Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home for Christmas

This past December I drove 13 hours north of NYC with my sister, Anna, to go home for Christmas.  I hadn't been home in a full year, not since last Christmas.  We left at 8am from NY, and after 6 or so hours we finally found a Starbucks, and I splurged on a white chocolate mint mocha, or something along those lines - so yummy!

Leaving NY we got stuck in a snowstorm and just crawled along in the traffic, the farther north we got, the less people slowed down in the snow.  By the time I got within an hour of home, I was so sick of driving.  Anna was dj-ing and we'd stooped to singing along to cheesy 80's and musicals type music, which is great for staying awake to!  I'm sure numerous other drivers thought I was crazy as I'd be bouncing in the seat or thumping along to the music to stay awake.  At one point I thought I saw a woman at the side of the vehicle on a deserted stretch of highway, but it was the product of blinking too much or chocolate overdose - I refuse to watch horror movies and was so grateful in that moment since I'm sure there are tons on that theme and I would have been terrified!

Home sweet home, Mom had prepared delicious food, Dad had prepared one of his non-recipe specialties which tasted horrible and we left it all for him!  The holidays were so nice, so relaxing.  After arriving home to -20C weather, it warmed up substantially and all the beautiful snow in our backyard melted within a couple days.  We did go into the woods behind our house when they were still full of snow to find, what we all agreed, was our most hideous Charlie Brown tree ever.  It was so scraggly... I'd been hoping to go cross-country skiing but once the snow melted it would only snow a bit, blow and then melt again or turn icy.

The only bit of real excitement I had while home was driving home from Moncton one day.  I drove around a bit of a sharp turn and saw two vans taking it a bit wide coming in the opposite direction.  Not wanting to hit them, I swerved wide and hit a patch of slushy ice.  I managed to gain control and get back on the road just in time to aim for the second van.  Again, I swerved wide, this time lost control of the van and we flipped once into a ditch, hit the end of it and then flipped end over end to stop upside down.  Thankfully we were all wearing seat-belts.  Peter undid his first and fell onto Anna, Clare then undid hers and fell onto me.  We all unbuckled, Peter opened the door facing most upright, and we crawled out of the van.  In the van, I already started to call home, and we must have looked pretty funny crawling out of an upside down van in a ditch, with the wheels still spinning and me already on a cell phone.  

Only one of the vans I swerved to avoid stopped, saw us get out, and then took off immediately.  Thankfully two drivers following afterwards saw the van, stopped and waited with us till the cops arrived.  The van was totaled, my first accident and I did a marvelous job of destroying it.  We were so lucky to all be unhurt.  

A few days later I had to drive to Moncton again.  Driving alone in the car I had the radio on, and some cheesy song started playing about how memories never leave us.  As I started to get closer to the accident site, I was shaking and listening to the song and started crying.  Then I realised how ridiculous it would be if I were to cry over a cheesy song on the radio, and then crash again, so I dried up.  Going around the corner, I slowed right down and basically crawled my way through it.  I was so paranoid about ice afterwards that I would see it in the distance or on the side of the road and go out of my way to avoid it or go phenomenally slowly - old lady driver anyone?

Thanks to our whiplash we didn't end up skiing while I was home.  Thankfully Peter is a cool enough teenager that he invited his sisters to join him and his friends for some pond hockey a couple days later so we had a great time skating instead.  Now, I'm back in NY, still suffering from residual guilt whenever I think about what could have happened to my siblings and so grateful they're all safe.  Apart from that, life goes on.  For the first time in 3 years New York is actually getting snow!  So we had a delightful snowball fight with the interns a few days ago.

No comments: