred on the bridge crossing Lake Pontchartrain west of New Orleans; it could have happened in the middle of the Nevada desert, or in some remote area of southern California.

That it happened at a well-lit rest area in West Texas just a few miles northwest of a significant city — San Angelo — sent us a clear message that we should count our blessings.

We do that. Every day. We are blessed with sons who make us proud; our health is good; we sold our house in a timely fashion; we are enjoying our freedom and mobility.

Our pickup difficulty only slowed us part of a single day. We have proceeded to Central Texas. We will head soon to the Golden Triangle to catch up with friends who were bedeviled by nature’s fury, which came to them this past summer in the form of Hurricane Harvey. Then we’ll head for the Metroplex to visit with our granddaughter, her brothers and her parents.

It could have gone a lot worse than it did on that first day of our latest sojourn.

We must be living right.

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