I Live in a Safe Universe
Such a simple statement, really: yet I believe it to be true.
But what happens when you have to brush up against someone else’s careless stupidity?
Then something (or someone) else helps out.
Last Saturday, seven of our family traveled to Kitchener in two vehicles. We spent part of the day at St. Jacob’s, the rest of the day visiting another family member to celebrate his birthday.
The road trip is only 200 km long, but it takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive.
It was while traveling back via Highway 401 and 400 that something happened, in the dark.
Highways 401/400 Interchange
The 401 is the largest and busiest highway in Canada. As you can see from the above image, there are up to 18 lanes of traffic. Usually, the greatest snarl-ups of vehicles happens at the junction of Highway 400.
This image of The Basketweave shows how the different signs on Highway 401’s collector-express system are used to avoid confusion. The express lanes use green signs and the collector lanes use blue.
To get a sense of the driver’s point of view, check out this image.
This is how it looks coming in the opposite direction to the one we were traveling. The far right hand exit is one of the roads turning onto 400 North; the one marked “400 North/Nord Barrie” is another. Now imagine in your mind’s eye two more roads collecting into the same space coming from the other direction. That’s four roads converging into a six lane highway. Mayhem.
Most of the time I have a mild buzzing sound in my ears. People think that it is tinnitus. I think of it as a soundtrack of energy, constantly updating me as to what’s going on around me.
During this trip, the buzzing was of a fairly regular nature. Nothing extraordinary, anyway.
But just after the interchange between 401 and 400, as I was settling into the third lane from the left (my usual placement for the journey North to Barrie), I suddenly heard the buzzing level increase dramatically to a ‘scream’ (the equivalent of “Look out! Look out! Look out!” from the song Leader of the Pack). Instantly I went into alert mode.
Without warning, and definitely without a turning signal, a car, slightly ahead of us on our right, suddenly pulled into our lane. I stepped on the brakes, and avoided an almost certain crash. The driver of the other vehicle probably never even saw us, as our car was in his (or her) blind spot.
Immediately, the sound level in my ears subsided to its regular hum.
Because it was Remembrance Day, I am of the opinion that Susan’s father, Leo Ryan, was doing his duty, protecting his daughter, and her grandson, Jacob. As Susan put it, “Precious cargo…”
Thanks, Leo. We owe you our lives.