Try practicing courtesy, safety

The heart and soul of Washington lives in the people and the surroundings. The breathtaking beauty instills joy and a reason to get up. “Mickie,” my Miata and I, travel the roads of Washington, looking for adventure. I have lived here 64 years. But I sense a change in some areas. Specifically, the trestle and Lake Stevens area, where I now reside. It is tensing up. What happened to graciously allowing the driver next to you to merge, with courtesy and safety? I like waving someone in and smiling. Coming around a corner, I have had lights flashed at me to slow down, to find an accident or a cow in the road, and yes, a policeman in wait. I have had them flashed to put my lights on. Now fear may daunt me, but if someone needs lights, I flash!

We used to tip our hats or smile at our traveling companions. Genuine, caring people, we waved or flashed our lights to help. Now I see fear or aggression. Do you really have to be there before your shadow can catch up? I enjoy a little speed and can fall into bad temperament. But at 64, I try to maintain my maturity. The other day I was on Highway 9 coming out of Snohomish, heading north. Yes, it was around 5 p.m. and you slowly crawl 10 feet and wait. Apparently, I left a small gap and the not so gentlemanly man behind me blew his horn. Playfully, I slowly filled the gap. On the overpass of U.S. 2, he squealed his tires, blasted his horn, and pulled his car into the gravel of the dividing lanes, peppering my car.

We love our state and we are proud to share it. But Highway 9 and U.S. 2 have become death roads. How can you enjoy life when your head is up your… or even worse, up my tailpipe. Cut me off and push on through, go back where you came from. I will smile and tip my hat!

Pam Milten

Lake Stevens

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