Grit Blogs > Close the Gate

Signals

A photo of Nancy KraayenhofEver get the overwhelming feeling that someone is trying to tell you something and the signal is just not coming through? Like you’ve got something in your teeth and a friend is motioning to you and you just do not understand the sign?

I have it. Not something in my teeth … the feeling that there is a signal coming my way about something but I don’t know what and I can’t seem to shake it.

I love our little piece of the country, and I love to help my husband, Doug, outside with the farm-y type stuff. I question everything and his patience with me is extraordinary. 

I have gotten, on occasion, to drive the tractor and baler. His early attempts to shout directions to me were a dismal failure with all the noise of the machinery and somehow, from the seat of that tractor “Go” and “Whoa” sound pretty much the same. Go figure. 

Doug has since given up most hollering efforts for a variety of hand signals. About half the time I can figure out what he is trying to convey, which I estimate to be pretty good by city-kid definition. 

Turning signals really confuse me, especially when I’m trying to go backwards. Does his air-circling pointer finger mean turn the wheel that way or is it my right or his right or should I be speeding up? And if he’s in my mirror, is he doing it backwards so its right for me or ????

I am inept at the whole sign thing, and I actually believe I’m getting worse. Perhaps I have signalzheimers. I have begun to obsess and as a result, I am looking for signs and hidden signals at every turn.

Last week Doug needed to move one of our big old trucks over to the neighbors’ for who-knows-what and, because it was dark-o’clock in the morning and its tail lights not so reliable, I was asked to follow with my car, flashers flashing, and give him a ride home. I do so admire his commitment to safety.

Following the truck after a right turn suddenly the left blinker comes on, blinks once and goes off. OK. This has to be some sort of signal. A sign! It must be a sign! What could it mean?

I rack my brain. I sift back through former safety following incidences and find nothing. My eyes skim the surrounding area for danger or anything that would require my attention. Ok. It was a left blink so it must be somewhere to the left … I got nothing. I analyze, I scrutinize, I mull over, and I fuss all the way there. Surely I must have missed something but WHAT?!

He parks, gets in my car, and I immediately ask what the signal was. “What signal?” When he turned the blinker off of right he went too far to left and then shut it off. That’s it! All that upheaval in my mind about nothing!

Then I go out to the road to get the mail the other day and a car went by and the driver waves. Not at all an uncommon thing in this friendly part of the country, but it was more of a pointing directional signal than a wave. Is the house on fire and I am not seeing it? Is there a mountain lion nearby ready to pounce or some other unknown danger that I was being alerted to? Of course not.

When did I become an over-analyzing signal fanatic and how can I kick the habit? Has society got me over-reading everything? Maybe it’s the stock market? Perhaps the ups and downs of the price of gas?

I’ll close the gate while I try to figure it out, and I’ll try not to whine,

Overanalyzing could mean I’m over-stressed, perhaps it IS a sign! 

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, I'm Nancy Kraayenhof.