Thursday, February 3, 2011


"How are you doing ladybug?" I asked the little girl securely strapped in her car seat. She didn't respond. I had come to expect her silence in the car. I knew if I really wanted a response, I would have to divert my attention from the road. She always cued into my eyes, even in the rear view mirror. I glanced into the mirror. She was twisting her deep brown hair, apparently oblivious to everything else around her. Smiling, I looked back to the road.

Traffic was a touch lighter than moderate. "It looks like the promised blizzard seems to be sending people to the stores to stock up on eggs, milk, and bread. I always think that is kind of funny," I offered my thoughts to the silence, preferring the sound of my voice to the on-going weather information playing over the radio. "I wonder if people crave crazy amounts of french toast when they were snowed in."

I pictured the Brown family sitting around their kitchen table, a mound of french toast in the center, little Deshaun politely requesting the maple syrup. The response of his mother was a sharp inhale of breath. Alarmed, I realized that it was me inhaling sharply. The rear tires had slid out from under the car. "Ice!" We were driving directly toward the center barrier. I began spinning the wheel, trying to direct us away from the collision. We continued driving toward the barrier. I spun the wheel harder.

The car finally responded. We veered sharply away from the wall, only the back bumper making contact, and swung wildly back into our lane and then partially into the one next to us. I turned the wheel the other direction, not as sharply, this time, but enough to bring the car back into the lane we started in. The vehicle rocked roughly before skidding across another patch of ice.

We sailed across two lanes. A salt truck sat between us and the shoulder of the road . I tried slowing down. He sped up. My daughter and I slipped in the hole between him and the next car. Another concrete barrier sat just before us. Spinning the wheel, the car turned away from the barrier and scraped against the packed snow instead. We stopped. I took two deep breaths and reached for my phone. I didn't know who to call. We weren't hurt and the car was functioning well. I put my phone back into my purse and continued to settle my breathing.

"Weeeeee!" my daughter called out, a large smile on her face, "Can we do that again?" I wished for her silence.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

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