A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Everyone needs to recharge their batteries now and then. Last week was my time. While it may not sound like a vacation to some, the long suffering wife and I journeyed over 1,200 miles in less than a week, mostly poking around the New England states. A few days of it spent visiting family were fun but the real fun was a lack of agenda later on in the week on the seashore. Something there is about being next to a large body of salty water that makes me, anyway, dissolve into relaxation mode better than any other place on earth. It became a routine of eat, drive around, eat, drink, sleep, lather, rinse, repeat. I could get used to it. But you need pain to know pleasure, or so I am told, so we headed back from bliss. You see a lot of drivers in 1,200 miles. Amazingly enough in nearly 1,100 of those miles I didn’t run across any highway rage, stupidity, or just plain rude driving. We drove alongside visitors from up Canada way, eh? Notorious bad drivers, Canadians. The rumor is that in Qu├ębec the driver exam consists of learning how to fill out the accident report. But we had no problem. In fact until we re-entered the Commonwealth of PA upon our return our journey on the highways was unremarkable.

But, as soon as we crossed the border…well our first clue should have been the rain. Not just rain. This was like driving through Niagara Falls sideways. It was unrelenting. And no one even slowed down. I was cowering on the extreme right hand side of the road trying not to hydroplane, going well under the speed limit while trucks the size of houses hurtled past me, throwing geysers of water up. Wipers were useless. It was like Stevie Wonder driving Ray Charles. The only time we slowed was for the accident. We knew that’s what it was because there was a man with a large, worn, wooden sign that in hand painted letters said “ACCEDENT” standing by the side of the road. Sure enough a few miles up the road there was an “accedent.” Some poor unfortunate with the right side of their car mangled beyond recognition on the left side of the highway. The final miles were on the Cross Valley Expressway. People take that “expressway” thing serious. Especially the guy who waited until I tried to pass him before he pulled over in my lane with no turn signal. I just about rolled my car over to avoid him and what was his plan? He went almost ½ mile before once more changing lanes without signaling to immediately exit. There is no place like Home!

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