Friday, February 12, 2010


The call came late yesterday afternoon. Could I come over to hospital and help get some nurses home with my four wheel drive?

I was being given a shot at redemption after my initial volunteer service failed.

Between the hours of 5:30 and 8:30 PM I ferried Ms. Janet, Ms. O and Ms Lee to their homes in Ellicott City and Columbia. The nurses told me that the hospital was a little jammed with patients who were ready to be discharged yet unable to leave because they couldn’t get picked up. Meanwhile new patients continued to flow in.

I got a short break between my 6:00 assignment and the end of the nursing shift at 7:00 PM so I dropped into Clyde’s for a burger. The bar was full but there were plenty of open tables in the restaurant. I sat at the bar with Bill McGregor, the football coach of DeMatha High School in Hyattsville. He lives in Ellicott City and came over to Clyde’s to cure his cabin fever.

“How are the roads?” he asked.

My stock answer is that the roads are passable but far from safe. You could easily be tooling down the road and without warning the two lanes of traffic become one. Ice is a problem too as well as the fact that at most intersections your visibility of oncoming traffic is blocked by mounds of piled up snow.

I laughed and told him that a teenager would probably say the roads were fine but an old dog like me urges caution.


Bob O said...

Good on you, and thanks for helping out in the community. A neighbor of mine was also able to do this, even during the height of the storms. This has inspired me to trade in my Honda Civic on something that has WAY more ground clearance and real 4WD (NOT AWD). Any suggestions on vehicle choice?

Anonymous said...

Trading in a good vehicle in anticipation of the next apocalyptic snow sounds like a perfectly measured, logical response.

Your money is much more likely to benefit those doctors, nurses, and patients if given as a donation to the hospital foundation.