Today was a late morning - in more ways than one - as I didn't get to bed until after 3:00 a.m. and didn't get out of bed until 10:00 a.m. The reason for the lateness all the way around had to do with two things - Amanda and the weather ... or maybe it was three things? Amanda, the weather, and my inability to just say "no".
To try to put this in a nutshell, on Sunday morning Amanda woke up in a bit of a panic as it dawned on her that she desperately needed to get something from her room at the college before Wednesday and if she didn't get it before then, there could be dire consequences. With my landlady coming up from New York on Sunday afternoon to discuss the recent parking debacles with my neighbors, we couldn't make the drive up to Beverly then and I was going to be working my usual 16-hour dispatch shift on Monday so I told Amanda we'd take a drive up on Tuesday (my day off) to retrieve the desperately-needed item, take up some of the stuff she had accumulated over the break, and then maybe find a place to take some pictures as I can always find something on the North Shore to take pictures of. Tuesday was my day off so why not, right?
Watching the weather on the local channels yesterday morning I knew there was no way I was going to be making the drive to Beverly today as I don't drive in snow, ice, and freezing rain. Unlike other foolhardy souls, I just don't do it and there was no way we would be heading up to the college no matter how dire the situation. It just couldn't be done. When I told Amanda this she went into major panic mode as she really, really, really needed to get this thing and she needed it before Wednesday or it could be really, really bad.
Jamie opted to sit this one out at home with Tesla so at a couple minutes after 10:00 under cloudy skies and a temperature reading on my dashboard of 13, Amanda and I set out from Norwich towards Beverly. The roads were dry and for once the traffic was minimal though there was a lot more than I would have thought there'd be. Not quite an hour into the trip, I had to make a quick pit-stop in Auburn just before getting on the Mass Pike as my windshield-washer fluid reservoir was apparently dry - something I found out when the driver of the FedEx tractor trailer in front of us tossed his partially empty coffee cup out the window and it splashed coffee remnants all over the windshield! Grrr ...
When we got off of the Mass Pike it was actually rather nice to drive up I-95 with virtually no other cars to speak of and Route 128 towards the North Shore wasn't it's usual headache to navigate as there were only two or three cars other than mine on a road that is riddled with construction and uneven road surfaces. We pulled into the parking lot at Amanda's house at just a couple of minutes after midnight with the temperature reading on the dash now showing 9 degrees. Yea ... I was just going to stay in the warm car while Amanda went into the house and got what she needed.
While she lugged in the container of things she brought back with her, I decided - what the heck- I'll just take a couple of pictures with my iPhone while I was waiting. Believe it or not, I actually found myself wishing I had brought the Nikon with me as I was thinking some night shots might have been interesting before I reminded myself that it was 9 DEGREES outside and I still had to make the 2-hour drive back home! Oh yea ... Anyhow, here are the two pictures I took with my iPhone doctored up a bit to make them more "interesting"!
|Amanda's house made to look more artistic by using a Paint Daub effect!|
|View from the parking lot towards Beverly Common and the college itself with a "Cutout" effect applied|
Once we got off the turnpike and began the trek back down Route 395 towards Norwich, I was able to make a quick stop at a 24-hour McDonald's just off the exit in Auburn that had a decent night menu so that Amanda could get a chicken sandwich and then it was back on the road for the last 50-miles of the trip. Oh wait, was that snow I was starting to see in the headlights? Gee, it looked suspiciously like it and it was starting to stick to the road in spots. Krap on a stick!
Fortunately the weather didn't worsen but once we got to just about 20 miles from Norwich, I started having some major issues with being able to watch the road ahead of me without feeling like I was going into a trance. I felt like my eyes were barely open and the lines were starting to blur together like reflective lane lines do! Having made that drive over and over and over again I was very familiar with where I was and how much longer it was going to take me to get home but wow - it never felt like a longer drive!
When I pulled into the driveway it was 2:55 a.m. and starting to look a bit like we'd driven into a snow-globe but thankfully the roads hadn't been bad at all and we were back safe and sound from our late-night journey to the North Shore. When I told Amanda that I was glad I didn't have to drive any further as I'm not quite sure how I made it the last 20 miles she seemed surprised as she said she couldn't tell from my driving that I was having trouble staying awake at all. I guess that's a good thing? Either way, it's definitely something I really don't want to do again anytime soon regardless of how well I managed it!
When I looked outside at my car this morning after I dragged myself out of bed at 10 a.m., it looked like it was covered in a nice layer of ice so all things considered it's good we made the drive when we did. Amanda felt very bad that we had to make the drive up at all and is very appreciative that we did but I still have to wonder about that whole total pushover or good mother status. Maybe I should just chalk it up under the category of "the things we do for love" and let it go at that?
Ah well ... I think I'll go get that second cup of coffee now and go back to cursing the weather, it might make me a feel a bit better even though it won't do any good! Oh, and please do me a favor and keep your fingers crossed for good weather on Sunday when I have to drive back up to Beverly yet again to return Amanda at the end of her college break - rumor has it there may be more snow in the forecast that day!