Wacky Weekend

Yesterday was one of those days fraught with material for a future work of fiction. It was also one of those days which are perfect for staying home, snuggled under an afghan with a good book and Skye kitty on my lap. Blustery and wickedly cold. Instead of hibernating, though, I had to drive into the city to visit Mom.

When I left the house, the wind was brutal, but otherwise, the weather seemed tolerable for driving. However, a few miles down the road, snow began to fall. Soon, the road was coated with ice and blowing snow.

Driving in snow doesn’t usually bother me. Ice is a different matter. But my trusty Saturn plugged along without missing a step. Of course, I slowed down and kept plenty of distance between me and car in front. Others had less patience and cruised past in the passing lane. Or attempted to. Near the Imperial exit, the remains of two separate crashes sat along the road. The first one in the opposite lanes involved several cars. Everyone seemed fined. They stood in the gale force winds and waved at passing motorists to slow the heck down.

Less than a quarter mile away, the second wreck, this time in my lanes, left evidence in the way of skid marks in the snow that the driver had tried to pass, smashed into the Jersey barrier and spun across the highway to the berm. Again, no injuries. Just stunned-looking occupants standing in the bitter cold, scratching their heads.

Traffic slowed to a crawl. For about a mile. Then the impatient sorts started passing again.

I puttered passed four or five more slip and crunch accidents before I made it to Allegheny General.

Mom is doing as well as can be expected for someone who has to start over with a recovery process that had taken six months to get to where we were before this latest set-back. She’s only allowed to sit up to 40 degrees. Normal is ninety. Half of that is forty-five. So she’s basically lying on her back even when she’s sitting up.

The day’s excitement was far from over, just because I made it through the mini blizzard in one piece. Mom’s hospital window offered a clear view of a row house fire a block away. Well, “clear view” is relative. Smoke obliterated most of the view, but I had good site-line on that. Nurses came in and out of Mom’s room to check on the fire’s progression. I’m sure it was a bugger to fight with the wind and cold. According to last night’s news broadcast, no one was injured.

And finally, one for the strange, but true column. On my way home, with the thermometer reading 13 degrees, I spotted a guy standing on the street in front of a local bar and grill, wearing shorts. And a gas mask. I’m not sure which puzzles me more. But you have to know that guy is going to end up in my next book.

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