Monday, September 19, 2011

Driving


The hardest part is getting back on the road and doing what everyone else does. It seems so effortless. We spend so much of our lives on cruise control, watching the road pass under us in a blur.

I moved, cruised. It was the same thing I've always done. Ciera and I have been road warriors. We drive to Seattle. We drive to Portland. We drive wherever we need to. And we have gotten good at putting life on cruise control. I love the road. I love driving and feeling the motion and knowing that even though my life may feel like a traffic jam, the road continues to disappear under the wheels of the car.

I helped Olivia move into her PSU dorm room. It is a large 1 bedroom. Her couch didn't fit. But I got to see my family. I got to visit with them and hang out with them. Sometimes I don't realize how much I really miss them; how much I wish I could just be home in Reno.

It was an excellent weekend topped off with an excellent family dinner. Crystal and Micah made homemade salad dressing. My mom made 2 varieties of enchiladas; they were amazing. Liz and Rick made fresh blackberry pie, and three varieties of homemade ice cream (vanilla, pecan, and coffee with amaretto). It was a meal of epic proportions and I felt so content with my family—extended and immediate.

And we drove back to Sammamish (suburb outside Seattle). It was a dark and stormy night. Visibility was low. And traffic was appropriately heavy and erratic. I don't think I will ever understand why drivers seem to forget all the rules of the road when the weather becomes inclement.

We had seen many accidents on our way up. There were flashing lights all the way up I-5 and I was maintaining extra caution on the roadways. Always allow 2-10 times normal stopping distances.

I was in the middle lane. A semi pulled abreast of us on the right side. We rounded a bend where a man was holding a flare and waving people off the left lane. Suddenly the Washington driving mentality showed its weakness. Washington drivers have a curious tendency to drive abreast of each other. Lanes don't move significantly faster than one another and I have noticed that big clumps of cars tend to occur on Washington roadways.

In the left lane an SUV slammed its brakes. A white pickup that had come abreast of us on the left slammed its brakes and swerved into the middle lane—our lane. He sideswiped us, pulling off the mirror and denting the car door significantly. All I could think was that I didn't want to hit the semi on our right. We didn't know what happened until we finally pulled over. We got out somehow. We were ok somehow.

The car was drivable. We were stiff but ok. Shaken but ok.

And we weren't half-way. It was so difficult driving all the way back from that point. And it was so hard to just get back on the road. Just to do what everyone does; get up and keep moving. Today was my first day of work. It was a lot harder than I had imagined it would be.