Monday, October 26, 2009

Outside is a dangerous place...

In the last three days I made several trips across town. That meant driving on the Interstate. I've concluded that driving on the Interstate is akin to willfully taking your life in your hands.

On Friday I hopped in the car and set off across town to meet fellow author Julia Barrett who was in town to help her daughter relocate here from California. The freeway was a mess as it's under reconstruction. Fortunately, my fellow drivers were pretty conservative and careful. The weather was pretty good. It was a nice drive.

And we had a lovely visit at Panera's. Julia brought her daughter along to our meeting. It was wonderful to meet them both and I had a wonderful time. Time was too short. Isn't it always too short? It seems like there's never enough time to visit. Hopefully, Julia will be back this way soon when she comes to visit her daughter.

The next day I was up early. The house hunk and I set off across town in a new direction. The weather was cool, cloudy, and dry when we left. Fifteen minutes later the sky opened up and it poured. At the same time, the freeway turned into a parking lot, a sea of red tail lights as far as we could see in front of us and a stream of blurry headlights behind us.

Almost immediately, the cars in the inner lane began inching forward. I, in my naivete thought that must mean there was at least one lane where traffic was getting past whatever was blocking the road.


They were using an emergency cross-over to pull u-turns and go back the other the pouring rain with near zero visibility in the inner lane where the on-coming traffic would be traveling the fastest. So it wasn't bad enough that there was evidently a major crash in front of us that already was taxing the emergency resources in the area. Noooo. These idiots ignored the possibilities of causing another accident.

Forty five minutes later, miraculously traffic began to move. We arrived at our exit before we reached any evidence of what caused the stand-still. So I still don't know why we sat on the Interstate for forty five minutes.

On top of that, we didn't make the connection to meet with the woman we were supposed to meet so it was all in vain. Unless you count the six books I bought from the bookstore while waiting for the lady to show up.

Finally, we gave up and headed home. There are some crazy, crazy drivers out there--people who decided to turn right from three lanes of traffic on the left--with no signals of their intentions. Nuts who were in the turning lane and abruptly decided the street was not where they wanted to turn. And my favorite--the guy from New York who kept swerving into the turning lane and back out for three miles. I was so relieved to see him finally turn!

Yesterday was grocery shopping day. How was I to know that all those people who normally shop on Saturday decided to do it on Sunday? You know, I can understand those individuals who drive the speed limit exactly. Personally, I think it's safer to travel with the general flow of the traffic because I don't want to be what's refered to as a "rolling roadblock".

If you don't understand what this is, next time you're traveling long distance, just observe what happens when a police car enters the stream of traffic and rolls along at the posted limit. No one wants to chance passing a cop so all the cars travel slower and slower and pretty soon you have a long stream of cars behind the cop car.

A true rolling roadblock is worse because these drivers usually travel a few miles below the speed limit. Traffic piles up behind them and then those drivers take dangerous chances trying to pass the roadblock car. If the roadblock car is traveling on a two lane highway with on-coming traffic in the other lane, then it's really dangerous.

And that's what I dealt with yesterday. Crazy drivers darting out into on-coming traffic lanes to pass idiot roadblock drivers. Sigh. I was soooo glad to pull into the parking lot of my apartment complex.

Yes, it was good to be home. Outside is a dangerous place.



  1. I actually found your freeways sane compared to California - shockingly sane. Really - talk about major culture shock. There weren't drivers whizzing by me at 100 mph and motorcyclists squeezing between cars at high speed, barely missing my side mirrors!
    So glad you took your life in your hands to meet us! It was great fun. Like I said, the toughest part of driving in Baltimore was returning the rental car!

  2. Glad the two of you could meet and enjoy each other's company! Maybe next year we can all meet for a week at Romanticon!

  3. It's always good when we get to meet face to face:) I second Fran's comment!

    Like the new look, Anny:)

  4. It's always nice to meet fellow authors. Glad you and Julia had a good time.
    Love the new look, Anny!

  5. Glad you and Julia had a good time, Anny.

    You couldn't pay me to drive on a freeway. I'd be a basket case.

  6. Every time I hear these traffic stories I'm terribly happy I live in the boonies! Give me wide open spaces to traffic snarls every time!

    Love the new look here, Anny! Spectacular!

  7. Love the new blog look and agree about traffic being a scary thing. Glad you're home safe and sound.

  8. Oh yeah, you got to love the freeways. But how cool that you got to me Julia!