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When Robin and I left Hot Springs Village, we knew we’d be moving to an urban setting, but we’d forgotten how city life has changed in the past twenty years. Now, thousands of young families scoot around in their big SUVs and mini-vans at all hours of the day and night, and the volume of traffic here in Franklin has been a bit overwhelming.

The “going to work” and “going to school” folks jam the broad, multi-laned avenues from dawn until mid-morning. Then the “going shopping” and “going to lunch” crowd is on the streets till noon. After that, the “lunch and after-lunch” traffic is buzzing around. Finally, from mid-afternoon until seven or eight, the “going home from work” and “going out to supper” cars fill the streets.

We’ve discovered that early afternoon is probably the least busy time of day, so that’s when we try to do most of our running around. However, the other day we came close to having an accident.

We were up in Cool Springs, a busy shopping area on the north side of Franklin, returning a mirror we had bought at Kirkland’s that was too small for over our mantel. As I approached a traffic light with cars lined up in all forward lanes and turn lanes, the green lights came on, and, I glanced into my rearview mirror. A pick-up truck was coming up behind me. I flipped on my left-turn blinker and began moving into the nearest turn lane.

Just then, a blur on the left caught my eye, and it was that truck, zooming by me to make the turn before the arrow turned red.

I whipped our car back into the forward lane.

“Did he hit me?” I asked Robin. “I thought I heard a little bump.”

“I thought I did too,” he said. “Be careful as you turn left now, and we’ll stop over there and take a look.”

I eased into the left-turn lane, and when the light changed again, we pulled into the shopping area, parked, and stepped out of the car.

We could see no dents or scrapes, but my side view mirror was a little out of kilter. The truck must have brushed it as it whizzed by.

“That was a close call,” I said, and tears filled my eyes. “I hate this damn traffic!”

“Me, too, but you need to check the side mirrors before you change lanes. I’ll help you look.”

Robin hasn’t tried to drive much since we’ve moved here, but he watches for street signs and other cars as we’ve moved around town, and I’m finally becoming a little less nervous. Give me another month, and I’ll be negotiating “life in the fast lane” like a pro.

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