Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gotta Start Somewhere

Everybody seems to have a blog. I was feeling deprived. After all, I am a writer (just not an author). I've always kept a journal...until a few years ago, anyway, when my life got kind of prosaic and I managed to bore even myself. I was Leader of the Uninspired. Letters to the Editor became challenging, for heaven's sake. Not to mention the fact that THERE IS NEVER ANY TIME. It may be, however, blogging to the rescue. We shall see...I'm not sure where this is going. I'm not sure where it will take me. Or for that matter where to start. I think I will start, however. I wrote this e-mail to a friend of mine yesterday. She'd just been in a scary fender-bender, and I told her something that happened to me. This is not written particularly skillfully and the style is not terribly reminiscent of my usual blood, sweat and tears, but more on the lines of an 8th-grade essay on "What I Did On My Summer Vacation." However, as I said, you gotta start somewhere. The subject is car accidents; the title should be "Why I Ended Up Buying A 4,000 Pound 4-wheel Drive SUV."

I hit a tree in the snow. It was winter of course, and I had come down with a bad chest cold. After a couple of days I knew I'd better see a doctor, so I thought I would go to the Shoreline Clinic. I was staying at home with my parents at the time. It was snowing again that day and I knew I'd better go before the snow got too bad.

My car was a little Toyota Tercel, what has been called "an appliance on wheels." When I went out to start it that day, it would not start. Wouldn't even turn over. Click, click, nothing. A few years prior to this my uncle, who had by then passed away, had given my parents his big Oldsmobile Cutlass when he got too sick to drive any more. I told my mom I couldn't start my car and so I needed to borrow the Olds. Got the keys, got in and got going.

Heading from Deep River towards Centerbrook I had just passed that market on the right owned by the Vietnamese people. There was a big truck in front of me that was going to turn left on Rattling Valley Road. To this day I don't know if they stopped too short or if I was just so sick I didn't notice their signal in time, but anyway I went to brake, skidded sideways and BOOM, smashed into a good sized tree head-on. The car bounced off the tree, turned around to face the road and stopped. The force of it had knocked my glasses off so I couldn't see anything. I luckily had my seatbelt on but my neck took a hell of a jerk. By now the snow was really falling hard and even though I was just off the road a little ways I couldn't even be seen by drivers passing by. After I realized I wasn't dead I just laid on the horn.

A girl from a nearby house, bless her, heard me and came running. The first thing I asked her to do was find my glasses, which she did. Everything had flown around everywhere in the car. Then she told me she had called 911 and the ambulance and police were on their way. The police got there first, and when I got out of my car my legs went completely out from under me. The police sat me in their car to take a report. Then they called a wrecker. I ended up refusing the ambulance, which was not smart. I called my father to pick me up and take me to the Clinic and he got mad and said I should have known better than to drive in this weather and he couldn't leave work, and for me to wait at the garage until somebody could come and get me. (Bear in mind now, we were both grown-ups, but your parents are your parents, for Pete's sake!)

I rode in the wrecker to the garage but didn't think the garage wanted me around so I went across the street to my dentist's office to use their phone to see if somebody else could come get me. One of the girls who works there said she would take me to the Clinic. So when I walked into the Clinic and they asked me what I was there for, I said a chest cold, but I'd also just been in a car accident! Then while I was still sitting there giving my info the door opens and in walks my father. His face was deathly white and his eyes looked like they'd seen a ghost.

To make a long story short, my father thought I had been in a fender bender but when he stopped at the garage to look for me, he saw the car and realized it had been completely totalled. The reason he was so pale and aghast was because he was so shocked, and because he also realized that if I had been driving my little Toyota that day instead of this big clunky Oldsmobile, I would probably have been killed. He said that when he saw the car he felt like all the blood drained out of his body.

After all was said and done and I was home, we went to start my car again, and there was not a thing wrong with it; it started right up. To this day, we don't know why it didn't start that morning. But again, we did know that had I been driving it, I would have been killed or much more seriously hurt.

But I was always my aunt and uncle's girl (this is the uncle who lived where I live now). And some things are more than coincidence. We like to think that he was looking out for me that day and made SURE I couldn't take the Toyota. He wanted me driving his old car, which was probably double the weight and much safer. It's the only answer that accounts for this! Who knows the mysterious ways of men and angels??

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