Slice of Life Challenge Day 18 #sol18

Stuck in traffic the other day, but the reward was sweet…



A million cars formed an angry trail of red taillights, stretching before me like a molten trail of fiery lava.  The two and a half hours of travel that had already passed formed a cloud of consternation inside the car; toll booths, crawling traffic jams, ambulances, cars cutting me off, missed exits, not to mention spontaneous tirades of expletives emitting from my vocal cords, all helped to form the molecules of the dark cloud inside my car.  Now, though, I found myself on the last stretch, almost to the airport hotel, my final destination.

But not quite almost.

Still another hour trickled by before, at last, I spotted the beige building, the green sign that read, “Embassy Suites.”  Finally!  Exhausted from Friday at work and an extended combative experience with five o’clock New York City / New Jersey traffic, I glanced to my left at the sign next to the hotel that almost seemed to point and laugh at me: “Parking: $20.”  Sigh.  How do I even get in there? I wondered, placing my forehead atop the steering wheel of my 2009 Honda Pilot.

Five minutes later, following a quick exchange with the hotel desk clerk, I wearily restarted the vehicle I’d temporarily left outside and drove to the mouth of the laughing parking lot.  After passing a magical card key over a black pad, I watched as a striped arm rose, allowing me to pass and park- reluctantly, it seemed…

Now the moment was getting close.  I could suddenly feel my mood altering, my countenance bending upward.  Quickly grabbing the green bag I had hastily assembled thirteen hours prior, I closed the car door, quick-stepping to the side entrance of the hotel.  In the elevator.  Up to floor six. Unlock room 604.

And there they were.

Three beautiful daughters, one beautiful wife.  Any angst, frustration, and consternation melted away as I embraced them.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 18 #sol18”

  1. I was drawn in with your opening line. I thought about writing about traffic the other day while stuck on my way home. You write with such detail. Your forehead on the steering wheel cemented the frustration. What a sweet ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh. Happy ending. I really liked some of the phrases in the opening. My favorite was, “formed a cloud of consternation.” I picture the windshield fogging up and you searching for the console button that would turn on your de-consternator. I guess that was in the hotel room.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! De-consternator…love that, wish I had one. This whole challenge I’ve been thinking about Sarah Weeks and the idea of a story with payoff. Not sure I’m hitting the mark every time, but it’s on my mind with each slice. Thanks for commenting!


  3. Great photo – so eye-catching, so perfect with the story. What a slice of frustration! The ending, however … it melted my heart. All’s well that ends well, being with the ones you love most.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your first paragraph is wonderfully descriptive, as has been noted by the previous commenters – I loved it – and I like the way the ending speeds up. By the time you reach your family, I’m smiling, too. Story with payoff for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: