My small car was stuffed full of shivering and soggy people when we pulled away from the building early Wednesday afternoon. We closed abruptly, even earlier than planned, because of the suddenly heavy snow. The buses were running sparingly and we knew it would take hours for us to get home on them. We figured we could beat the snow by car.
Four hours later, we were still in the car.
Drivers and passengers in the cars around us looked frustrated, angry, and ready to just be home. And I was one of those people.
As soon as we left Love Wins and saw the snow traffic that paralyzed the city for hours, I started thinking the worst. My gas meter crept lower and lower. Drivers around me were stalling out, sliding into other cars, and abandoning their vehicles. I was hearing stories of others stuck in worse places on the road.
I was discouraged, to the say the least. Then, suddenly, my car skidded and slid down Boylan Avenue. My mind raced and my heart nearly pounded out of my chest. I felt powerless, knowing that I could potentially hurt myself and four of my friends.
From the back seat, Andrew, a snow driving pro from Connecticut, immediately coached me on which way to turn the steering wheel and when I should put the car in neutral. Next to me in the passenger seat, Bennie Ray reminded me to remain calm and patient. Curtis and Angela nervously laughed from the back seat, inviting the same from all of us.
All around us, people were jumping out to help other distressed drivers.
Strangers were standing on their front porches offering up a phone to use, or somewhere to warm up for a bit.
Good Samaritans were pushing cars stuck in ditches.
Seven college students were out by NC State directing each vehicle, and pushing them along their way.
Even Andrew and Curtis would quickly leap out of the car to help others.
And back inside our car, friends and family were calling from all over to make sure we were okay.
I eventually decided that those four hours turned out to be pretty awesome. The discouragement, frustration, and stress I felt at the beginning of our journey quickly left once I realized how very appreciative I was of the four people I had with me, and of the many people I saw doing whatever they could to help others.
Snowmageddon or not, everyone needs a few friends to steer them out of the occasional mess. I’m glad those four were with me that day.by