Judie was six months pregnant was we planned our journey from south Georgia to the Philadelphia area. We decided that out first night's stay would be in Charlotte, NC. I would drive the moving truck and Judie would drive ahead of me in our new car. I didn't want her to drive behind and have the car constantly pelted by rocks. She had taken the route when we drove to Exton, and confident she wouldn't have issues. And, remember, there were no cell phone in these days. Once we were on the road we were out of contact.
As I followed Judie through Atlanta, she was to take highway 85 to South Carolina. As we approached, I moved into the exit lanes, Judie stayed in the far left lane and was still ahead of me. I honked my horn but, she didn't hear the noise. I flashed the lights but, she didn't see them. So, I did what any crazy person driving a rented truck would do, I floored it. Flooring it is a misnomer, there is no flooring a moving van. However, I used the trucks size to cut through traffic and get along side of Judie. I pointed at the exit signs and started moving back to the exit lanes. She got behind me as I made my way back to the exit lanes.
Once on the proper path I got off at the nearest exit. I decided it was a good idea to take a break, fill up with gas, and devise a new strategy. From there, Judie was to stay behind me and simply follow the truck. If the paint on the car got beat to Hell, so be it. We made it to Charlotte with plenty of time to check into our hotel and have an early dinner. Judie mentioned that it was uncomfortable sit for so long with a seat belt stretched over her expanding belly. So, we devised a plan where, if she had to stop, she would pass me and turn on her turn signal.
The second day of our journey would be just as long as the first, 7 hours if all went to according to plan. It would take us to our next night's stay just north of Washington, DC. Our plan was working well. When Judie needed to stop she passed me, used the turn signal, and led us off the highway. It was a well oiled machine, that is, until...! We hit our 7 hour plan as we arrived just south of DC. Suddenly, we were at the tail end of an epic traffic jam. We had merely another 10 or 15 miles to our exit but, traffic was at a stand still.
There I was, in the truck, watching the flow of traffic which never seemed to hit our lane. Four lanes of snarled traffic and, we weren't moving. However, I noticed a pattern. I got out of the truck and walked back to Judie, who was right behind me. She rolled down the window and complained about the traffic. I told her not to worry, "I got a plan. Whatever you do stay right behind me all the way. Bumper to bumper. I'm gonna get us through this jam." Traffic was at a stand still and she questioned my determination. But, I had two babies in that car, and I wasn't going let either one down. I assured Judie that, if she stayed on my bumper, I would have her through the traffic jam in no time.
I knew I wanted to be in the line of moving traffic. I saw a pattern of which lanes were moving and when they moved. I also remember the lesson learned in Atlanta, nobody wants to be the car next to the crazy driver in a big, old, rented, moving van. I got back in the track and started making my moves. I was like a magician, cause I was working with mirrors. I followed the pattern and used the truck to clear a path. It must of been the same feeling Moses had when he parted the Red Sea. We were moving, not fast but, we were moving steady.
Judie was great and did exactly as I said. She stuck to my bumper like glue as we weaved, sometimes vertical, through four lanes of very heavy traffic. She ignored the horns and the fingers. She ignored the lane, or shoulder, we were on. She followed me. Before the plan, we sat in stand still traffic for 20 minutes. After the plan was engaged, we were 10 miles up the road and exiting the highway.
When we pulled into the hotel parking lot we got out of our vehicles. Judie questioned my sanity. I assured her that the only thing, "...insane," about me were my driving skills. I learned some things that day. I learned I would do anything to take care of Judie, I did what I did because I love her. I learned that I'm pretty damn smart. Don't think there are many lemurs that would had noticed the traffic flow. And, I learned, Judie's knowledge of how committed I was to our relationship and the welfare of our family. I had a plan for "our" future.