It’s been suggested I write about my 7-hour adventure traveling 12 miles from work to home in Atlanta’s Horror Snow. But what can I say that hasn’t already been said? For that matter, what can I say that I haven’t already? I’d offer my sanity was saved by the existence of Facebook, and my insistence on keeping a phone charger in the car, but those who know me might dispute I had any sanity left to begin with. Also, when I find myself saying “I was only in the car for seven hours,” I do so as a comparable to the experience of others, and it begins to feel more like I experienced a mild inconvenience on the way back from the store. People ran out of gas, were trapped in their cars for up to 20 hours. Kids on buses, the elderly in parking lots and on the shoulder, freezing, hungry, scared. Some slept in stores, or at strangers’ houses. Me? Well, I had a 24 pack of water in my backseat I happened to buy that morning, had fueled up the day before, eaten before leaving work. All things considered, I was fine. Frustrated, sure, but fine. I knew I would get home. There was no danger of reckless driving; I used second gear for all of five seconds on my 7 mile trek around I-285. Hard to get into a serious accident at 1 MPH.
By comparison, I had it easy. Worst thing, aside from general discomfort, I had to deal with was an increasingly full bladder. It was suggested I make use of the water bottles available, but first off it seemed a horrifying thought to dump out water when so many people could have used it, and secondly I kept having visions of Lloyd Christmas peeing into beer bottles.
The mechanics of that still confuse me.
What reason had I to complain? I not only had supplies and phone power, I had polar bears to lead me home.
I had entertainment, and a demanding cousin who wouldn’t give me a biscuit:
Sure, I spent the last three hours inching the quarter of a mile to the sign marking my exit ramp, idling for 20 minutes at a time, crawling toward the light like that creepy no-lower-half zombie chick from the first episode of the Walking Dead, but I knew I was close enough to walk if I had to. I knew that once I hit the road, there would be no one in the mall parking lot, and my last mile would be incident free. I knew I had a warm home, food, much drink, a comfy bed, and loving Moss waiting for me with somewhat still warm Jambalaya just a mile and half away. I knew, unlike many of my friends still stuck miles from home, my It’s Snow Adventure Really time was nearly at an end.
What I went through wasn’t horrible. Being born in a car on 285 is horrible (though being born and surviving is a definite plus). Being an elderly couple stranded in a car, unable to walk because the husband is wheelchair-bound is horrible. Being told your child is stranded on a bus on the side of the road, with no gas or heat or food, and being able to do nothing about it is horrible. I just had an experience. An inconvenience. It was nothing to whine about.
I saw enough from my city to be reminded why I call it home. As I posted yesterday:
Yesterday I saw enough kindness to alter the way I feel about Atlanta. People jumping out of cars to help others gas up, offering ice scrapers to those trying to get their cars moving, businesses opening their doors, strangers opening their homes. The city wasn’t prepared for this. But the people have responded. Well done, folks.