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Posts Tagged ‘driving’

commuting

For a while,
my long commute
felt like a sentence

Then I found musicals,
and found myself
anticipating
my daily
drive

Later still,
my sister recommended
podcasts, so that
I shared the road
with The Dig,
Chapo Traphouse,
Katie Halper,
and any episode
of anything
featuring
Mark Blyth

Recently,
English and all
its concealed
assumptions
started to feel
like a cage,
so I began
wieder Deutsch
zu lernen

Still,
one of my very
favorite things to
do while driving
is talk with my
sister, Rache;
as we talk,
my car encompasses
the whole world
we share

In all these ways,
by all these means,
I have commuted
my commute
from a sentence
to a celebration

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Hydroplane

Downpours flooded SoCal streets yesterday, but all had mostly dried up by mid-morning today. This meant I was unconcerned when I set out for a meeting.

Trouble struck when I tried getting onto the freeway. Turning sharply onto the ramp that’d deposit me on the freeway 20 or so feet below, I found my car suddenly floating just above the road. My steering wheel did its own thing.

First, my car veered right toward foliage. I didn’t dare try countering the pull, because I felt like flipping was inevitable.

The car then veered left, taking me precariously close to the thin metal barrier that kept me from tumbling down onto the road below. I kept my hands poised above the steering wheel, ready to seize it when it seemed ready to respond to my touch (without flipping my car). 

I managed to miss the barrier by a few inches and steer myself safely down the ramp. My heart raced as I drove northward and contemplated the possibility of different outcomes.

The next 30 minutes, I found myself appreciating with new clarity how tenuous is the connection between tire and road. Every skid and shudder had me on alert.

Ultimately, I made it safely to my destination. My return trip was pleasant. Now, safe at home, I’ll be content to drive nowhere else this long weekend …

Categories: Los Angeles, Reflections Tags: ,

I take you with me

A car like my own zipped past me on the freeway this morning.

I shook my head when I saw an “In Loving Memory” sticker plastered across its rear window.

What a strange place for an in memoriam, I thought.

I’ve thought this dozens of times.

For some reason, seeing the lettering fade into the distance on a car like my own jarred me:

In some ways, that’s the perfect place for a reminder.

Grief can feel like a deep, unmoving, unmoveable eternity.

But when we start pushing against it, learning to take tiny steps against its vastness, we can see glimpses of greater movement beyond. We can see glimmers of how we carry with us in our love and our motion the deceased whom we love.

To emblazon it on a car is a powerful thing;

a mighty reminder that, though I might never hug you again,

I take you with me,

everywhere.

My new job: more than a sucky commute

I spent four and a half hours driving on Friday.

drivingMy new commute blows. I’m already well past the days of savoring a little traffic.

Usually I’ll “only” have to drive about three hours daily. Friday was a special day. What made it so special? To answer that, let me share with you my moment of revelation:

I’m in my nine-month-old’s classroom, pulling his daily necessities out of my bag. First comes his baby food. Check! Next comes his feeding bottles. Check! Then come his bottles of milk. Check? Nope. Of course they’re not there. They’re exactly where I left them: in their travel bag in the fridge.  Read more…

Kid convos to start a car ride

“Can I play on your phone, Daddy?” asked my four-year-old son a moment ago.

“Nope,” replied Daddy.

“We’re going to play Let’s Talk to Our Family,” I chipped in.

“What’s that?”

“The game where you talk to your family and see how everyone’s doing.”

“I don’t want to play that game.”

“Well, it’s either that or the Quietly Enjoy the Ride one. I guess there’s also the Mope Sullenly game,” I offered.

“How’s that go?”

“You’re too young for that one!” chimed Daddy.

“Yeah, let’s give that one another fifteen years or so.”

If only!

Traffic: Curing Unfriending Since 2013

“Omigosh. Your’e not my friend. I’m the boss. You’re not the boss. You’re not the boss anymore because you frustrated me.”
— my son, disavowing me for not giving him his dad’s cookie

Before my son started preschool, I had a 30-minute drive to decompress from my workday before picking him up.

After Li’l D started preschool, I had a 5-minute drive to decompress. I had very little downtime before I was alternately grilled, commanded and shrieked at. I adapted, mostly because I felt like a tool for quietly bemoaning what amounted to more time with my son and less drive time.

Also because preschool means treasures like this

Also because preschool means treasures like this

I recently started a new job. It was hard to make the change, but doing so was an excellent choice. My new job is a challenge and a joy. Perhaps best of all, there’s traffic en route.

Yep, you read that right.

I take two freeways between work and my son’s preschool. After work yesterday, the first freeway’s traffic was light. I didn’t think much of it until I reached the exit onto the second freeway. Seeing the slow-moving traffic there, I breathed a sigh of relief. Then I started chuckling. Was I really grateful for traffic? Yes. Yes, I was. Traffic, baby! Oh, yeah.

Still smiling, I melted into the now, moving away from being mom-Deb, fiancee-Deb or negotiator-Deb and into just being.

By the time I reached Li’l D, I was feeling pretty darn groovy. I was feeling so groovy, it didn’t faze me that I was unfriended by my son roughly 378 times in a 30-minute drive. I wasn’t fussed that I was demoted from boss status, or that my son wasn’t going to talk to me anymore . . . after he finished unfriending me, anyway.

I’d had my drive time. I’d had time to decompress.

All was good, thanks to a little traffic.

Still my favorite traffic

Still my favorite traffic

Road rage takes a spill! (or: “How parenting is making me a better driver”)

Swearing is good for you.

OK, that might be a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s true that swearing may sometimes be beneficial (Why Swearing Helps Ease Pain: Benefits of Curse Words – TIME).

Does this mean I’m ready to send my toddler to pirate school? Nope. Am I going to teach him my favorite pain-relieving curse words? Also nope. That’s because, unlike most adults, he’s a ways out from knowing when it’s OK to drop the F-bomb and when it’s going to earn him (or his mom!) a scolding.

As you know if you read this entry, I’ve inadvertently dropped the F-bomb in my son’s presence. Li’l D latched on to it and repeated it the same enthusiastic way he’d exclaim, “Puppy!” Read more…

Categories: Parenting, Silly Tags: , ,
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