Lisa and I are on the road this week traveling to Atlanta Georgia for some required training Lisa is needing and we are looking forward to stopping at home in Kentucky on the way. Going to Atlanta is not our favorite trip and this post, originally published Jan. 9, 2014, will explain why. Here is a funny look back at our Atlanta driving experience.
People ask Lisa and I to contrast the various places we have traveled with her job in the past year and a half. Their questions are typically, “What was your favorite place?” or “Where did you have the most fun?” And our typical answer is that everywhere we have been has been great for different reasons. But it occurred to me this morning while driving Lisa to her job in Riverdale, Georgia that the greatest contrast in locations can be explained in terms of driving to and from her work. Here is what I mean..,
Her first assignment in Hanover Pennsylvania required us to drive thirty miles each way to her job from our campsite in Gettysburg. The two lane road would have been the perfect Sunday drive in the country. Rolling green hills and farms dotted the landscape and often our conversations would include comments like, “I love those barns!”, and “Look Steve – horses!”. We would meander our way each morning not really needing to hurry as the traffic was always light and speeds on that road were no greater than 45 MPH. Amish buggies would occasionally slow down our travel – but the pastoral setting had a calming impact and just enjoyed the moments. Ho Hum!
Then there was Loma Linda California. We were scared to death that driving in California would be a nightmare. We had heard the stories of traffic tie-ups in southern California. But it was really not bad. In fact – our apartment was within walking distance of her workplace and was just a five-minute drive. California drivers can be crazy but generally they seemed to have a kind of “Cheech and Chong” – “sure come on over into my lane, man – I don’t care – have a nice day and roll one for me” attitude. California was laid back and living easy!
Kingman, Arizona was a completely different driving experience. Although the landscape was starkly different from that of the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, the Kingman hospital was a brief five minute drive. And in Arizona – you just never knew what you might see driving to work. People rode horses, mules, golf carts, four-wheelers, bicycles and scooters down the main roads of town along with all the cars and trucks. In Kingman we saw teenagers gathered at the local Sonic on their horses. We saw people walking cows down the main street of town and motorcycles and antique cars were everywhere. Driving in Arizona is a lot of flat, straight, roads with occasional canyons and mountains to navigate around or through. But all in all – very easy driving.
And then there is Atlanta. We are living in a campground at Stone Mountain Resort and drive thirty-three miles each way to where Lisa is working in Riverdale, Georgia – just southwest of Atlanta. Where Pennsylvania was a country drive through Amish farms, driving in Atlanta is the Indy 500. I’m talking white knuckle – wide-eyed – scared shitless driving that warrants wearing head-gear and a fire-retardant suit. When we leave the exit from our campground at 7:30 in the morning – merging onto one of the three roads we take to get to Riverdale – we better be going at least 80 MPH or we are done for. Most of the time Lisa and I say absolutely nothing during this adventure – driving in complete silence. The only comments we make are things like, “Jesus, Joseph and Mary! – what is that (bleeping) idiot doing?” I have found myself cussing so much trying to get her to work – I swear I have Tourette’s Syndrome. Words are flying from my mouth I did not realize I even knew. When you change lanes here you can actually hear the sound of someone twisting a styrofoam cup and then realize it is your anus closing tighter and tighter. There may be some really wonderful scenery for us to look at during our journey to and from – but we will never know. Our eyes are glued to the bumper six inches in front of us going 80 mph. It is my concern that turning to look at the scenery will result in severe head trauma.
So we have nearly completed our first week here in Atlanta. Lisa loves where she works and they love her (no surprise there) and the campground here at Stone Mountain is fantastic. But for about an hour and a half each day – Lisa and I bond in a special way getting to and from work. I cuss the car next to me – she cusses me – I cuss the car next to the car I just cussed – she cusses me – you get the idea. But we love each other and if not for our ability to forgive and forget – and forgive and forget at least twice a day – we would be in trouble.
Drive Carefully! Steve and Lisa