Saturday, July 13, 2013

What You DON'T Want to Be Doing on the Garden State Parkway :)

A few weeks ago, our younger son went to the Jersey shore with a few friends in the new jeep he bought a couple of months ago.  It was an absolutely, positively perfectly ...GORGEOUS day and certainly a great beach day.  I had no idea he was going down the shore (Yes I know going down the shore is not grammatically correct - it's a Jersey thing), or I probably ..would have said my usual mantra - "The weather can change.  Do you really want to leave the hardtop home when going so far away?  What if it rains?  Being a weatherman is the only job you can be wrong 50% of the time and still keep your job. Are you sure?  Okaaay?" (usually said as if agreeing, but still questioning the decision)  And I don't say all of that every time, but at least one of those sentences comes out of my mouth when I am doubtful of the weather and see he's removed the top.

If I had known though, I surely would've reminded him of one beach vacation down to Manasquan - right next to where they went in Point Pleasant.  It was only just beginning to drizzle at the shore, but had been pouring up here, only 2 hours away.  By the way, I remember that night because it was after 10pm when we got home.  And even though the rain had stopped and as soon as we got out of the car ...we could smell the rich ...earthy smelling, rain soaked soil.  The humidity magnified it. It was such a contrast to the salty air we had been experiencing for the last few days prior to that.  Conversely, we always notice the salt air when we first arrive at the shore points.  :)

Anyway, son enjoys driving with the top off and the doors open.  I admit ...I am not keen on his driving with the doors off, but I tell myself it's not a motorcycle either.  I can't help my concern after seeing so much while working in ER patient access.  That being said, we all have to live our lives.  I get that.  And then factor in ...that I don't worry about myself so much, but the spouse, mom, Mum Mum, and friend in me is always protective toward others.  Funny how we see what others should do, but not necessarily ourselves.  But I digress.

Son got home around 2 in the morning, looking a bit ...disheveled.  But ..he was quite funny when relaying the whole experience to me.  It was funny least the way he told it.  I would've been beside myself had I known about it when it was happening.

It turned out that there was a downpour after they began their trip back home up the Garden State parkway.  They did not have the hardtop, nor did they even have a canvas cover to cover up the inside of the jeep.

Three guys and a girl.  All getting soaked!  And the interior of the jeep ...getting soaked.  Tends to happen without a roof in a rainstorm.  But ...I digress.

ME - Oh no! You just got that ..what about water damage?

Son - Jeeps have holes in the floor to let water out. 

Me - But What about rust, the upholstery?

Son - Jeeps are designed to handle it.  It will dry out.

Me (not thoroughly convinced) - Ok-a-a-a-y., more with a question in my voice.

But when I heard the REST of the story ...a water soaked jeep was the least of their concerns.

He went on to tell me that they tried to make a makeshift roof by pulling towels from front to back and holding them tight overhead.

Me - Didn't the rain leak through?

Son - YEAH it leaked through!  But as long as I drove FAST, most of the water rolled off the back.

Me- What about the windows?

Son - We had all the windows rolled up.

Me - But ...what about the windshield?

Son - Wipers were on as fast as they could go.

Me - But ...what about the inside?  Didn't rain run down the inside of the windshield?

Son - Yeah, but I drove with one hand and wiped rain away with my other hand.

Me - Weren't you stressed?


Me - Well what did the people in other cars do?

Son - It was raining so hard that most of them pulled over to the side of the parkway. (I can only imagine how hard that rain was coming down if it caused motorists to pull off the parkway. That is a rare occurrence)

Son -  But that was good because then I could drive FAST ...which helped the water roll off the back of the towels instead of just straight inside the jeep.

He went on to say that they pulled over, under an underpass, but they continued on after a while because it wasn't letting up.  The girl with them lived closer to the shore and so when they dropped her off, they parked in her garage for awhile, hoping to wait it out.  But they ended up having to leave in the rain.

Me - was there thunder and lightening?

Son - YES!  A lot of thunder and lightening.

It didn't stay as a heavy downpour.  But they did drive home in the rain.  I didn't think to ask if it ever stopped.

Me - Well when you were driving along like that when the other cars were on the parkway too, what did they do when they saw you guys?

Son - They laughed, or beeped at us and some smiled and gave us a thumbs up with a nod.

Oh my GOSH!  Can you just imagine seeing the four of them with rainwater pouring in on them ...cruising along ...SOAKED by all the rain ...but with all the windows up?  It couldn't have been easy trying to keep those beach towels overhead, especially for son.  He had to wipe the inside windshield with one hand, while driving with the other.

It is a funny image, because I know they're all safe.

And then people passing them by giving them a thumbs up ...totally appreciating the situation ...probably saying, "H-e-y-y-y-y way to go."  No doubt some being supportive, while others laughed their you know whats off.

He has since ...bought a canvas top that he can have ready for a weather emergency.

When you look at the picture below this post, imagine it is happening in the dark of night with even less visibility and with that kind of traffic.

I am telling you ...ignorance IS bliss.  I am so GLAD I did not know this was happening at the time or I would've been beside myself with concern.  Heck, even though I was laughing because of how he described it all ... I was still doing a mini internal freak out just listening to the story, knowing what could've happened.

I am so glad that I always pray for him and everyone.  And I had prayed for him that day.  

 I do believe in the power of prayer.

And I think their guardian angels were quite busy that night.

And last but NOT least - I THANK GOD they all came home safely.


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