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Flash flood road trip

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The argument raged on for several days…  I was torn: should I ignore my instinct or follow my gut feeling?  Most likely everything would be just fine, no matter what I decided to do. 

Last Thursday morning, Beth was flying to Texas and needed a ride to the airport at 5:00 a.m.; unbeknownst to me, Gracie agreed to be her chauffeur several weeks ago when the flight was booked.  I didn’t like the idea at all: the time of day, the route, the ultimate destination, them riding together and then Grace driving back home alone…  My uneasiness irritated Grace; she claimed to be doing this to help me out and felt I should trust her abilities more. 

My eyes flew open at 4:15 a.m., despite not having gone to bed until nearly 2:30.  The little voice in my head would not let me rest, would not let the gnawing worry go…  I rolled over, hoping to drift off again…and was successful.  Until 4:45 a.m.  I jumped up, pulled on some clothes and stumbled downstairs.  I had to go.  The impulse would not be denied.

When she realized I was coming along, Grace got really mad; she demanded to know what the point of us both being up so early was.  I told her some things I simply couldn’t overcome, but she could still drive; that unruffled her feathers-slightly.  I decided it wouldn’t hurt for her to have more experience dealing with the traffic in that area of town as well as getting in and out of the airport itself.

It started drizzling on Albemarle Road…  Then raining steadily on Independence…  It was pouring as we exited onto John Belk…  Rolling thunder shook the car… Lightening crashed and exploded across the dark sky; our eyes burned from the contrast of pitch black night interrupted by bursts of sizzling hot light…  We slowed to a crawl around the I-77 on-ramps; following the lead of cars in front of us, we flipped on our flashers.  Visibility was minimal under the tidal wave of rain…  I held the driver’s seat head rest in a choke hold, my lips moving in silent prayer for our safety.

We finally made it to Wilkinson Boulevard…and breathed a sigh of relief.  Too soon.   Just that fast, we found ourselves in a flooded roadway.  To our right, in the center lane, a car was stalled; the water had reached the middle of their door panel and seemed to be rising.  Because of the darkness and steady rain, by the time we saw the water we were already into it; a line of cars prevented us from backing up.  The SUV in front of us drove up onto the edge of the concrete median dividing the roadway; it was still mostly above the water, so in this instance, I told Grace to follow their lead.  Thank goodness we didn’t end up stranded in the flash flood, in need of rescue, broadcast on the morning news…

Too often I’ve ignored the overwhelming urge to do a certain thing, go a particular way, or handle something at a specific moment, while other times I’ve obeyed that same sense of urgency and found myself to be in the exactly the right place at exactly the right time.  Makes me wonder why I fight against it…  How many times have I missed something important because of my stubbornness?

Things probably would have been okay had I not gone along, but I’m really grateful I was there to help coach Grace through this challenging road trip.  I’m sure she will be a better driver now because of it.  Call it a sixth sense, a mommy instinct, or some sort of fear factor…whatever it was that forced me awake, I’m glad I got up and tagged along.


Believe it or not, Beth and Grace were kind of glad too…

Wishing you many blessings and hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator