30 Weeks: The One Where I Spent the Night in a Diner

by SimplySharpe on February 2, 2014

Well, this was certainly a week to remember. It took me this long to want to write about it. As everyone already knows, this was a rough week for Atlanta. I was one of the unlucky ones who got caught in the cross hairs of unpreparedness and political divide. I think this article explains it best, but this one about the silver lining of a sucky situation is also a worthy read.

On Tuesday night, I spent the night in a diner. Yup, a 24 hour greasy spoon type joint. I was one of many who were lucky enough to end up at Landmark Diner and not our cars for the night. I was finally allowed to leave my office around one in the afternoon, which was the absolute worst time to hit the road that day. Yay for me and my 7.5 month preggo self. I spent the next six hours in my car crawling at a snail’s pace for three miles.

It was hour four when I realized that though I had plenty of gas to make my 14 mile commute to work that day, I had very little to idle for several more hours. This posed a big problem as traffic was not moving, it was snowing, and there was not a gas station for another mile, or two hours as it were that day. Let’s not even talk about how my third trimester bladder was doing without regularly scheduled 15 minute potty breaks.

I was fortunate enough to be parked next to a very nice man who had turned his car off for a bit. He got out of his vehicle, which normally would have raised red flags, but as we weren’t going anywhere, it was a welcome distraction. His name was Anthony, and the second he spoke, I realized he was South African like my father. I knew right away he was good people, but  an hour later, he more than validated that thought. We talked briefly about the prospect of running out of gas, as he was low, too. Eventually, cars started to crawl again. An hour and a half later, I was stopped next to him again since his lane had met back up with mine. He asked about my gas situation.

Not good.

This is when he did something that I never would have expected a stranger to do. He pulled his car over, which at this point meant sliding back and forth on the icy side of the road where cars couldn’t make it because it was uphill, and he parked in the snowy lot of a condo building. He told me he was walking to get me gas, refusing to take my money. I was in complete disbelief that a stranger could be so kind. I knew I didn’t have enough gas to make it to the station, which was now only less than a mile from us, but still two to three hours away. I was so incredibly thankful that there was some hope I could still make it to the 24 hour diner to use the restroom and then regroup.

Once I got to the diner, I realized that getting back in my car, even with the extra gallon of gas I now had, it would not be enough to make it home. As I talked to my husband, we also realized there was a reason none of the traffic was moving. The only street that could take me home had become an icy impasse on both sides. He couldn’t come get me, I couldn’t get to him.

Pretty much my worst nightmare played itself out — I was stuck. No way home, and as my anxiety ridden mind wandered, no way to the hospital were something to go wrong. I will spare you the details of my panic attack in favor of another good samaritan story…

People had been filtering in and out of the diner since I got there. Some were walking from abandoned cars that didn’t make it up the icy hills, some were walking from somewhat nearby offices. One of them was a gentleman and his very pregnant co-worker. They had walked from about a mile and a half away where their cars were parked due to the ice block formerly known as Roswell Road. He overheard me asking for an iPhone 4 charger since I leave mine at work and home. No one had one. Damn Droids! Anyway, at some point, he walked over to Walgreen’s and brought me back a charger to make sure I did not lose contact with my husband. He did not let me pay him or pay for his meal. The kindness of strangers was in full force that night.

I also met some really great people that spent the night and work at Landmark Diner. It was a humbling experience to say the least. I kept thinking about people who are down on their luck and never have a home in a snow storm. I need to figure out a way to help. I knew I was safe, I had the money to buy food, people were kind to me, and I had heat. I need to find a way to repay the good karma…

Now, the boring stuff:

How far along? 30 weeks {and 6 days}

Simply Sharpe 30 Weeks

Maternity clothes? Can I keep the same answer here for the next nine weeks?

Stretch marks? See above.

Sleep? Not so much this week.

Best moment this week? Seeing my husband’s face when he was able to pick me up Wednesday morning after the city finally sanded the road. Also, getting home after 24 hours in a diner. There’s no place like home.

Miss anything? Feeling too blessed this week to miss things.

Movement? I have felt a lot of what feels like feet up by ribs and jelly rolls lower than I want to feel anything. It’s weird and awesome all at once.

Food cravings? Please pass the ice cream.

Nausea? Briefly at the diner, but I think it was nerves more than anything.

Started showing yet? I think we’re beyond this question.

Labor signs? Thankfully, no.

Belly button in or out? I may not pop at this point.

Happy or moody? Thankful.

Looking forward to? A very quiet, uneventful nine weeks.



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