The winter commute

Posted on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:13am

I live in Fort Worth. On the east side of the city, just south of I-30. It’s a drive of about 30 miles from home to my office.

The commute can be a real pain sometimes. But last night and this morning, as the Metroplex shivered in the grip of 20-something degree weather and freezing drizzle fell from the sky, the drive surpassed “real pain” and hit “monumental aggravation” status.

I left my office at the intersection of Travis and Fitzhugh at 5:06 p.m. last night. It took me about an hour to get across downtown to Industrial Avenue and up the access ramp to westbound I-30. An hour and about half a pack of cigarettes.

It took a little more than an hour longer — and the other half of the pack of cigarettes — to get from there to my house.

One look at the news this morning made it obvious the commute to work would be no better. So I got dressed in a rush and headed out at about 7 a.m. I had to stop to fill up the gas tank, which wasted about 15 minutes, and I finally made it to my office right at 9 a.m.

Basically, that’s four hours for a 60-mile round trip drive. My nerves are frayed, ya’ll. But then I opened an e-mail in my inbox from Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse with the Dallas Police Department that made me feel a little better.

Sr. Cpl. Janse, the public info officer on duty, was letting folks in on the status of Dallas’ roadways during this “winter weather” episode: From midnight to 5:30 a.m. this morning, there were 15 major accidents and 33 minor accidents on city streets and 44 major accidents on the freeways. That is in just five hours, before the morning rush hour hit.

So I realized that while my nerves may be frayed, at least my car and my person are all in one piece and uninjured. And that, folks, is what’s known as counting your blessings.

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