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Feeling: shaken

So that so called 'blizzard' was harmless to the canyon really, the issue was the valley itself where there was still snow that turned into slush and with the below freezing weather it turned to ice.  Everything was fine on the freeway and even in the canyon, but once you got to the valley...slippery.  But generally not a big deal as they said it would be.

Now the 'snow storm' that came today would be more described as a blizzard.  I think they got them mixed up.  That is the kind of snow storm that you tell ppl to close canyons and businesses and schools, not the one during the week.  It just kept snowing and snowing.  Its going on like 10 hours now of constant snowing.  Not good for the plows or those that have to shovel their sidewalk one layer at a time.

Well they said pack yer bags early and head to Thanksgiving dinner and there was nothing much to be afraid of and then they said there is a storm coming this weekend, see ya at work monday morning, and there was lots to be afraid of.  I didn't really believe them when they talked about 'the storm' cuz if thats what they thought a blizzard was, a storm was nuthin.  I decided to go home Sunday (today) instead of Saturday morning or Friday...ya know, before the storm.  I woke up, it was snowing, I went to church and came back, it was still snowing, I ate food and packed my stuff, still snowing, dug out my car and attempted not to get stuck in my driveway, still snowing and then I headed out around 4pm.

I was almost to the entrance of the canyon out by the farm when the two cars in front of me were slowing down, one more successful than the other, so to avoid hitting the slowest one that guy pulled into the other lane around him.  I was then following the slowing truck with its blinker on and I didn't have the luxery of pulling into the next lane to avoid hitting the truck, I was kinda stuck, so there I was pressing on the break letting the ABS system do its thing and hoped like hell I wouldn't hit him and that he'd finally turn a corner as suggested by his blinker.  Well, he took a corner, thas for sure, and ended up head first in a ditch.   After all that slowing he still wasn't slow enough.  I'm not sure he dove cuz he finally saw the road he wanted to take or if he saw me gaining on him behind him, so I hope it wasn't because of me.....

So I watched them dive and even saw the drivers body kinda slam into the steering wheel as he was 'oh shit'ing.  Those situations are hard because there's no way to pull over without getting stuck, the snow on the side of the road is like quick sand once yer in you better high tail it out or yer gonna sink.  I felt bad as I continued on...still hoping it wasn't cuz of me and that he just went and turned too fast...  I think the car behind me saw it too, they slowed down a lot afterward.  I figgered they were okay cuz they were at least still in the valley, if they were in the canyon I'd prolly try and help 'em, but I'm sure they got peeps to help around the valley.

Then there were accidents once I got out of the canyon and onto the freeway that plugged up the freeway for 30 minutes at a time.  The first was a rollover.  With this slushy, fresh snow kinda weather it usually only slides your car around, but if you overcorrect and I'm sure you really have to crank it and/or hit something to help topple you, then you can produce a rollover.  The second was on the other side of the freeway it looked like a three car pile up.....and then a few more miles down the road, another three car pile up.  Too close and not enough slowing down.   That part wasnt' so bad cuz we had to crawl around the police and cars so the weather didn't effect us much going 5mph and when we could speed up it wasn't bad you could actually see the road.  It wasn't til I got into the SL area that it got bad....

The visibility quickly left and the tracks in the snow slowly disappeared and turned into slush, try making yer own tracks in that and still find a lane to stay in.  When I got closer to Gma's exit one of the lanes suddenly disappeared.....fresh snow in its place, which happened to be in the lane I needed to get off the freeway.  I decided to brave that lane once I got closer to my exit, I was about 1/2 mile too far when I took on that adventure.  I was good for awhile til I could feel my car getting out of hand.  I let off the gas to slow it down cuz I didnt want to hit the brake and swing my back end around, but I was still going to fast and all I could do was move my tires/steering wheel back and forth in rhythm with what my back end was doing until the sways got bigger and I ended up doing a nice lil' 180 almost into the next lane.   As I was spinning around I tried to focus on which lanes had what cars, my lane was empty obviously for a reason, and there were to other lanes I had to worry about.  One car was slightly behind me in the next lane and had seen me swerving so he waited and slowed and let me do my thing, and thankfully the other lane had cars farther behind, not that it mattered I only swung into one lane.  Good thing he saw me, eh.  He slowed down like I was a slight inconvience in his path.  I honked my horn in case I was in the other lane and didn't know about it, but the guy that was slowing down for me looked at me like "duh I see you, no need to honk".  I did kinda honk out of panick I must admit.  I kinda waved at the guys who were waiting for me since they're headlights were staring right at me, and continued back into my dangerous lane and took the exit a few feet away.   It was strange facing the concrete barrier and noticing I didn't have to switch into drive, it was already there. 

