Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Con...and Back

(From Nov. 5th to the 10th, as part of the AADPW blogging contest, I will be talking about my trip to Suffern, NY, and the Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend that took place from Oct. 23-25.)

Day One

I left the house early for the airport in Houston two and a half hours away. A cold front had come in the day before, and it had been raining all night. It was still raining sporadically until I reached El Campo, and that's where I hit the frog strangler. It continued to pour on me, forcing traffic to slow down on the divided highway.

I drive a 2001 Ford Escort ZX2. A small car, but wide and low to the road. I fully believe that's why the car saved my life that morning.

I was nearing Kendelton (for those of you familiar with US 59). A refrigerator truck was in the right lane and slowing down, so I decided to go around him. We were running about 60 mph. As I came around on the left side, I saw the water on the road, taking up most of the road. At the same moment, I got caught in the backwash from the truck.

I hit the water, and my car began to spin out of control. Something in my head kept saying DON'T HIT THE BRAKES. At the same time, I remembered to turn in the direction of the skid. All this time, my car did Two Complete Counter-clockwise Revolutions. I tore through the grassy median. I vaguely remember seeing dirt and grass flying upward, and hitting my windshield.

I came to a sudden, jerky halt on the opposite side of the freeway, facing oncoming traffic. It was still dark. It wasn't yet dawn. And I could see the headlights heading straight toward me.

Numb, I couldn't think other than I needed to be on the OTHER side of the freeway. So slowly I drove back across the torn up median, unmindful of the fact that I could get stuck in the mud, and stopped when I reached the northbound shoulder. It took me several minutes to stop shaking, but I prayed thanks I hadn't flipped. That another car hadn't hit me. And that I was relatively unhurt.

Yes, I continued on to the airport, but my nerves were shot. I parked my car, got checked in, and made my flight in time. I arrived at the New Jersey airport around 5:00 p.m., rented a car, and got to the hotel in Suffern by 7:00.

On my way home on Sunday, I found the spot where I'd gone across. It has to be the only area in that fifteen-mile stretch where the median is flat. The rest of the time it dips down into a ditch.

I had been thinking about trading my little car in for some time now. Screw it. I'm keeping my little Ford Escort.


Jennifer Mathis said...

wow glad it turned out ok

Linda Mooney said...

I'm STILL shaken. Thank you for commenting!