Braddock, North Dakota is a place where people still do the steering wheel wave. It’s quite a contrast from my hometown, where the wave is no longer possible due to the cell phone glued between every driver’s ear and hand. It’s a beautiful dying rural town; no longer on new maps. And it’s the family farm I grew up with. Before we go any further, take moment to remember your family farm. Seriously, do it.
Share these memories with your kids. They are most likely not growing up with a family farm and will never know the joys of an irate grandpa finding you atop his neatly packed haystack, or grandma taking you into the basement to show you were the family lived before grandpa built the house. They don’t grow roots like they used to and we need to purposefully find ways to show our kids how fulfilling hard work and an open field can be.
Now back to my story. I think about the Braddock wheel wavers as I run laps of my neighborhood. I wave at every human who crosses my path, mainly because I desperately need the distraction. My return wave rate hovers around 10 percent because everyone’s too busy with one hand on the wheel and one hand on the phone.
I consider this a personal safety hazard in a community without sidewalks or shoulders on the road. So I keep on high alert and respectfully ask drivers to reconsider.
I am an unofficial member of Oprah’s No Phone Zone club; unofficial because I’ve not yet reached 100 percent non-phone driving. I won’t profess to have broken what is truly an addiction. But each time I reach for the phone while behind the wheel, I consistently try to talk myself out of it. More and more often, my intelligent half is winning.
I imagine a world where we never have to hear another soul wrenching story of a someone’s child killed by a texting driver. I could sure use the waves.