On Monday night, Groundhog’s Day no less, I was one of those Car vs Deer accidents that I often listen to Jeremiah talk about from his ER nights. I left Dothan around 8:30 to drive back to Birmingham. I was cruising down 231, just north of Ozark, when suddenly there was a deer right in front of my car. Do you know that all I could think when I saw that thing (besides Holy Crap you better slam on those brakes as hard as you can) was, “That deer is going to smash through my windshield and kill me.” Because those are the type of horror stories Jeremiah likes to relate. Things like antlers skewering the driver, Ok?!
Obviously, none of that happened or I wouldn’t be happily writing this little blog post. Besides crunching the front grill and my door, there was no real harm done. Pace never even woke up in the backseat and Mary Aplin only roused for a few minutes. My father and brother-in-law came and picked us up at Trailer World (if you’ve ever been to Christmas City in Ariton, you know where I am talking about :)), since the front of the car was wedged into the wheel. Then we went back to the Maddox’s house to spend the night and try the trip again (Groundhog’s Day!) the next morning.
Now, three really nice things have come out of that accident. One, is that Dr. Maddox (my FIL) is one of those people who doesn’t just give you the shirt off their back if you need it, he gives you his shirt and then goes out and buys you three of the very nicest shirts you could have imagined to go with it. Jeremiah’s whole family is like that really. It astounds me. So anyway, Dr. Maddox gave me his brand spankin‘ new Land Cruiser to drive while my car gets fixed. I feel absolutely spoiled rotten and find myself LOOKING for errands to run 🙂
Second, on our way home we stopped to eat at McDonalds. It had been a long night, none of us had bathed, and I am assuming we must have looked pretty homeless because of what happened. This nice, normal, sixtyish man was joking with Pace in line while we ordered our food. She was an easy target considering she’d worn large, pink, heart-shaped sunglasses, upside down (because she REFUSED to let me turn them right-side up) into the establishment. (You see we were still celebrating V-Day, even in our distress.) I didn’t think much of it; we were eating our lunch inside (since I didn’t dare let the girls eat in the bright shiny borrowed car) and close to being done, when that same man walked by our table and handed Pace a TWENTY saying, “Buy something fun for you and baby sister!” I was shocked at the kindness. I tried to give it back but he shook his head, smiled, and disappeared out the door. It was just so sweet! Not a five, a TWENTY, to absolute strangers.
Third, like anytime something near-tragic (or tragic) happens, I was left feeling extremely grateful. Grateful for all the times, that I don’t even know about, that God has stretched out a hand to protect us. Grateful that we were all safe, and that we weren’t another ER story being talked about over dinner. Grateful that I wasn’t dealing with the guilt of having an accident that had injured one of the precious packages that were sleeping in the backseat. Just grateful for life and family. I was having a “discussion” with Jeremiah about finances when that “mean deer who needs a spanking” (as Pace is now calling it) stepped into the road, and it is amazing how everything shifted into perspective…and I even got a new car and a twenty in the deal 🙂