For the last couple of weeks, my mother has found great joy in telling one story. Each time she has told it, her voice gets higher and a smile will magically appear on her face. She seems to get some joy from it, so I thought I would write about it.
You see, last May, my friend Jennifer surprised me with a one night stay at a fancy hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. She knew that I had family close by, and she thought I would enjoy it. Well, I wouldn’t have felt right if I hadn’t brought Jennifer along, and my mom volunteered to drive us up there. So, a couple a weeks ago, we made our way to Charm City.
Even before the trip began, there was one question on Jennifer and her mom’s mind, “Will we get to go through a tunnel?” To be honest, in the seemingly endless times I have visited my aunt in Maryland, I don’t remember going through a tunnel ever. I guess we just never took the tunnel to get to my aunt’s house. Our exit is just a few before the infamous tunnel.
Before the trip, Jennifer’s mom asked me and my mother about the tunnel, and we sweetly told them, “No, we don’t go through a tunnel.” Well, I could have blasted that statement into stone, but somehow, that tunnel became a topic of discussion for a good portion of our six hour trip up north. We tried our best to remind Jennifer that there is no tunnel on our trip, but I guess she was in the back seat mentally preparing for a tunnel ride, despite our statements to the contrary.
Well, when we finished our drive up north, we still had not been through a tunnel, and the next day, there were no plans to drive through one, but Jennifer must have been praying for one, since it happened.
My aunt had stated that she thought we would enjoy a trip to Fort McHenry, and we decided to drive down to the Fort and learn just a little bit more about how “The Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812. My mother was driving, and she really didn’t know how to get there. So, my aunt volunteered to tell her how.
Anyway, my aunt must have been a bit sleepy, since she had a tendency to wait until the last minute to tell my mother where to turn, and on more than one occasion, we missed our turns and exits. Therefore, we somehow magically ended up on Interstate 95, and low and behold, Jennifer’s premonition came true. She got to ride in the famous Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.
We couldn’t believe it. There were no plans to ride the tunnel, and there we were, cruising under the sea. We felt that it was just Jennifer wanting to ride this tunnel during her first trip to Baltimore that made it possible. Now, if she had just willed running into George Clooney into that trip, I know my adventure would have been complete.
(Editor’s note: Katie Holland can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)