Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
I took the children down to the March for Life this year and it was a great experience. It's too bad we all nearly died.
And by nearly I don't mean kinda' close. I mean we were in a really bad situation where really really bad things seemed at least as likely as anything neutral occurring.
The snow fell in Washington D.C. right near the end of the march. Honestly, the weather wasn't too bad. But I think that D.C., Maryland, and Delaware were so ready for it they started dumping beaches of sand everywhere.
We were traveling home and about the time it was getting dark out I noticed a number of cars pulling over to the side of the road on the freeway with their hazards flashing. Hmmm. Didn't think it was that bad but maybe they're just wimps, I thought. You see, there were many cars and trucks on the road kicking up dirty snow, ice, and sand on the windshield and every few minutes I had to use the windshield wiper fluid to clear it off. Well, at about 7 p.m. I was traveling down the freeway in the left lane and the windshield got a bit dirty so I twisted the knob to spray the windshield. But nothing came out. But the wipers still turned on and smeared the windshield up something terrible.
Stupidly, I tried it again and the wipers just smeared up the windshield worse. It looked like someone spread fluff across the windshield. I was in the left lane traveling almost 60 miles per hour and I couldn't see a thing. I'm not kidding. Not a thing. My thirteen year old looked at me and asked if I could see anything because she couldn't.
Uhm no. Not really. I quickly glanced in the rear view and there seemed to be a car up pretty close behind me and there was a car on my right. I was pretty sure that if I hit the brakes I would've caused a major pile up. But I had no idea what was in front of me. I opened my driver's side window and stuck my head out like a dog to see the road. I needed to get over. Fast. I asked my daughter if the car on my right was still there and she told me to slow down a bit. I did and she told me I could get over. Now. I turned on the directional and moved to the middle lane real easy because I wanted to give people plenty of notice I was moving. Finally, I was in the middle lane. Well, I've got to tell you, as dangerous as the left lane seemed the middle lane felt a lot more dangerous. Now I had a truck behind me and a car on both sides of me.
So there I am with my head out the window hurtling along. I asked my daughter again to tell me when I could get over and she said "Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Now!"
So I eased over to the right. My eyes were tearing from the cold air in my unblinking eyes so I brought my head back into the van. I was flying completely blind at this point. I looked to the right to see if there was a shoulder where I could pull over. Finally, I pulled over to the right. I was deathly afraid that I would pull too far over and we'd crash down an embankment or a guardrail or a tree. Thank God, I was able to stop on the side of the road. And then we all just sat there for about a minute. I thought to myself that based on the silence from the van, the children clearly understood how perilous our situation had been. I finally looked behind me and saw that they were all asleep. But not my five year old who saw me looking at her and said, "Can you change this stinking song on the radio?"
I told her that I sure could.
My thirteen year old said she was praying the entire time.
We made our way to the next exit on the shoulder and when we got to the gas station they said they'd sold out of windshield wiper fluid. They directed me to another gas station which had also sold out. Finally, we were able to travel (slowly) to a third gas station which had some left. I bought two.
On the way home I noticed dozens of other cars pulling over. I saw a bus driver throwing snow at his windshield on the side of the road. It was bad.
I think next time the Supreme Court legalizes the death of millions of people forcing us to march, maybe they could do it during the summer. A nice 80 degree day in the summer sounds nice. And safe.