I used to commute in Boston traffic, yes BOSTON traffic. I bought a house 17 miles from my work and my commute was over 1.5 hours each way. There is nothing more frustrating than crawling, mile after mile attempting to get somewhere you don’t even want to be. Every morning I would look for the road sign that would let me know how many minutes the drive to reach the tunnel would take. On a good day it would say 8 minutes. On a bad day it wouldn’t bother to give the number of minutes, it would say traffic starting at exit… This sign would often dictate what kind of day I was about to experience.
I would rather drive a longer distance than sit in traffic. I hate the smell of car exhaust and the sound of honking horns. It was my own fault, I lived on the South Shore and worked just North of Boston. Everybody knows you don’t want this commute, and I did it for 3 years. One day I left work early for a snow storm at 3pm and didn’t get home until 9pm. I thought I was going to run out of gas in the tunnel. I got home and had to shovel my way into my driveway and then into my house. I watched a guy get out of his car while sitting in traffic to shovel the snow away from his tires. For some reason, most people in Massachusetts don’t believe in snow tires.
I moved to the North Shore of Boston and although I lived even further from work, at least I didn’t have to drive thru the city. My commute ranged from 50 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. My average commute was around 1.25 hours each way all for a 39 mile drive. My worst drive home involved an accident on Route 128. I wasn’t far from the scene and my Mini Cooper was spotted on the evening news. Sitting, just sitting in traffic for what seemed like an eternity. I drove this route for 2 years.
Then I changed jobs and lived 3.5 miles from work! This was heaven. I drove home every day for lunch and to let my dog out. Life was good. The commute was short, the scenery was beautiful and I was home every day before 4pm. I never complained about this commute.
Since then I have moved back to the Finger Lakes Region of NY. Although I live in “the city”, my home is only minutes from the rural countryside. My favorite road sign on my morning commute says “Village Speed Limit 30MPH”. Within eyesight of this sign I can see 1 farmhouse and barn! Not exactly a village but I do try to follow the law. My typical commute takes about 40 minutes, not great but I don’t deal with traffic.
The other day I had my best commute ever.
I left the cottage at 6:45am with my dog and my sister. The 3 of us took a short walk at the south end of the lake. It was one of those grey mornings where you aren’t sure if the sun will come peeking thru the dark clouds or if raindrops will start to fall. The lake is really low right now as we haven’t had much rain all summer and practically no snow last winter. You can always see ducks and geese and other birds. You can hear bull frogs sounding off and the waves gently lapping against the shore.
As soon as I parked the car, I spotted an eagle perched high in a tree. It was just hanging out on the very top branches of a dead tree overlooking the lake. We don’t get many eagles but this one has been hanging around for a while and I love to spot him. I would show you a picture but then you would realize how bad my zoom lens is! Then my sister spotted some ducks in cages and climbed down the embankment to get a closer look. These are not the run of the mill ducks that we usually see as they had blue on their wings. She read a sign that explained they were being tagged and released and we continued our walk.
I watched the ripples on the water and a heron take flight! I was loving my morning walk, but this was a work day. I left my sister to walk home to the cottage while Fenway and I returned to the car to continue our morning commute. The sun did not peek out of the clouds and a few raindrops were starting to fall.
When I got back to the car, the eagle was still perched in the tree, looking out over his kingdom! After admiring him for a minute, I resumed my drive to work. Within a few minutes, I saw a doe and her fawn munching on some grass. I saw a man hugging his 2 horses. I drove by another deer and then 2 ran across the road in front of me. A few miles later, I drove by about a dozen wild turkeys on the side of the road. Next I saw about 7 horses out in a field followed by a whole bunch of cows munching on their morning rations.
Finally, I a car zipped by in the opposite direction.
This was literally the first car I had seen all morning other than my little Mini.
In my entire 25 minute commute, I drove by maybe 20 cars. None of them honked a horn, none of them slowed me down. I didn’t smell car exhaust even once!
If you have a crappy commute, day in and day out I hope you have found a way to not let it get to you.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Boston and am wearing my Bruin’s sweatshirt right now! But I don’t miss the traffic, the smell of car exhaust or the commutes from hell. I choose happiness with a traffic free commute, beautiful scenery and nature at its finest.
I guess I am a country girl at heart! I love seeing more animals than cars on my morning commute. What about you?