Road Warrior

Well, maybe not so much. I hate snow driving for one thing. But I drive a LOT and today I felt like a warrior! I drove tandem with my two beach urchins. I’m not sure they were really interested in sticking around with me on the road all day. I think I heard somebody say that I might not go 75 (which is the speed limit for most of the way down). In the end, they tolerated me. “Moom, do you want road company because you’re driving an unfamiliar car?” Yes.

The Southbound I75 SUV Speedway is almost always a challenge on a Sunday. If that Sunday happens to follow the 4th of July holiday, you KNOW there will be slowdowns. Our first was at the Big Mac Bridge tollbooths. I have seen worse and we got through them pretty quickly but then there was an unusual slowdown AFTER the tollbooths. Disabled vee-hickle? Yes. Once we got around that, the bridge was fine. The Bridge Authority folks were out there with an arrow to indicate the lane was closed and they are pretty darn quick about helping people out with problems on the bridge. Not a place you generally want traffic to be backed up. No stopping. Move along please. We’ll fix your taaaar or tow you away or whatever.

I won’t document all of the (minor) slowdowns we experienced. We stopped at the 4-Mile Road exit south of Grayling to get gas and I checked the traffic from there and we all agreed that we would take the Cheese Route in order to avoid what looked like a monstrous mess in the Standish area. (Mouse, if you are reading this, did Squeaky see the Cheese Mouse???) We got back onto the I75 SUV Speedway down by the Mordor area and things were pretty okay for a while except for a bit of a slowdown across the Zilwaukee Bridge.

And then. We got north of Flint (yes, *that* Flint) and I didn’t thoroughly process what the highway sign said but it was something about, “if you are going to Detroit, take the 475 bypass.” One of the beach urchins was indeed going to Detroit and actually the bypass works for Ann Arborites too, it’s just a wee bit out of the way. So. I can’t really use my phone while driving (plus it’s illegal, at least to text) but I was in the lead at that point and I took a great leap of faith and put my right turn signal on, intending to lead us *all* off of I75 proper onto the 475 bypass.

It worked. Both Honda Civics followed me, Ruby and then Daisy. Whew! I knew that Ruby’s driver understood what we were doing but I couldn’t remember if Daisy’s driver had ever used this route so eventually I, with GREAT DIFFICULTY, CALLED Ruby and asked her to pass me so that Daisy would (hopefully) get the hint to follow me, since following Ruby would take Daisy to Detroit, where she did NOT want to go, at least not today. And it worked! And we are all home safe now.

Note to self: next vee-hickle MUST have a better way to communicate with family driving other vee-hickles without having to use a physical phone.

Oh yeah, unfamiliar vee-hickle? Yes, I was driving npJane’s LOVERLY blue VW Gulf! Some people are nervous about driving stick (I am not) but this vee-hickle is an automatic. I was nervous about new vocabulary (to me) like “fob” and “start button”. As it turned out, it was a fine little vee-hickle to drive, zippy when I needed it to be. I love driving the Ninja but I felt less taaared driving this cute little car and it hit me that, as much as I love to drive stick, it is probably more tiring on a five hour drive with multiple rounds of stop-and-go traffic than an automatic. And I now have it “parked in” in the Landfill Driveway and maybe I will hide the fob so npJane will have to fight me to get her vee-hickle back 😉

Why was I driving my cuzzint’s vee-hickle? Without going into too much detail, this wedding happened by force of the love between two people but it was helped along by various Herculean efforts to make sure people who needed to be at the wedding got there. npJane was planning to pick up her niece and significant other at Metro and drive them to the wedding. She picked them up at Metro but then loaned them her car and took a FLIGHT to Seattle to take care of the bridegroom’s dad (recovering from successful surgery) so that the bridegroom’s MOM (npJane’s sister) could fly out to our family beach to be at the wedding. The niece/SO who drove the car up are flying out from Cananananada so weren’t able to drive the VW back to The Planet Ann Arbor. (don’t even ask about rental vee-hickles.) Enter KW. I will drive your car back home. 🧡🧡🧡

I have turned into a Wedding Crier. I even do it at weddings where I don’t know the people very well. I didn’t end up crying at yesterday’s wedding but I did tear up a bit today, driving down through the back roads of the yooperland, listening to 60s music on npJane’s Satty-lite radio, thinking about what a good family I was born into. But then I got onto the dern freeway, heading back down to the Planet Ann Arbor and my job and my parched impatiens and I took on my Road Warrior persona and left my tears behind. For now.

2 Responses to “Road Warrior”

  1. Jay Says:

    It takes a family to make it happen. Extended family in this case. The number of folks who stepped up when needed, usually without being asked, makes me happy and privileged to be part of this one.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I don’t like driving unfamiliar cars either. I can barely figure out my 2018 Subaru, like how to keep the automatic headlights on and how to answer my phone through the Bluetooth. A bit advanced for me! Glad everyone pitched in to make the wedding special.