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I had awakened at my usual pre-dawn-Tuesday hour to get some things accomplished. It was, after all, newspaper-drop-dead-deadline-day, a significant time of the week—every week, rain, snow, hurricane or humidity—here at the Beacon.
While visions and sounds of the prior night’s Sunset Beach Town Council meeting danced and grumbled in my head—another story to crank out ASAP Tuesday—I cranked up the coffeemaker and logged onto cyberspace.
I knew why I was up, but a quick glance on Facebook provided a surprising revelation that other folks had been up well before me.
This included my next-door neighbor Fred, who apparently had arisen around 5 a.m. to post information about Purple Heart Day (which was Tuesday), Sikh Temple/Wisconsin hero Lt. Brian Murphy, Billy Graham, Mitt Romney and a shared quote from Arnold Palmer, “What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.”
Another Facebook friend—I’m up to a whopping 274 now, some of whom I may actually know—was asking around the same time from Atlanta whether anyone else besides him was experiencing technical difficulties with their iPhone via a certain carrier I’ll not name here, except to say it has six letters and starts with “S.”
Another friend observed, “The thunder sure was LOUD the past few hours!!”
Even my work colleague, newsroom designer Shelagh Clancy, was up sharing a photo of NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover.
A friend of hers asked what she was doing up so early.
“Back atcha!” Shelagh shouted back via computer. “I’m curious about Curiosity, I guess.”
Not long after I’d risen to exercise my fingers on the Tuesday keyboard, I heard another sound that reminded me why I needed to be up and at’em.
The mild, pre-7 a.m. rumble of road machines firing up for the day on my street spurred me to remember the usual dig-up-and-pave team was awake and still trying to repair this Little River, S.C., residential strip after more than a week.
If I, Fred and our other neighbors thought they should’ve been done by now, we needed to rethink.
Sure, a day, or a few days, to get this road repaired and back in drivable order is understandable and acceptable.
Friday, gazing toward the half-baked road, Fred asked me when I thought they’d be done.
“I dunno,” I responded. “Where are they today?”
They don’t work on Fridays, he said.
Monday morning, the team was back on task once again, shaking our houses and upsetting our pets.
I had one encounter with them when I put my car in reverse and drove down what amounted to a newly cut cliff off my asphalt driveway. The team moseyed over on their machines to help me finish backing my stuck vehicle across the muck and remaining paved portion of the street.
Since I had a day’s worth of assignments and didn’t relish crawling (literally) back up the cliff, I told them I doubted I’d be back until well after nightfall. By then, they assured me I’d be able to safely navigate my own driveway—in my own car—once I returned.
They were right. When I got home, the efficient work crew had fashioned temporary dirt entryways at each driveway, including mine.
But when I heard the stir of their machines again on Tuesday, I realized there was another reason I was up so early.
I wanted to be up and across that little makeshift dirt ramp before they started digging again.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.