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On Sunny Lane: Driving Me Crazy

If you will recall, I stated in a previous column that I "ride shotgun" when Sweetheart and I are traveling in the car. He prefers to call me the "nagrivator."

Apparently, he doesn't object to me telling him where to go and how to get there. He only objects to me telling him how to do it. And I don't--usually.

Well, it just so happened that we planned our trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg the very week they were having their Rod Run. Let me tell you--this car show topped them all. There were antique and classic vehicles everywhere. They were parked in parking lots and on sidewalks. They were two, three and four abreast. One of the veteran participants told us there were 10,000 vehicles at the last event. There must have been at least that many this time.

Traffic is always heavy in these two towns, with tourists driving up and down the main thoroughfare from one attraction to another. This time it was a traffic jam on steroids. It was barely moving.

Fortunately, our hotel was located in the middle of everything. We could turn right out of the parking lot, make a left turn across traffic and turn onto a road that runs parallel to the main drag. This road is not well known, so we used it to get to some of our destinations the back way.

All went well until Sweetheart and I went to a Bluegrass festival in Sevierville three miles north of the two towns. We had a pleasant, peaceful drive to the festival and enjoyed the afternoon of music. At 5:00 we decided to go back to our hotel.

We had gone only a short distance when we got behind at least a million cars headed in the same direction we were. Both lanes were full of cars. Every time we came to a stop light at an intersection and some space would open up, cars from the side roads would fill them.

I was relatively patient for the first hour. After all, we had no deadline to meet and I was holding the takeout box of food that we were going to have for supper.

When the second hour rolled around, I began to get antsy. I suggested to Sweetheart that he get in the right hand lane so we would be in position to go into our hotel parking lot. The cars were bumper to bumper and it was going to be a tight squeeze. Sweetheart saw no need to do so, as we had a distance to go.

So, I suggested that he put the right turn signal on, so some kind person in the right lane would know we wanted to be there and would let us in. He held on to his belief that he had plenty of time to get over into that lane. I wasn't so sure.

At the end of the second hour, I was beginning to question Sweetheart's driving method. I even asked him who taught him to drive.

After 2 1/2 hours, our hotel appeared on the horizon. I threatened him that, if we went past our hotel and had to turn around in the midst of horrific traffic, I was going to eat all of the takeout food myself. Still Sweetheart was nonplussed.

We arrived right in front of the hotel. I was an emotional mess. A space opened up in the right lane. Sweetheart pulled right into it. He drove into our hotel parking lot. Just like he said he would. I could have screamed.

Instead, I kept my big mouth shut.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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