Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Selling Our Home

I sat on an old, uncomfortable folding chair in my husband Bob's home office, staring wistfully out the window at the inviting autumn sunshine. Our southern New Jersey community offered a host of Fall festivals and pumpkin picking, but Bob and I had other plans.

Wonderful plans!

Exciting plans!

Plans that would make the entire population of the United States seethe with envy.

We had the incredible good fortune of spending our entire October weekend going through the 9,756 bags of receipts, invoices, bank statements, medical records, exterminator bills from 1996, used napkins, gum wrappers, apple cores, and other fascinating specimens  that littered the floor of Bob's office.

Yes, we had embarked on the first step of what would become a year-long journey towards selling our home.

How hard could it be to sell? Sure, our house was built over 50 years ago. Sure, we lived on a busy road with heavy traffic. But still, how hard could it be?

Our single family home offered 3,000 square feet, an in-ground pool, five bedrooms, four baths, a family room with fire place, an eat-in kitchen, living room, dining room, two-car garage, and a huge yard. Surely everyone who set foot in this fantastic suburban "paradise" would immediately fall in love, just as Bob and I had done 12 years earlier.

Of course, to us, the house had always been much more than a real estate listing. Bare walls were transformed into a place that provided the warmth and shelter we needed to help our shy first-grader evolve into the confident, college freshman she has become today.

We knew, we planned, we told ourselves when Melissa went to college we would put the house on the market. After all, what did two people need with 3,000 square feet? We could stay in the area but downsize, saving on mortgage and utilities so that we could fulfill our dream of travelling the world allocate every penny for tuition.

The first step towards selling our new home? Purge.



And purge some more.

Bob's office was just the beginning.

We soon filled the township dump with Weinstein wares that had outworn their welcome. Broken lamps, abandoned stuffed animals, obsolete electronics, cracked bowls, mismatched get the idea.

Next step?



And paint some more.

Next step?

Hire a realtor who researched the selling price of "comps" (a real estate term to describe similar homes in the areas) and priced our house accordingly. Based on this amount, Bob and I foolishly anticipated a financial windfall to land in our lap within a few short weeks.

We prepped for our first open house with nervous anticipation. I cleaned the place from top to bottom and concluded, in our 12 year occupancy, it had never looked so good.

We vacated the house and left our realtor in charge, expecting to return three hours later with news of throngs of people vying for the chance to make an offer. (Cue the diabolical laughter.)

Our realtor, instead, shared feedback that went something like this:
"This house is way over-priced."
"It needs updating."
"I don't like the floor plan."
"The kitchen border is old fashioned."
"The bathroom fixtures are disgusting."
"This place isn't fit for a family of fleas."

I digested the opinions of these ignorant people with a heart full of denial. They were crazy, insane, full of crap. What did they know anyway?

The next open house came two weeks later, where we received feedback that went something like this:
"This house is way over-priced."
"It needs updating."
"I don't like the floor plan."
"The kitchen border is old fashioned."
"The bathroom fixtures are disgusting."
"This place isn't fit for a family of fleas."

Next step? Lower the price.

The next open house produced more feedback that went something like this:
"This house is way over-priced."
"It needs updating."
"I don't like the floor plan."
You get the idea.

Lower the price again.

Endure more negative feedback.

Install a new sink and toilet in the master bathroom.

Edure more negative feedback.

Lower the price again.

Endure more negative feedback.

Remove the wallpaper in the upstairs hall.

Endure more negative feedback.

Lower the price again.

Endure more negative feedback.

Remove the kitchen border and lower the price again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

Endure more negative feedback.

Change realtors.

Accept an offer of $20,000 less than the drastically reduced asking price.

Gasp in horror at the 424-page inspection report which concluded that the house we had lived in without incident for 12 years was not fit for human habitation.

Gasp in horror at the email from the buyer's realtor, which went something like this:
"Our official inspection indicated a 1/4 inch chip in the paint on the windowsill of the 4th bedroom, therefore we demand you give us an additional $3 million to cover the cost of repairs, in addition to your entire wardrobe, your car, your furniture, your cat, and the blood of your first born."

Enter the next step of the home selling proces...the fighting.

"I WOULD RATHER SIT IN THIS HOUSE UNTIL IT ROTS TO THE GROUND BEFORE GIVING THEM ONE MORE DIME!" came Bob's "calm" and "rational" response to the buyer's demands.

