Driving into the city of Atlanta is never fun, nor is it without interesting subject matter for this blog. I am in grid-locked traffic once again, and going NOWHERE fast when I look to my right and see this odd looking vehicle. Had to grab the IPhone and snap a quick pic before traffic would finally unsnag and I’d be on my way again. “Live Simply, Live Well.” I had to think about that for awhile, wasn’t that the truth? when I got to thinking about all the “stuff” that complicates my life, it began to make more and more sense. The more you have, the more you want and the more you want the harder you need to work to get it and the harder you work the less time you have to “live simply.” Time to un-stuff I thought, to let someone else have the possessions I really didn’t need or want. This would be good timing too, because at the time of this commute, I was about to make a major move…. selling my home of 18 years and moving to the Orlando, Florida area. More to come on that. But for now, think about it Atlanta Commuters…. Live Simply, Live Well. Ahhhh…. it’s good to be back blogging, writing makes me feel good.
It had been awhile since I accessed my Blog to simply VENT about my commute into the city of Atlanta in order to get to my job, located at the Ashford-Dunwoody exit on the Perimeter. As I dove home this day, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the day I hatched the idea of creating a blog to vent about “hating my commute.” Located 52 miles away from my office, I thought about the days I drove almost daily into the office in this EXACT traffic, racking up nearly 2 hours each way, just to make a living. “I’ve gotten spoiled,” I thought. I’ve had the luxury of being able to work from home on most days and have not been in this sort of traffic nightmare for quite some time. You really must become inoculated to driving through this type of viral environment that can and will make you mentally and physically sick if you can’t just accept the fact that Atlanta drivers SUCK at operating motorized vehicles that were designed to take a person from point A to point B in a relatively short and expedited amount of time.
I will say this however, there are traffic jams and then there are TRAFFIC JAMS! This was the latter, and the reason I know this is because of that rather large red truck with a ladder on it…the Fire Engine, and not just one, but several. Now, let me tell you, when you see several of those on a four-lane highway with two lanes of traffic closed, lots of black smoke and non-stop sirens, you know this is no ordinary fender-bender. It IS in fact what we, in the South, call a “Car-B-Cue.” Yes it is what it sounds like, and for some strange reason, cars just seem to spontaneously combust on this stretch of highway. It took me nearly two and a half hours to get home this evening. Luckily, it did not appear that anyone was hurt, just lots of charred metal sitting at the side of the road.
Once again, I made it home without a scratch and was thankful for that. I felt even more appreciative for the job I have and that I no longer need to make that drive daily. I think about those that do and wish them the best.
It has certainly been awhile since I last posted to this blog, however that doesn’t mean the blog itself and ideas for it have been lost on me. I drive long distances more than ever now-a-days…that’s another story, so I am constantly on the look-out for interesting sights on the highways and by-ways.
Such was the day in early January as I was exiting I-285 and spied four grown men, carrying a queen or king sized mattress and box-springs at the side of the exit ramp. Now, I will let you know that I was a passenger in the car at the time and as I hung out the window to capture this prize of a photo, I wondered if the bed has been lost, or found? I do know there was a pickup truck involved as is almost always the case in Georgia. But it was not crystal clear if the truck entered the ramp loaded or empty and these four opportunistic gentlemen seized the moment!
In any case it was interesting to watch and even more interesting to speculate. If the rather large item had “flown,” from the truck, just imagine the moment of impact and what the drivers behind said vehicle might have thought. Not to mention the bobbing and weaving that must have occurred in the wake. And if the item was found, we can only imagine the pickup screeching to a halt pulling off the side of a busy interstate, with four eager guys running to claim their new-found prize.
I love to joke about this kind of stuff, but the bottom line is this scenario is pretty dangerous any way you imagine it. So Atlanta, come on and rent a UHaul for the love of God and for the safety of fellow drivers.
In the age of “Do It Yourself,” DIY, nothing seems off-limits! Pressure treated lumber and a little craftsmanship and there you have a new bumper. But how durable can it be? Not to mention the fact that there is probably no “bump” to the bumper. But when you really think about it, as many times as I’ve seen cars driving down the road without a bumper, you have to give this guy a little credit for at least making the effort to have some sort of protection between him and the next bumper on the road. All I’ll say, is I’m a Northern Girl and down South, ya’ll will see just about anything. Maybe, the next time this guy is riding up the I-285 by-pass and there is a full bumper at the side of the road, he’ll stop and get a new one for his truck!
Drive safe you guys!
If you’ve read even one of my blogs on this site, you will know that I’ve been commuting long distances for a very long time. I’ve driven in the worst of weather; snow, sleet, ice, hurricane-force winds and rain. I’ve driven in some of the most challenging cities, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta to name a few. I categorized the drivers in Michigan as “fast and furious.” Atlanta drivers are impatient and obnoxious. In L.A., who knows what going through their heads, but they just don’t seem to give a crap! Chicago; my second home town….can’t say a bad word!
On April 19th, I flew into the Philadelphia National Airport at approximately 10 p.m. Eastern time and needed to commute to Atlantic City, New Jersey for a seminar I was presenting the next day at 9:00 a.m. I was told it would take approximately one hour. As I hurriedly got my luggage and the rental car without a snag, I thought….wow this is going smoothly, I’ll get there in time to play a few slots before I turn in.
As I entered the Walt Whitman Bridge to merge onto the Atlantic City Expressway, also known as NJ 42-S, I was immediately confronted by two lanes of traffic merging down to one because of bridge construction. Now let me preface the next part of this story by saying…. I’m a pretty courteous driver. I use my turn signals, I’ll wave other drivers in front of me and I leave good distance between me and my fellow drivers. I also know HOW TO MERGE into one lane of traffic. Unlike those habitual rude azzholes who like to speed down either the closing lane or the berm and then rudely “cut the line,” as they would say. Truly an action that at one point in time got people thrown out of amusement parks!
So on this particular evening, after flying all night, eating a handful of peanuts for dinner and trying to get to my hotel to relax and get my thoughts together for my freekin RELAXATION seminar, “I was not havin it!” Gosh darn it if I was going to let some creep in the typical Beamer or Escalade, cut in front of my rental car. Approximately 45 minutes later, I was across the bridge…the only person to cut me off was a taxi and I thought….he doesn’t give a sh*t if he dings that taxi….I’ll let him go since I really don’t want to pay the $1,000.00 deductible for the rental.
That’s not the end of this story…not by a long shot. I had been warned by the shuttle driver to 1.) not use my cell phone, that would cost me a $2,000.00 fine in Jersey, 2.) not to pump my own gas…that’s another $1,000.00 fine and finally, 3.) obey the speed limit.
I was determined to get from point A to point B, unscathed and without fines….after all, I was also there to gamble and needed the cash for those one-armed bandits! The entire drive was a nightmare of Jersey drivers riding my bumper, speeding up, pulling in front of me and then slowing to the speed limit so I was forced to then pass them and get over into the normal driving lane. Now just repeat what I just wrote for the next hour and that’s what my drive into Atlantic City was like. Then there was the frequent driver that could not make up his/her mind on what lane to stay in or even if there WAS a lane to stay in!
Suffices to say I lived to write about it….but I won’t be going back any time soon. Good luck to those who do!