Four hours. That is how long it took me to get home today. Four hours. Four hours on the road and I wasn't even close to Vegas!
A crane fell over on the freeway, which they had to close down for most of the afternoon. Not just any freeway- the 405 Freeway at the 101. At the "busiest interchange in the world" as one news reporter was kind enough to say in his report. Imagine, how many people drive through that interchange and now had no way to get to where they were going! This caused traffic all over the west side. When I left work I had no idea this was going on. When I noticed traffic getting heavy as I headed north and heard helicopters, I just figured there was an accident ahead and turned to take an alternate route. What I didn't realize was that there were no alternate routes. You simply could not get north from the west side. So, I thought if I could head far enough east, I could then go north and come around the other side of the Valley. No dice. Hardly a unique idea. Two hours into my drive (and only 3 miles from my office) I realized I had to use a restroom. Half an hour later (and only a few blocks) I stopped at a grocery store and felt much better. I kept thinking that maybe I would be better off to call and see if any of my coworkers wanted to go get a drink and wait it out. After all, in a couple hours it would likely be much better. However, if I stayed in the city for dinner, there was no way I would see my munchkins before bed. That was just not acceptable. So, I stuck it out.
People kept calling me to check my progress, offer sympathy and keep me company. The thing was, I wasn't upset. Frustrated and disappointed to lose time with my family, absolutely. But not upset. I just couldn't help thinking that as much as people were saying that I was unfortunate, that I was having a bad day, I really wasn't. Tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people were sitting there just like me. The crane operator who fell with the crane, now there is a person who had a bad day! I was fine. By the time I arrived at my inlaws for dinner I was very tired, and very glad to be out of the car, but also so happy that we really are fine.