Taming the Travel Tiger……..

Driving home yesterday was an exercise in patience and self-control. There is not a really good travel route from our house to Sam’s condo which is up north about five blocks from Lake Michigan. The Touhy Avenue entrance ramp onto southbound I-294 is an interesting configuration. Construction work and west bound lane closures under the I-294 overpass makes for a really frustrating section of road at 6 PM on a workday.

The back-up from the Touhy Ave and River Road traffic signal was almost back to the Dee Road and Touhy Ave corner. I waited patiently in my lane, silently watching right lane drivers inching towards our lane. They had warning regarding their lane ending and yet they still drove right up to the move left arrow sign.

The driver in front of me was not having any of the “every other car” narrowing down to one lane. He and his neighbor car played chicken, with a lot of horn honking, while I tried to keep a safe distance and not allow three cars into the space. My efforts were successful; I only let two cars in front of me.  And, I only missed the next traffic light by one car. Sigh.

After negotiating the traffic onto the expressway I found myself thinking the traffic wasn’t all that bad and wondered when I had become inured to the traffic back-ups and parking lot mentality of rush hour in very large metropolitan areas.

The first time we lived in Illinois I barely drove east of First Avenue. I white-knuckled a Brownie Field trip to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago my first year. Coming out of the parking garage onto Wacker Drive, left onto I-90/94 south, right across all lanes of traffic to the I-55 exit was my initiation into heavy traffic driving. I did not drive anywhere near the Chicago Loop again for a very long time.

Several years later my Dad made me drive his car, pulling a pop-up camper through Cleveland during rush hour in the rain. As we got closer to Boston I was again driving the car and camper on I-90 to I-95/Rt128 to Rt. 28 south to Randolph around 5 PM. One year I was in Boston and had to drive from Massachusetts General Hospital to a south suburb. There were twists and turns to get on the Interstate at 5 PM and then there was the demolition derby drive 20 miles or so back to Rt. 28 and Aunt Mary’s house. I did it with lock jawed determination and a solid belief in my ability to get through anything.

Several years ago Alice and I left Illinois with a map, cell phone and a GPS navigational system in our Honda mini-van. We drove to my friend’s home on Long Island. You have not really lived until you drive across the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey to New York and I-295 across the Throgs Neck Bridge and take the Cross Island Parkway down to Freeport. When I punched in the address for the Bronx Zoo two days later my comfort level was pretty high.  Navigating my way out of the Bronx and across Connecticut and Rhode Island I was feeling confident. The rest of the trip; Massachusetts, thru Boston, New Hampshire, back across Massachusetts, upstate New York, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois was a piece of cake. We had a wonderful time.

This summer I am taking a grandchildren trip to Washington State to attend Kyra Rose’s graduation ceremony and party. We are finalizing our plans next week when Jill, Sam and I take a trip to Kansas for a niece baby shower, a sister night at a Jeff Dunham concert and a 60th birthday party. There has been some discussion regarding who is going and how long we will be gone. We are going to work out the details and practice video blogging so you can come along on our adventure. We will keep you posted on trip details and itinerary.

And I was wondering what a Throg is anyway and does it really have a neck…………….

©2011 Susan Kendall.  All rights reserved

About Lily

Born in Topeka, Kansas in the middle of the 20th Century, daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, reader, spiritual, writer, cook, crafter, junker...... twice-married, former non-profit executive in retread mode... currently living a bucket list life in a remodeled schoolhouse.....
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