Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Closed roads

Note the time. Gggrrr.....

You see, I have just been through the awful-est time. Actually, my middle daughter, Casey has been through the awful-est time and I had to observe from afar. Here at 2 a.m., she is finally in her bed at college, and I am too wound up to sleep here at home.

Casey has enjoyed a four-day weekend here but was told by her daddy about 3:30 this afternoon to "get on the road!" because there was a possibility of a winter storm. Off she went into the cold but sunshiny afternoon. However, about 35 miles from her destination, high upon one of the Interstate 540 bridges, she was stopped along with hundreds of other travelers because of icy roads.
From 60 mph to 0 mph.
From dry roads to ice-covered roads.
Completely stopped with the motor turned off.
And turned on again occasionally for some heat.
Luckily for her she had a coat, boots, a blanket and even food in her car. (Unfortunately there was no bathroom!)

The news at 10:00 announced that they had "closed I-540" because it was impassable due to bad road conditions.
Closed it?
How can you close a road when it is packed full of drivers?

The State Highway Patrol told us around 11 p.m. that if she was in distress she could call 911 and they would send a helicopter to get her out. I informed him that she was not in distress yet, but that I was. He seemed to believe me since he had evidently already spoken with about 100 other parents who also had kids on this full, but closed freeway.

Finally,...about 1:30 a.m., she pulled onto her campus.
Stretched to her limits physically, emotionally and mentally.
Her next big effort would be to get to her dorm which is on the opposite side of campus from where she must park.

Now the University Police have cautioned young females time and time again about walking alone on campus. "Call us!" they say! "Be safe!"
Even the drunks are encouraged to call the police for a "safe ride".

However, tonight,.. the police officer informed her that the "safe-ride" time frame had expired and that she would need to get there on her own. I didn't get exactly what he said to her because she was crying as she was walking.

So, in the dark icy rain, carrying multiple bags, Casey finished her trip walking uphill about a mile. This entire 3.5 hour trip had turned into a 10 hour nightmare, and her voice held more exhaustion than I have ever heard from her.

If I knew that Police officers name, I would drive up there tonight and slap him nekkid.

Here's the deal:
That police officer could have turned that entire trip around for her. He could have picked her up, commiserated with her about the trip and dropped her off at the door. She would have still been spent, but she probably would have also felt cared for and supported on her arrival. What in the cotton-picking heck was he doing at 1:30 in the morning that was more important than her?

The University is lean mean educating machine, but it loses sight of the kids.
She's a little fish in a big pond.
She said she hates the campus and I told her I did too.

I tell ya,....there is really only one place we belong and that is,...... home.

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