I was enjoying the Zen experience of my evening commute when my iPhone vibrated next to my stick shift. Amongst the eye rolls of the critics and against the letter of the law, I picked the phone up, hit the fake “Answer” button and said “hello”. It was my sister.
We exchanged some idle chit chat as well as some geek speak. During our conversation she asked me a question I have heard a lot lately, “How is the new job going?”
I answered her truthfully.
“I still can’t believe that I have this job.” She sounded worried when I said that so I reassured her with the more of the truth, “It has been my dream job since I was 20 years old, I feel like I’m solidly back on my career path for the first time in a long time and I’m making more money than I thought I would at this age. And I really love my commute.”
That last statement is in reference to what I consider the icing of this new gig. I have an hour drive in each direction on my commute. Being somewhat more of a morning person than I have in a long while, I still opt to take the fastest way possible to work in the morning: I head down the Thruway, get off at one of the many rural exits and go up the hill six miles or so to the office, which is nestled in between two small cities. The drive takes me just an hour. I have mastered navigating the small traffic jam of buses, Wal*Mart Distribution Center trucks and other commuters near the Thruway interchange. Other than that, it’s a piece of cake.
I come home at a more leisurely pace as I opt for the back roads that take me through Amish country. The ride is shorter by distance but because I can’t drive as fast, it takes a few minutes more than the morning commute. The ride is well worth it though. After some experimentation during the first week of the new job, I have come up with a route that is very rural and involves many back roads, so I see very little traffic. I do, however, see the bridge that I snapped a photo of as pictured above. This bridge is a hundred feet or so from the Montgomery-Herkimer County line. It crosses the Barge Canal (which is the modern version of the Erie Canal) and it carried the predecessor to the road I travel everyday (aptly called ‘River Road’). In the foreground is the Erie Canalway Bike Trail that crosses New York State.
While it looks like that bridge now leads to nowhere, I kind of think of it as showing me that I’m somewhere. I feel like I’m somewhere again and it’s a really good feeling.
Here’s another interesting note about my commute. As I have mentioned before, I keep a dream journal; a place where I jot down my more memorable dreams in as much detail as possible. I don’t extrapolate, I record what I dreamed of and that’s it. I was flipping through it the other night when I came across an interesting entry:
“September 19, 2003: It’s windy. Feels like mid summer. The sky is dark. I’m driving home from my job in Johnstown(?) in a black car. I’m between Canajoharie and Fort Plain. I can see the Fort Plain sign and behind it in the distance, a tornado. I pull the small car over and head for ditch as I see the tornado getting closer. The sky goes green as I jump into the ditch. The tornado passes but the car is untouched and I am safe. Then the sun came out.”
This is a little interesting, because in 2003 I never dreamed of working in Johnstown (one of the two cities that my office building is in between), nor did I drive a black car at the time (the Acura is black and was purchased in 2005) and my commute brings me between Canajoharie and Fort Plain.
Summer storm season might be interesting on my commute.