Is it 2017 yet?

Canal Street Historic District.

Policeman rerouted traffic away from Canal Street Historic District in New Smyrna Beach.

Sitting in stop and go traffic on I-95 on January 2, 2016, I should have known something was wrong when all I saw was Clemson fans and out of state tags. Not sure what I was thinking—I actually had planned a trip on the Saturday after New Year’s Day and the Orange Bowl. “You sounded so happy this morning!” my son explained on the phone. “Yes, but that was before I got on the road.”

The signs in Fort Lauderdale said “No traffic delays through Daytona.” I guess there wasn’t any 5 hours ago, I mused. But now there was a blocked lane near Daytona due to an accident which compounded the problem.

At New Smyrna Beach, me and everybody else decided to exit. The cops in New Smyrna weren’t happy to see us, so they routed us to a two lane detour. Realizing that New Smyrna Beach was a bad move, I got back on I-95.

While inching my way north, I started thinking about someone besides myself. What about the people in the accident? Were they okay? What about the drivers from other states? Had they anticipated delays as seasoned travelers? Was I the only one caught off guard? Again, I asked what was I thinking? As we headed near the accident scene there were four highway patrolmen, no signs of an accident but lots of rubbernecking.

Painting of St. Augustine Lighthouse.

No time for the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

As I approached St. Augustine, there was another accident but the nearby drivers seemed okay. The next day at church a member mentioned that her father had died yesterday. What a way to start the New Year, I thought. Suddenly my troubles seemed quite small.

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