Updated with lovely technicolor photos.
It defies a title. It defies thoughtful writing. It actually defies explanation.
I wrecked our car.
Two days ago was not a banner day, and I started yesterday, determined to do it differently. My desk was cleared, all the bills were paid and filed away. The house was cleaned. Phone calls made, etc. I left mid-day with a file folder full of errands (yes a file folder) and started the afternoon with devotions and taco salad at Wendys. After several hours of a delightful array of stops here and there, which included the quilt shop, the nursery, picking up a birthday gift, I headed to my last stop. The local grocery.
Dairy Bar is not really a grocery store - more of a where everyone goes to pick up milk and three other items you need for fixing dinner, and are willing to pay more for, to avoid the crowds at the real grocery store. It's always crowded, but in a friendly we all live in this neighborhood sort of way. Dairy Bar has been there for more than 100 years, literally, with a nice remodeling or two along the way. Dairy Bar is where you see everyone.
After buying my three items, I backed out of the parking lot, or attempted to. After waiting for all the other cars to back out, I finally decided to back out the other direction, and go around the congested parking lot. As I swung around the empty, open side of the lot, with some nice New Agey jazz playing, I sort of mentally drifted to Lala Land. I turned my front left tire to go around a corner of the lot, where nobody else was. The loud bang that sounded something like a shotgun going off, then the hissing sounds inside my car, my watch flying off my arm and landing in the floor board and my thumb hurting like a son of a gun told me something was amiss. The fact that there was a light pole inches outside my window moved to the front of my brain. I stopped, turned off the car, realized I could no longer open my driver's door, and climbed across my car to the other side, and got out the passenger's door. That's never a good sign, when you can't get out the car through the same door you got in.
I stood there looking at the car, shocked that it had come to rest on a light pole that I had absolutely not seen minutes before. My tire was now sticking out at a very weird angle, there were metal parts of the underside of my car resting on the ground, with all sorts of liquids oozing out onto the ground. Not good.
I called my husband, who had just returned from a three day trip out of state. When he answered, "Hello Beautiful", I said, 'Hello. It's not good. I'm fine, but it's not good. I just ran into a light pole in the Dairy Bar parking lot, there are metal pieces hanging out from under the car, and there are liquids pouring onto the ground. It's not good." After some conversation back and forth, as to how the light pole could have struck our car, going at all of 15 mph, we discussed the fun process we'd now embark upon - call the insurance people, the tow truck, the police.
When he pulled up, about 30 minutes later, I could tell by the look on his face that he didn't even want to look at it. He walked over to me and the car, looked it over and under and sideways. Didn't say a word. I said, "I'm sorry." He said, "these things happen. I know the car has a blind spot there right in front of the steering wheel. I'm glad you're okay."
After another pleasant hour spent watching our Ten Minutes Ago Truly Did Not Have A Scratch On It Beautiful Vehicle get strapped and nudged and hauled up on the bed of a big tow truck, talking to two policemen who verified our car had taken the brundt of the contact, and the light pole was intact, while the entire town drove in and out of the parking lot to buy their brats and coleslaw or bread and milk, and yes my pride is now at a healthy level again, chatting with the insurance company and a friendly claims adjuster named Chris, moving all the flats of plants I'd purchased, my bag of quilting fabric, the groceries, and the various sundry items out of the car that I would need for the next two weeks while our car is being put back together again, we finally finished with it all, and climbed into his vehicle, the one that used to be all orderly and neat and was now stuffed to the gills with all my shopping purchases, coupons, water bottles, etc.
We began to pull out of the Dairy Bar parking lot, and just down the road, he said to me. "I guess we should go eat somewhere. Where would you like to go?" We were supposed to go work out, and have dinner at home, while watching Survivor on Tivo. He'd been eating in restaurants all week while on the road. I told him, "I don't deserve it, but could you please take me somewhere for mexican food and a margarita?" He did, and over dinner he prayed, "Lord, thank you that Bev is okay. Thank you for reminders that things are just things."
I have been driving for 36 years, have never had an accident. I've driven in snow, ice, pouring rain, heavy traffic. I don't even know that I've had a really close call. Somehow I managed to tear up our car on a light pole, in a parking lot, with no other cars or traffic or weather conditions involved. Instead of praying, "God, preserve me from this crazy woman, give me the patience to be married to her for another 30+ years, and keep me from saying what I'm thinking about this whole episode", that's what he prayed. I looked up at him, over my super combination, and said, "it was really a dumb thing to do. I'm sorry." He said, "I've done dumb things too. It's just a car."
That's why I married this man. Thank you, Lord, for the reminder.
posted at 9:46 AM