Always Have Food in Your Car

Always have food and water in your car.

Proof of that came last night as I ventured home from my daughter’s house in Brooklyn. I faced the usual rush hour traffic, no problem, I’m used to that. Except for the pileup on the GW Bridge which made traffic in all directions the usual crazy. So, okay, tack on an additional half hour for that.

I keep forgetting to change the CDs in my car and I’m a little sick of them now, but, so what, I’ll try to remember for next time. Talk radio out of the question (my normally low blood pressure would peak to stroke levels).

What I didn’t know about was the raging storm in Connecticut, where I live. I called my husband to tell him what time to light the grill and he laughed, then described the sheets of rain that were falling in lower Fairfield County. When I reached the Merritt Parkway, traffic was almost at a standstill.

Aha! I thought, I’ll take the back roads, like I usually do when it seems maybe it’ll be faster.

Am I an idiot or something? Every back road was almost impassable. I followed three or four other cars as we made our way around huge fallen trees and sometimes under the ones that fell on high wires but were still above ground — hoping a tree wouldn’t fall completely, and therefore on me, as I was passing.

An hour later, after driving on some of the same roads twice, I realized what a hopeless venture this was and found myself back on the highway, where traffic was still not moving more than a mile or two an hour. Slowly, slowly I made it home.

I was ravenous. I always carry water in the car, but not food. Hard to believe too, because my grandmother’s philosophy always was to pack up pounds of goodies before we went anywhere with the car, even if the trip was a short one to the beach or something. We’d pile in to the car, several of us, the kids on the floor in the back — no seat belts or safety regulations in those days — and almost as soon as we left she would ask if anyone wanted a peach or a plum or maybe even a sandwich or a drink from the gigantic thermos she brought.

I should carry food in the car.

There was no grilling when I got home. Thank goodness for hangar steaks which cook quickly. Steak and corn on the cob, followed by a real treat to help me relax after a bad trip: popcorn. Good to be home at last.

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