I thought my whole body would just be tensed up, but it was only my legs, it felt strange.  I was kinda shaky and I was wondering if I pulled into Gma's would I be able to get out and if I should just continue on.  I decided to chance it, I mean why not, what could be worse than spinning out on the freeway with faster moving cars?   Her driveway was just shoveled by Claine and they had barely left. I came and saw her tree and gave her frames and ate some of her jello stuff and took my salad bowl which convienently had banana bread in it that she had been trying to get me to eat and headed out on another adventure.

Did I mention SL weather was worse than any other city so far?  Its like I was following the storm and I just ran into it.  I went like 35mph most of the way, that 20 minute stretch expanded to like 40 minutes.  Just trying to follow other tracks in the snow I could feel my car slipping everywhere and then next to me were cars whizzing by at like 55 mph or more and I'm thinking "how can they NOT be sliding all over the place?  i can feel it at 35mph, do they just not feel it?  what if they had to stop suddenly?  could their car stop better than mine?"

Anyway passed a slide off on the freeway entrance and then a truck who looked like it did a 360 later on down the freeway.  The snow plows came out and everyone ran for it and some didn't really make it.  It was either get well behind them or get 3 lanes away and/or ahead of them. Some didn't get that concept til they got sprayed.  The plows spray it everywhere and if you get caught in the middle of their slush yer a goner.  I needed the lane just outside their spraying range in order to catch my exit, but even that lane got slushed every once in awhile and I found myself going back and forth into lanes trying to keep ahead of them and out of spraying range while getting to my exit.   The snow plows headed straight for the carpool lane and fast lane which left a trail of slush for everyone else to plow through.  There was a car that thought he'd follow the snow plows since they took over his lane, but decided last minute he wanted to go faster than them and darted across carpool, fast and middle lane to get to my lane (4th lane in) and totally cut me off.   He had to go behind two plows and the spraying lane to get to safety of my lane and its like he didn't even see me, but I'm sure he did cuz he sped up even more once he cut me off and my ABS system was once again squealing away.   I wouldn't have felt bad about that if I rear ended him tho, that would be his own fault.

So, I feel I almost died today, a few times.  A storm, really? Thats all they had to say about it? Of all the things I could've hit today and I didn't.  Of all the directions I could've flew today and I didn't.  Of all the slushy spots and corners that could've tripped me up and didn't.  As I thought about my dying on the road I realized in slip and slide conditions I prolly wouldn't have died most likely, just damaged property and broken bones maybe and I really wondered which was one worse, dying or just injury to property and body?  It seriously was a toss up with the whole mental and emotional anguish it could cause. The whole "Thank God your alive" just seems so...cliche.  I dunno maybe I couldn't live with myself knowing one of my actions ended up damaging property and hurting me or others, maybe I'd rather die than deal with those facts. In the grand scheme of things I suppose that seems silly tho.  

I've been thinking about those people in chronic, constant pain lately... How they are in so much pain almost all the time, they just want to die. I can almost promise that -no one- -really- wants to die, thats not the underlying problem.  They want to be forgiven, they want the pain to go away, they want their family back, etc.  The elderly are 'ready' to die but they don't -really- want to, I believe.  I dunno, death is a very controversy subject but its on my mind for recent near death experiences.

In church the teacher gave us lil' sticker hearts to wear and see every day to remind us to have gratitute in our hearts.  I stole two and put them on my phone.  I get home four hours later and look at my phone and say "thank you god for saving me today, double time".  I know I drive home late and in the dark and apparently drive through storms and talk like its no big deal, but sometimes I really am scared to death, like that night I almost ran into all those deer on the side of the road.  And its not me or my skill of driving that saves me all those times, there really is someone up there watching out for me, I can promise you that.  I take all the precautions I know how to do (slowing down, pumping brake, watching for deer, etc) and He helps with the things I can't control.  Not to make excuses to do stupid things, but maybe sometimes I talk like its no big deal simply cuz I know there's someone watching out for me and I have faith that He'll be there.  Not my will, but Thy be done.

And for your birthday Daddy, the big 54, your present is to see your daughter alive one more day!  How does that make you feel?

P.S.  Don't tell anyone this happened, esp my mother and gma. :D  Thanks. 

 

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001 - Year 2005
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