Saturday, March 10, 2012

Never Again

by Phoebe Maurer

Being caught in a Long Island expressway traffic jam means being late to work, dinner is overcooked, and everyone is cranky. Having a snow and sleet storm descend without warning is a living nightmare. I had lunch in Manhattan with my husband when a few snow flakes floated down."Get the car and go home now." I listened and drove through the Lincoln tunnel expecting to arrive home in Great Neck ,Long Island within 30 to 40 minutes.Was I wrong!

This was no ordinary snowstorm.The road out of the tunnel metamorphed into a sheet of ice. Traffic plowed to a crawl, stopping and starting, sliding and skidding. The radio blared the terrifying news that a huge storm had blanketed New York and all points east, west, north, and south, crippling traffic and causing power outages. I switched stations, hoping to find soothing music. No luck. The speedometer was stuck at 5 miles an hour-or less. A bus was sliding treacherously close to me. Fear sent my heart racing. I took deep breaths, there were no cell phones to call Herb at home. The Long island commuter trains were running on time. The windows fogged and iced up. Thankfully the defoggers were working and warm. I held my breath as my car skidded close to a concrete barrier. The car in front started and stopped. It was nerve wracking. The clock on the dashboard said five-thirty. I was moving on glass for five hours and nowhere near my exit. I whistled, sang lustily, and glanced at expressions of close drivers faces to cheer me.

The gas gauge was less than a quarter of a tank, six-thirty and at last my exit. I slid onto the road leading home through more traffic jams and maneuvered up the steep hill to our home with difficulty. Foolishly I, a good citizen, stopped at a stop sign without another car on the road, one block from our driveway, and went into a long skid. I kept the steering wheel from hitting a huge tree. The yard had a glorious wonderland canopy of glistening white branches hanging low. Our house a glow of lights as Herb opened the garage door, his face a mask of worry. The embrace was what I needed to calm my nervous system. That plus a double scotch and soda.
Never again….I will take the train!

(a note from Lois to Phoebe….Maybe that is why you moved to Arizona!)

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