“Lips that touch liquor, will never touch mine.”
This last weekend my family and I participated in an historical reenactment of life in Willamette Oregon in the year 1913. Walking from scene to scene (each set inside or in front of a historical house) we led tour groups through different vignettes based on topics of importance at the time. One of these topics, temperance, turned out to feature and unexpectedly important role.
It is funny how life sometimes mimics theater. In this case a drunk driver bypassed the road blocks and was stopped by two local, off-duty, officers dressed in the official outfits of the time. Not believing that they had the authority to arrest him, he argued with them, leading them to call in on-duty reinforcement. To add to the confusion of the moment, a goat that was being walked around town as part of the tour got loose and was running around the area where the police were questioning the man.
Since Saturday there have been a few posts about this extra scene. (Link to Oregonian article). So, I won’t add to what has already been written. What I did realize, after seeing a picture of the scene, was that my daughter, who was playing one of the characters in one of the vignettes, was only one block away from where the man was stopped. At the time I thought the whole chaos was pretty funny. But after seeing that picture I now thank God that the man was stopped before he actually hurt anyone… especially my daughter and her young friend.
A battle that was waged 100 years ago still continues today. And while I am not advocating for prohibition, the word temperance actually derives from the Latin word temperantia which means moderation. Only later, when it was attached to prohibition, did it come to mean abstinence. Moderation in all things is good… but situations like the one above point to why moderation in alcohol drinking is essential.
We always assume that the bad thing won’t happen. But Saturday night is a poignant example of how close we are to being the one sitting at next to the hospital bed praying for our daughter’s life. As we approach the holidays we are guaranteed of many chances to drink and drive. But before you pull out those keys, please remember that there probably won’t be any 1913 cops to stop you from tragedy.
Know of any good ways to moderate over the holidays. Have any suggestions for ensuring that the drive home is safe? I love to hear comments from my readers. And to prove it I’m giving away a copy of my book BETTING JESSICA to one lucky commenter during the month of September.
Leave a comment for any of my blog posts and at the end of each month I will randomly select one visitor/commenter to receive a free download of my book. (Note: winner will be notified by a reply linked to their
original comment…. Check back at the end of the month for directions on how to claim your prize!)
“Um, Mommy… I just spilt my juice all over Daddy’s computer.”
Of course she was joking. That’s what we thought anyway. But no... there was the laptop, open for watching a movie, with red smoothie juice spread all over it. You could literally see the sticky fluid seeping into the keyboard, the disk drive, the on/off button.
Safety be damned! I yanked off my seatbelt and crawled into the back seat, desperately trying to stop as much of the damage as I could while my husband pulled the car over to the side of the road and proceeded to almost have a heart attack.
It was an ironic moment actually, since just last week I posted a blog about how technology fails us. We have become reliant (overly so) on screen time to make the 10 hour drive go by more quickly for our daughter (and thus for us.) We force her off of it every now and then for at least an hour. “Look at that beautiful mountain,” we say. But she barely looks up from her screen (laptop or iPod) and we are left to enjoy the vistas on our own.
No on this trip, however. This juice spill happened 3 hours into our journey; which left about 8 to fill computerless. Granted the first two were spent in tears, apologies, and questions about whether daddy would ever forgive her. But after the tension in the car finally mellowed, we were left with wonderful stop-over in Crater Lake, some fun car games, some nice discussions, and a little bit of iPod time.
Strangely, it was one of our nicer car trips. The fact of the matter is that technology is not really to blame for over reliance; sometimes we let ourselves down with low expectations. Next time, whether we have a computer available or not there will be new rules for the amount of time she spends staring at a screen.
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