New York….We were off to New York. Paul, my husband, got a job on a newspaper in New York. He flew off within a week and I was left to pack up and rent out our home in Sydney. The children had to leave their schools and me my job. We took a large Greek ship to New York, a five week trip
When we arrived, Paul had found us a temporary apartment in Tarrytown a seventy minute train trip from Manhattan. Tarrytown was a very pretty suburban town in upstate New York. Like many suburban towns a car was a prerequisite. Public transport (except for a train to the city) was non existent. As our finances were pretty low and we were planning to buy a house close to the city in a place called Hoboken in New Jersey, we did not want to spend money on a car. A friend of Paul’s offered us an old and dilapidated Kombi van which he used for his annual shooting trip. He was more than happy having it used and garaged for the duration of our stay in suburbia.
I was rather hesitant at driving this large vehicle, especially as I was not used to driving on the wrong side of the road. I did manage to take us to Manhattan one day which certainly boosted my confidence.
One afternoon in midwinter, I took the children to the local township for some shopping and hot chocolate. As we left, I realised I was facing the wrong way to go home. The traffic was heavy as the workers were coming home so I thought I would make a turn at the next street and it would. bring me back to the main street facing the right direction. No, it didn’t. I found it went further and further out of town and I was in the middle of a traffic jam with a slow snake of traffic trying to make it to somewhere. I also realised that the darkness with coming in very quickly and I remembered that the lights didn’t work.
I tried to keep the children in a good spirit and not to have them start the usual “are we there yet?”. I didn’t like to tell them that I had no idea where “there” was and if we would ever get “there” I hopefully turned the lights on. Took a deep breath and nothing happened. It was still late dusk so I would see where we were going and hoped that I would notice something familiar and we would be home. The traffic was still creeping along.
All of a sudden I noticed the car in front was lit up. It couldn’t be, it was. The light had somehow turned on. I figured that I would somehow find our way home in time as long as we could see our way. We got home about fifteen minutes later and turned off the lights when we parked the car. The lights never came on again although I made sure we were never out at night. A miracle? I still wonder.