Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I posted about dealing with fear-- fear of rejection from family, fear of bucking the system, fear of being seen as a troublemaker. This past weekend, I spent quite a bit of time with fear of a more visceral sort. I drove my daughter to Oregon to visit a school there. The drive over was ten hours of easy interstate driving-- a long day, but nothing exciting. The drive back was a different story. A severe winter storm swooped in as we were leaving. It was just rain in Salem, where we started, but by the time we had driven through Portland, it had turned into sleet, and then ice and snow. Three days and 24 hours of driving later, we finally got home about 8 last night. It was awful, white knuckle driving almost the entire way, sprinkled in with some even more terrifying moments.

There was plenty of time to think about fear, and how it feels, and what it does to you. Hours and hours of creeping along at speeds ranging from 2 mph to 45-- we didn't get up over 50 until the last few hours. From small things, like what if I don't make it back in time for this, this and this; to huge things, like What if I never see my spouse and son again? Now that I'm home and sitting in my nice warm house, fear becomes something interesting to think about. But I can still feel it; my stomach still knots up everytime I think about the hour and a half we spent on an overpass waiting for a tow truck to come and clear an accident that happened four cars in front of us. Most of us were friendly in spite of the tension, but tempers flared and a couple of different times people came storming up from further back in the line ready to give hell to anyone they could find. As if the poor woman whose car had spun out had done it on purpose. (there were no injuries, thank goodness, just her car which was probably totaled, another car with minor damage, and traffic backed up for miles, I'm sure.)

I'm so grateful to be home. But we're supposed to get 1-3" of snow tonight. Ah, the joys of winter.


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