After so much time, money, and work, I feared the deal would fall through. What's more, we had put a deposit on a lovely town home in the same area...a town home I desperately wanted to own.

Much yelling ensued. Followed by my ultimate weapon...tears.

Finally, Bob threw up his hands in defeat, claiming he could not handle the stress of negotiations. He put the ball in my proverbial court, closed his ears and eyes and let me run with it to the end zone.

And run with it I did! We even got to keep our cat.

Aside from the some hiccups with our mortgage application for the new home (produce a signed, notorized affidavit providing the reason for the $10 deposit into your passbook savings account on April 23, 1975) the remainder of the process went according to plan.

So now we sit in the living room in our cozy new town house, surrounded by boxes, relieved that the home selling journey has come to an end, and looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.

Let the new adventures begin!

Melissa in the driveway of our new home!

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hallowed Ground

The tiny physician lounge on the first floor of a small community hospital in central New Jersey featured a few comfortable chairs, a conference table, cubicles offering computer access, and a large television set mounted on the back wall. The room, located across the hall from my public relations office, required a key code to enter, and only those who had earned their medical degree were granted access.

However, on that morning - that fateful morning - the room played host to a sea of humanity who did not carry the title of "doctor". With the normally locked door unceremoniously propped open, the lounge filled up with nurses, therapists, accountants, administrators, cafeteria workers, housekeepers, and me....all gazing in horror at the incomprehensible images on the television screen.

As the sickening, slow motion video of a jumbo jet deliberately slamming into the World Trade Center replayed over and over, the ticker crawl at the bottom of the screen informed the world that a plane had crashed in Somerset County.

Somerset County?

I lived in Somerset County!

Did the plane crash in my neighborhood? Near my home? Were my husband Bob and four-year old daughter Melissa in harm's way?

Before I had time to even process these thoughts, I read the ticker more closely.

Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Not Somerset County, New Jersey.

My relief, however, was short-lived. People died in that plane crash. In Washington, DC, the Pentagon erupted in flames. In New York City, the World Trade Center came tumbling down.

We were at war.

And the world would never be the same.

Nearly 15 years later, Bob and I turned our car off the highway and wound our way through the rolling hills of the rural, central Pennsylvania landscape enroute to the town of Shanksville, population 245.

The countryside seemed unchanged. Stuck in time.

It was not difficult to imagine this remote part of the world as it had been 15 years earlier.

As it had been on a glorious September morning.

As it had been before these rolling hills became a final resting place for 40 heroes.

A permanent memorial now sits  atop one of these rolling hills, bearing the names of ordinary men and women who decided to go out fighting, on their own terms, in their own way. Their acts of bravery forced the terrorists to bring the plane down in a lonely, deserted field in central Pennsylvania, rather than our nation's capital. The ultimate sacrifice of 40 unsuspecting heroes undoubtedly spared countless lives.

Bob and I walked silently through the Visitor's Center, where an exhibit gave a detailed account of the day's events. Thanks to evidence recovered from the passengers' calls to home as well as the black box recorder, officials were able to conclude, with near certainty, what had happened during the final few moments of Flight 93.

Fifteen years later, people come. Every day they come. They come from near and far. Hundreds of people winding their way through the small farming communities of Somerset County, PA.

They come to listen. To learn. To understand.

They come to gaze at a peaceful field once ablaze with an act of war.

They come to pay their respect.

For on September 11, 2001, the beautiful, rolling hills of Somerset County, PA, became hallowed ground.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

College Move In Day

Trips to the supermarket to buy food for my small family rarely come with surprises. I set myself on autopilot, throwing the same items into the cart, week after week after week.

Eggs for Bob.
Chicken for me.
Bananas for my 19-year old daughter Melissa.
And on and on it goes until the cart overflows with a host of routine items to feed my creatures of habit.

This week, like so many others, I picked up my cart and headed straight for the produce section to pick out bananas for my daughter's breakfast eating pleasure.

But wait.

I came to a stop.

Realizing with a jolt that I no longer needed to buy bananas.

Realizing with a jolt that the moment I had dreaded for the past 19 years had finally, brutally, become reality.

My baby, my cherub has officially become a college student.

