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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chill out man, it's just a toll booth.

Here's my problem tonight. I found the above picture because I was too scared to take a picture of the actual State Trooper that tried to kill us at the toll booth. First off, I hate toll booths. The list of things I hate is getting quite extensive.

Toll booths make my blood pressure rise. I'm convinced of this. I would drive out of my way to avoid a toll booth. We had two tolls driving through Virginia. Now, my mother-in-law warned us about them in advance and we had the cash needed for them. HOWEVER, when we went to Richmond on Thursday, we had NO idea there was going to be a toll. Surprise, surprise...a toll...

This was no ordinary toll either, at least not for people naive to all things toll booth related. When you live in an area where there are no tolls on the roads, it can be very nerve-wrecking trying to make sure you have the right amount of money and that you are in the right lane (let alone knowing where the tolls are located!). Unfortunately for us, Kris and I were NOT in the right lane. We realized this after it was too late to just easily pull over to the correct lane. We wound up in an 'exact change only' lane, and we did not have 70 cents on us or anywhere in the van. So what choice did we have? We had to back up and switch lanes.

Now, while Kris is doing all of this, paranoid as I am, I notice everything. And I can see that there is a State Trooper standing guard, hands on his hips, watching us, VERY closely. He continues to watch us back up and proceed to get in the right lane.

I am not kidding you. When we were lined up for the correct lane and approaching the booth itself to pay, the trooper reached his right arm back behind him and held his hand steady, waiting to pull his gun out and use it if necessary. It was frightening and ridiculous at the same time! What did he think we were going to do? Drive through the toll booth, refusing to pay 70 cents? We had the money, just not the exact change.

I understand that he was doing what he was assuredly trained to do. However, we're in a silver minivan with obvious out of state plates. In Missouri, you have to have a license plate on both the front and the rear of the vehicle, so we obviously were NOT from Virginia. And any good cop should be observant enough to notice our license plates. So what is a family in a silver minivan with out of state plates going to do? Blow up a toll booth? Somehow try to 'sneak' by and avoid paying a meaningless toll? C'mon! Be aware. Notice what is going on around you. But seriously...putting your hand on the butt of your gun ready to draw at any moment?

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