Things could be worse. You wonder why I have the gall to say that while sitting comfortably on my porch on the bluff side of the road, overlooking a beautiful gold tassled field of sturdy green stalks of corn, under a blue sky, listening to tweeting birds, swatting a bug or two. Besides the fact that I know now, here in the Heartland, things can change in a beat or two, due to the whims of Mother Nature; yet I can't help think of my brother, stuck in traffic on the freeways of Southern California. Three times lately we have spoken on the phone - first while he was on the 91 amidst a traffic jam which had allowed him to move 15 miles in 45 minutes. Try to visualize, with audio and sensitivity, the miles and miles of concrete, noise and heat, along with emotions of frustration with other drivers and the knowledge you are missing dinner at home with the wife and kids. If you think your commute from Nebraska City to Fremont County on the weekend is a pain, you hardly know the meaning of the word 'commute'.
The second time I spoke with my brother he was going south on the 101, happy to have gotten his tires fixed after running over something on the road, which had made him two hours late to his business meeting. And the third time on the 60 heading east, returning from a family wedding, with children in the back seat expanding their education while counting blue trucks, red trucks and yellow trucks. (I always felt nervous, driving with children on the freeways, subjecting their small eyes and ears to the big, loud traffic that surrounded them, as well as other dangers).
Oh yea, another time we talked while he was on the road, but who cares really where or when, as it was all just as before. The silver lining though, is that he has the time to converse, which otherwise is rare.
Now on the news is the story of Carmeggedon. The 405, as busy a freeway as it gets, will be shut down for a few days for bridge repair. Imagine so many cars spilling onto city streets. Some people are buying supplies and will hunker down for the time, while others are thinking about a huge party on a section of the closed route. And if you can get there, the Malibu Pier will have free carnival rides.
From this vantage point, wouldn't you say that a man-made hell is tougher than Mother Nature's?