November 29, 2006
I Didn't Die!
About two weeks ago, I started having a completely irrational fear. I know it is completely irrational. Unfortunately, the only time that has helped is when I pointed out to myself, "Jenn, this is a really stupid fear. Stop it." That would help for a little bit.
You see, for some reason, I started having the fear that I was going to die before March 2007. Now that I was finally doing something for myself, I would never be able to see my determination finally manifest in the form of a book in Barnes & Nobles (or any other book store). Yes, it's silly. Yes, it's dumb. However, that doesn't stop it from being there.
Somewhere along the lines of me attempting to soothe my mind of this inexplicable paranoia, I got it in my head that the most dangerous time of this next 3 months would be my three day road trip to get Gideon from California. If I survived that, I would survive the next three months.
Well, I survived. A bit tired but safe and relatively sound. This trip was very interesting and fraught with danger. No, seriously. Thank goodness Hans pinged me to ask about snow. I had already been pondering chains and wondering if I really needed them. After that, I got them without a quibble.
Some of the things that I dealt with on the way down to CA included:
Schizophrenic weather. Seattle to Portland was amazingly weird. It drizzled, rained, sleeted, flurried and snowed randomly while the temperature ranged from 33 to 37 degrees. At one point, the snow was sticking and everything was threatening to turn to ice.
Someone losing a cab top to a truck. Just after Portland, I was ready for a gas break and started moving to the right. After I moved over one, I looked up to see cab top in the lane I had just been in about 30 feet in front of me. It startled the heck out of me. Thank goodness I needed gas.
Putting chains on my car. Just after Medford but before Mount Ashland, I was required to put chains. I got them on with not too much trouble. Though, kneeling in snow SUCKS. I didn't put them on tight enough, so, had to pull over and tighten them. That actually allowed me to borrow the bathroom of a couple in an RV. After two hours in traffic, I was desperate.
Two girls getting snow chains wrapped around the front axel of their wheels. On the down slope of Mount Ashland when we didn't need chains anymore, I pulled over to take mine off. Behind me, a couple of girls, freshmen in college (Jen and KC), also stopped and proceeded to muck things up bad. I had seen them having trouble getting the chains on. By the time I went to see what the problem was, they had wrapped the chains around their axel. I spent some time kneeling in the snow, trying to get them unwrapped but I wasn't able to. So, at the request of the friend (and her parents) that were coming to rescue them, I stayed with them until help arrived.
I think I would have wondered about them for the rest of my life if I had not. I really went into "mom" mode. I made the girls put on warmer clothing. I broke out my emergency kit and put a glow stick behind their car and had them wait with me in my car for 3 reasons: First, more room in my car. Second, more body heat with the three of us in one car. Third, their car was behind mine. If some yahoo was going to hit us, it would probably hit their car first.
Katy, friend and parents arrived. Hands were shook. I told the responsible adults what was up and then I took off. I still had many miles to go to get to the Bay Area.
Traveling for 19.5 hours straight - most of that driving. I left at 4am and arrived at Rich's place in Fremont at 11:30pm. Let me tell you, this is not something I want to do again. I'm alright for 14-15 hours. After that, it is really hard. Red Bull was my friend this trip down. I had had three of them throughout the day and they kept me going. I tell you, they are NASTY tasting but they work wonders.
On the way back up, Gideon did the bulk of the driving. He did the first 5 hours. I did the next 5 hours and he did the last 3 hours. Rory had called very early to warn me that things were bad from Portland to Seattle. Then, Dan called once we hit Portland to warn us of the icy road conditions. I let Gid drive since he had that sort of driving experience. We made excellent time but, MAN, 405 N sucked something fierce. It was all ice and scary. At one point, we couldn't tell where the lanes were.
I think I am pretty much cured of my irrational fear of death before March 2007. If I was going to die, this would have been the trip for it. Instead, I helped out a couple of grateful young ladies (and their families) and discovered that I am so awesome I don't need to pull the "girl" card to do things like put chains on my tires.
It was funny. When I told Rich about my fear, he just looked at me and said, "I think you are afraid of change and of being your own boss for once." I protested and he asked, "What does the Death card represent in the tarot?"
Change. Oh, right. How interesting. Huh. A semi-rational explanation for a completely irrational fear. Ok. I can buy it. My mind is a very strange and interesting place. It is entirely possible it has been panicking on the subconscious level about all this change going on in my life.
Tarot Card for the Day: Justice, Inverted