Melissa now lives in a tiny dorm room on the campus of American University in Washington, DC, located about three hours from our south Jersey home. At least until winter break....some 3,974 years away (or so it seems.)

Melissa and I are so close.

We talk. We share. We laugh. We argue. We annoy each other.

But we are so close.

I simply could not envision our home without her steady presence.

Throughout the summer I had imagined that move-in day would come complete with enough heart-breaking tears to empty a tissue factory.

Alas, t'was not the case.

Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your perspective) insane crowds and long lines coupled with "balmy" temperatures of 95+ degrees pushed any thoughts of an emotional farewell out of our minds.

Bob, Melissa, and I pulled up to the campus in a car bursting with books, decorations, laundry supplies, toiletries, photos, and what seemed like every article of clothing she has ever owned. In the car behind us my faithful and oh so patient step-daughter Jessica and her husband Brian transported Melissa's printer, storage containers, pillows, linens, towels, games, and their 12-month old baby - my grandson Miles.

We pulled up behind what seemed like a five mile line of cars, moving at approximately one inch per mile closer to their final destination - their child's residence hall. A kind volunteer informed us that we would most likely need to wait one to two hours in this car line from hell until we were able to unload the items that would transform Melissa's bare dorm room walls into her temporary home.

While Bob and I waited, the volunteer suggested we save some time by having Melissa walk over to the residence hall and register, advice she promptly heeded.

Lucky me! For the next hour and a half I had the fortunate opportunity to sit in the passenger seat of our car, inching along with a man  behind the wheel who desperately needed an overdose of valium.


"It's ok Bob," I said in a lame attempt to soothe his nerves. "At least we are in the air conditioned car."


"We'll be there soon, sweetie."


"She has too much stuff Bob, we really just need to wait until we unload in front of the dorm."


"There is a long line to register and a long line for the cart."


One hour later as I tried my best to fight the urge to drug and restrain my husband, our car approached the elusive residence hall, where Melissa stood waiting for us. I unloaded her worldly posessions, only half of which fit into the cart. So, while Bob parked the car and Melissa took the cart to her room, I waited in the "balmy" weather, guarding the other half of her loot while hundreds of students and their harried looking parents weaved their own loot through the obstacle course of suitcases and carts that littered the narrow sidewalk.

Finally, we managed to get every last item out of both cars and into the wonderful air conditioned dorm room.

While Jessica and Brian attempted to stop the baby from grabbing at every electrical wire in the room, I helped Melissa unpack. Jessica, who lives a mere 30 minutes away, didn't stay long, promising to visit in a few day's time to take her sister shopping for items she might have forgotten.

Bob (who had regained his sanity) and I offered to take our cherub to dinner, but she wanted to decorate her walls, unpack, and get settled.  Caught between wanting to spend more time with my baby, and wanting to haul my aching, sweating body to the car and go home, I didn't object to her decision.

We exchanged hugs and said goodby, all of us feeling much too hot and tired to even consider getting emotional.

And that lack of emotion stayed with me through the overnight hours, and through most of the following day.

Until I got to the supermarket and realized I no longer needed to put bananas in the cart.

Until I realized she's no longer home.

Melissa, Bob, and me in her dorm room at American University.
Have a wonderful college experience Melissa! We love you!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Haunted Dorm Room

Day one of American University's two-day orientation for new students and their parents passed without incident. My daughter Melissa joined her peers for ice breaker activities and tours of the Washington, DC campus, while my husband Bob and I sat in a conference room for the better part of eight hours, learning about financial aid, campus security, and how to cope with letting go of our "baby."

The evening offered Melissa the chance to join a number of different social activities, capped off with an overnight stay in a dorm room. Parents were also invited to stay in the dorms, however we chose to spend the night with our daughter Jessica, her husband Brian, and our baby grandson Miles who live a short distance away in Virginia.

Day two of American University's two-day orientation also happened to be Melissa's 19th birthday, which unfortunately didn't exactly start on a celebratory note. Seems there were some uninvited guests staying in her dorm room....some guests of the "supernatural" kind. And to make matters worse, the girl who was supposed to share the dorm with her never showed up, leaving my poor cherub alone in this strange, unfamiliar place, lying awake until 5 am, listening to the frightening sounds of rattling door knobs and heavy footsteps.

Yes, of all of the evening events to choose from, my daughter had decided to join a campus ghost tour.

