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Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Problems of poor observation

  • I know now to be watching everywhere for the unexpected.....
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  • The last week has been an interesting one for me – to say the least, and so much of it would have been made much easier if I had just practiced what I preached to my children.
    On a regular basis, as I proffer sage wisdom to the Krause progeny. That communication centers around making sure they look things all the way through – not just taking that cursory glance and moving on.
    So many times homework comes home with answers marked wrong because someone did not read the whole question, and then I offer those all-too-familiar words.
    “Be sure to look at everything, because it is going to help you in the long run,” I share in my best philosophical voice.
    Of course, this week has taught me I need to take my own advice to heart.
    It all started this past Thursday afternoon…
    Knowing the library had postponed an upcoming travel series presentation originally scheduled for Feb. 11, I asked Joyce Johnson via e-mail to provide me with the information about when that new date for Mary Gross’ Brazil presentation would be.
    In her reply, she said the new date was March 18.
    What I saw was a capital ‘M’ and the number 18, and so I assumed it was Monday, Feb. 18 – three days ago. So, that is the date I printed.
    Had I read through the whole e-mail instead of rushing through, I would have gotten it right and I would not be eating my own words. They taste awful.
    I learned about observation several weeks ago when I nearly had an incident with a deer just west of Redwood Falls one morning on my way to work.
    I promised myself from that day forward I would keep my eyes out for deer – watching both sides of the road in an effort to prevent any incidents.
    What I did not expect was to see one in the middle of the road. The last thing I remember just before driving the Oldsmobile over that poor animal was the look in its face. I am sure the last thing it remembers is the look on mine. Unfortunately, that animal did not survive my mistake. I wonder if it had already been hit and was injured.
    I know now to be watching everywhere for the unexpected.
    My last lesson in observation actually occurred during two separate instances – Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
    They both have to do with the value of sight when you don’t have it available.
    When I headed home Monday afternoon, I traveled in near whiteout conditions – often slowing down to a crawl as I literally could not see two feet in front of me. That same thing happened Tuesday morning on the way to work – even after the state department of transportation officially opened TH19. (By the way, I observed a lot of vehicles on a closed state highway Tuesday morning. Remember, it is against the law to drive on a closed roadway. You can find out the conditions of the road by calling 511. I made that call about a dozen times Tuesday morning.)
    Page 2 of 2 - The lesson I learned during those two drives is how much I missed seeing the flat Redwood area countryside.
    I would have given anything to see a deer then.

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