During breakfast Melissa shared the spooky tales of a college campus infiltrated by restless spirits, which included:
 - The ghost of a star football quarterback murdered by the team mascot
-  The sound of religious hymns that emanated from the bowels of a campus building erected on the   site of an old church
-  An old playground where, late at night, echoes of young voices served a lasting imprint of children at play long, long ago.

But wait.

The most chilling tale was yet to come.

Seems that one of the residence halls on American's campus played host to a nasty ghost...and of course it just happened to be the floor of the residence hall where my darling spent the night.

My husband and I looked at each other with skepticism. Surely these stories must simply be tall tales, urban legands passed from generation to generation.  After all, wouldn't the murder of a college football star have caused a media sensation?

But Melissa insisted that the upper classmen who served as their orientation leaders spoke the truth!

Not wishing to argue with my baby on her birthday, we merely shrugged and went on with our breakfast.

Much like day one, we split from our daughter as the kids headed for more fun and the parents shuffled back to the conference room.

As luck would have it, later that day two of the upper classmen who served as orientation leaders spoke to the parents, providing us with insight into college life from a student's perspective. As their presentation neared its end and the parents had exhausted all of their questions, Bob bravely raised his hand, determined to bring up one more important topic!

"My daughter went on the ghost tour last night and she told us about the murder of the star any of that stuff true?" he demanded.

The two girls looked at Bob...then looked at each other...then burst out laughing!

"Oh no, she believed us," they laughed with delight! "We made everything up!"

Feeling a bit relieved that the place where my daughter would be spending the next four years did not play host to a grisley murder, Bob and I nevertheless felt bad that Melissa had spent the entire night absolutely convinced that her new home was haunted.

When Bob and I explained that the supernatural stories were, indeed, tall tales made up by orientation leaders with a warped sense of humor. Her response came as no surprise.


Alas, at 19, Melissa has evolved into a smart, confident adult, yet in so many ways, she is still a naive teen. She is aware of, but not really sure what lies beyond the "safety bubble" of our small suburban New Jersey town. Admitedly, part of that bubble came at the hands of her overprotective mother, who now has no choice but to let her face ghostly spirits, and everything else that college life has in store...on her own.

However, I know that my strong, amazing daughter will tackle each challenge, overcome each hurdle in her own time, in her own way as she leaves her small town (and her parents) behind in favor of new adventures in Washington, DC.

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

It's Hard to be "Different"

It's been a difficult week.

Heck, it's been a difficult summer.

One can barely wake up without hearing about violence, murder, racism, anger, pain.

If this summer has proven one thing, it's that it's hard to be "different".

And by different I mean someone who sees themselves as not part of the majority, either because of skin color, religion, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual preference, gender identity, body shape.... I think you get the idea.

When you identify as different, people treat you as different. Even if their treatment is subtle, and meant without harm.


It reinforces what you know and feel.

That you're different.

Many years ago, my now college-age daughter Melissa accompanied a friend and her aunt on a summer outing to a book store. They were in their elementary school years, perhaps eight years old.

Melissa came home from the outing with a brand new book, a gift from her friend's aunt.

My daughter showed me the book, and I suspect my expression mirrored her thoughts.

"Mom," she asked? "Why did Jennifer's aunt buy me a book about Jewish holidays?"

Why indeed?

Did Jennifer's aunt intend any harm by giving Melissa that book?

Of course not!

Did she purchase the book out of generosity and kindness?


So why did her actions rub me so wrong?

It would never occur to me to buy any of my daughter's non-Jewish friends a book about their holidays. So why did this woman feel compelled to gift that book to Melissa, who became aware of her minority status as one of the few Jewish children at school at quite a young age. While my daughter has always been proud of her religion, as an elementary school student she sought to avoid being labeled as "The Jewish Girl".

She merely wanted to fit in.

To be like everyone else.

But through the seemingly simple act of buying my daughter a book about Jewish holidays, the woman considered Melissa to be Jennifer's "Jewish friend."

She subtly labeled her as different.

And that label caused my daughter to question the gift, instead of embracing the women's kindness.

Yet, unlike Jennifer's aunt, not all subtle forms of labelling are filled with good intentions.

I speak of the callous board member who, during budget negotiations, uttered that horrible phrase "Jew em down", while unaware a Jewish employee sat in his midst.

I speak of the hospital volunteer who, unaware of my religion, complained how the Jewish patients were so pushy and demanding.

I speak of the teenage son of a friend who thought that telling my husband Bob and me jokes about the Holocaust was somehow ok.

I speak of the executive who, momentarily forgetting a Jewish employee sat in his office, sarcastically asked "Do Jews even realize that December 25 is Christmas day?" (Yes, we do.)





But unrealistic stereotypes against anyone who is different can and have led to violence.

In a world where I have long hoped the lessons of the Holocaust will ensure that never again will people be tortured or killed because of being different, I mourn.

I mourn the death of three people gunned down by a neo-nazi on April, 13, 2014 at the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City. And my fear is all too real that my daughter, who frequents the Jewish Community Center in our area, will suffer the same fate.

I mourn the death of nine innocent people, gunned down by a crazed man hoping to start a race war on June 17, 2015 at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

I mourn the death of 50 Orlando souls who were gunned down because they dared to love.

I mourn the death of black males gunned down by the very law enforcement officials who are supposed to protect them.

I mourn the death of five innocent Dallas police officers, gunned down in a senseless act of retaliation.

I want to take action. I want to stop the violence. But I'm at a loss of what to do. Blogs and Facebook posts seem hardly enough. Prayers can only go so far.

Perhaps I'll lend my time and talents to a non-partisan organization that seeks to make the world a better place. I welcome suggestions from my readers.

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Melissa and the Police Car

An evening that started with a simple quest to take my 18-year old daughter Melissa to vote in her first presidential primary, ended with said daughter riding in the back of a police car.

But wait, I digress. Let's start at the beginning.

I left work without incident and proceeded to the drug store to pick up a few things. Upon my return to the car, I called Melissa to let her know I'd be there in ten minutes to take her to our local polling place.

Ho Hum. Still sounds like a fairly uneventful evening, right?

But wait...the plot thickens.

The familiar ding from my cell alerted me to an incoming text from our local police department, informing residents of a road closure thanks to a downed power line.

A storm had rolled through a few hours earlier so the news of a downed power line did not come as a total surprise. What did come as a surprise was the location of the downed line....on the road that I call home.

I called Melissa (while stopped at a red light) and asked her to go outside to see what had happened. Indeed, she informed me of a large police and fire department presence on our street. In fact, one of the officers gave her a friendly warning to stay away from the power lines. She asked the officer if I would be able to get onto our street, which can be accessed from two different crossroads, let's call them "Road A" and "Road B".

The officer confidently informed her that I would absolutely be able to turn onto my street from "Road B".

The officer lied.

I approached "Road B", only to find my path blocked by several representatives from the fire department.

I tried to explain that I lived on the closed road.

I tried begging.

I tried pleading.

I finally gave up.

Forced to turn around, I made my way back to "Road A", hoping this route would lead me onto my closed street.

At the intersection of "Road A" and the road I call home, several official looking people glared at passing motorist, just daring them to break through the barricade. When I dared turn my car onto the road I call home, the group of those official looking people held out their hands and demanded, "Where do you think you are going!?"

"I live on this road," I explained. "My address is 245."

They waved me through, but my luck did not last long.

I drove about a block, only to be greeted by a barricade, a number of uniformed police officers, and, much to my surprise, another car trying to get through. A car belonging to my husband Bob, who coincidentally had arrived home from work at the same time.

Bob made a u-turn, pulled up next to me, and rolled down his window.

"Lisa, they won't let us through, we have to go all the way back around to "Road B" to get to our house," he said.

"I just did that," I shared with exasperation. "They wouldn't let me through."

One of the police officers, overhearing our conversation, walked over and assured me that I would, indeed, be able to get through if I drove back around to "Road B".

"But I'm trying to pick up my daughter and go vote," I pleaded once again. "Can't I just drive through and get her."

"I'm sorry ma'am, the downed lines are right there, I can't let you through," came his firm response.

"Well, can't my daughter walk up the road to meet me here," I logically suggested.

"NO!" came his even firmer response. "It's not safe, we can't let anyone walk through."

Then the police officer very calmy said, "Everything is ok right now, but just as a precaution we evacuated 249 and 247, the two houses next to your house."



Did he just say "evacuate"?

Suddenly everything had changed!

Even though the police officer had uttered the words, "everything is ok", what my deranged, over-protective mommy brain heard was, "MY HOUSE IS ABOUT TO GO UP IN FLAMES WITH MY DAUGHTER ALONE INSIDE."


"Ma'am, I can't let you drive down the street, but everything is ok for now."


"Ma'am really everything is ok."


I didn't care that I was screaming at a man of authority. It didn't occur to me for even a fraction of a second that I probably shouldn't give hysterical orders to a police officer who had the power to cart me off to jail.

My one thought.  My one and only thought. I MUST GET MY BABY TO SAFETY.

In the meantime, my "oh so calm" husband did not share my sense of urgency. "Lisa, stay calm, it's alright, everything is ok," came his attempt to comfort his lunatic wife. An attempt that went completely ignored because nothing stands in the way of a mother trying to rescue her child.

Finally, the police officer consented, realizing that it would be much safer to go get Melissa than to deal with her deranged mother.

He drove the short block to my house and pulled into the driveway where my cherub stood peacefully waiting. She happily climbed into the back seat and sent Snapchat photos to document her cool, albeit short ride.

And that's how an evening that started with our quest to vote ended with my daughter in the back of a police car.

The moral of the story? Don't ever take for granted your right to vote....even if downed power lines get in your way.  (Yes, we did finally make it to the polls.)

And don't ever, ever, ever stand in the way of a deranged mother!

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Terror on the Turnpike

The first half of our seven hour drive home to southern New Jersey from Buffalo, NY can best be described as uneventful, routine, mundane.

The family visit for my niece's christening had been lovely, albeit quick.  Now, as we traveled east on the New York State Thruway, my 18-year daughter Melissa, with ear-buds firmly in place, rested her head against the back seat window and shut her eyes to the world. In the front, with my husband Bob at the wheel, we made small talk to pass the time.

My husband Bob snapped this incredible image of a storm
front approaching just east of Rochester, NY. Little did
we know these ominous clouds were a sign of things to come!
Storm clouds rolled in as the highway took us past Rochester, NY. However, a mere five minutes later we bid the dark skies goodbye.

A quick glimpse at my trusted weather app told me that the brief Rochester rain was part of a wide-spread system of powerful storms wrecking havoc across the midatlantic states.

Fortunately, the ominous clouds steered clear of the New York State Thruway, allowing us to continue on our journey, complete with a couple of potty breaks and quick pizza dinner.

As we inched towards the Pennsylvania border, Bob and I watched the sun disappear behind the cloud-filled western sky. Our eyes adjusted to the dark highway while the car pushed on.

The first drops hit the windshield as we entered the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a road that gives motorist ease of access to the state's Poconos Mountains region and points further north.  Without worry, Bob flipped on the wipers to keep the windshield free of rain, which fell at a slow, yet steady pace.




Not really.  At least not yet.

Melissa slept on as we drove down the northeast extension. I continued to make small talk, hoping Bob wouldn't notice the fear I struggled to keep at bay. After all, a nervous wife in the passenger seat would do nothing to help him navigate this wet road made narrow thanks to never-ending construction.

Another quick look at the weather app radar revealed a large swath of red, indicating a violent storm immediately to our south.

I counted down the miles, hoping we would outrun this monster.

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

With a mere 60 miles left in what had become an arduous journey, the skies ripped open to unleash mother nature's fury.

Without warning, our car was engulfed by a massive wall of torrential rain that fell thick and fast, blinding everyone in its path.

Some cars decided to pull over, while others drove at a snail's pace.

Bob decided against either of these options, citing both as too dangerous. He remained calm while the storm continued to unleash its wrath, even though visibility had been nearly extinguished.

I could not see anything as the relentless storm became sentient, alive, ready to swallow us whole.

My entire being gave way to fear, then panic.

Inside this car was everything.


My child, my entire world.

Panic turned to terror as my hands went numb, I shook uncontrollably, and the sobs buried deep inside were set free.

Bob stroked my arm, assuring me everything would be okay, that we would make it home alive.

Indeed, at his words, the rain seemed to lessen in intensity, allowing us to safely exit the turnpike.

Slowly, the torrents gave way to a steady drizzle.

My shaking subsided.

I dried my eyes.

And my husband safely guided his precious cargo those last few miles through our neighborhood to the welcome embrace of home.

If you like my stories please tell me in the comments section below.