Last Thursday was just another ordinary day in the life of Lady Di. I was at a swim meet that evening at the local pool. The thin strip of pavement that is a sorry excuse for a parking lot was full so I parked my lovely, white, well-taken care of, paid offed, Suburban along the curb.
OKAY STOP...let's back up a bit. I just wrote I parked my Suburban along the curb. Usually, I would not have been driving around town in that gas guzzling, SUV that environmentalists love to hate. This is not because I am an environmentalist, but an economist and although I love my roomy Suburban, the Saturn sedan made less of an impact on my bank account. For convenience, both vehicles have a car seat. However, that sweet child of mine has grown quite a bit and the straps needed to be adjusted for the car seat in the Suburban. Well, I'm lazy and rather than adjust the straps before taking a long trip in the 'burb, I swapped car seats from one vehicle to the other, leaving the Saturn car seatless. In further laziness, I failed to re-install car seat into Saturn, thus having to drive the big, gas guzzling (but lovely, and paid for) SUV. There is a relevance to my self-declaration of laziness later in the story, trust me.
So, the 'burb is parked along a curb and I needed to leave the meet to take one child to Vacation Bible School, pick up another from daycare, and then back to the swim meet. Upon my return I found my parking space was taken, so I drove around to park on the other side of the street in front of a home (a friend's home actually...hint, it's that small town thing).
Two hours passed, the swim meet was over, and it was time to go home. Everyone walked out into the parking lot together, including my husband and two daughters. My husband said he had to go to the ranch to check on some things real quick and I had the fabulous idea that both his girls should join him. This way I could get the other kid from VBS and get some quiet time before they ALL got home. The youngest girl, of all days, did not want to go with Daddy. We were standing at the crosswalk when she said, "Ok, I'll go with Daddy." (hint...this is the guardian angel thing).
Now the stage is set for this dramatic story....I know, I need to hop to it. I hand the little one off to Daddy, walk across the street (alone), get into my car, shut the door, put key in ignition, and BOOM!!!
Keep in mind that what you are about to read probably happened in all of like 5-10 seconds, but it felt like hours. Uh, did a tree branch just fall on the roof of my vehicle? BANG, POP, CRUNCH, CRUNCH....Oh ^%#$ the passenger side of my car is caving in!! My front visor flapped down in front of me all by itself and the center console thingy on the roof popped off. This is the point were I began to FREAK albeit calmly in my head that I was going to be crushed in my car. By the way, the movies have it wrong. Your life doesn't flash before your eyes in great big snap shots of your life from birth to the present. You have the "crap I haven't done yet in my life" flashes.
SILENCE, no more CRUNCH. This was when I noticed the tree branch coming through the bottom of the windshield on the passenger side. There was glass everywhere, the passenger side was completely wrecked including the door. I sort of assessed the situation and realized that I was OK and was not going to have to explain all the naughty things I had done in my life to St. Peter. The friend who lived in the home had been walking back from the swim meet too, and opened the rear passenger side door. Neither front door would open. My door was blocked by branches, and the other was jammed.
A lot of people including my poor husband and girls saw the entire gigantic tree fall onto the Suburban with me inside it. Even while I was stuck inside, once I figured out I was not going to be crushed like a tin can on a frat boy's head, I was for the most part calm. However, I think it was far more traumatizing for them to actually see the whole thing "go down" so to speak. So, here is why I love or shall I say loved my SUV. It essentially saved me and my lazy self. If I had not been driving the 'burb, the fireman and everyone agreed that I would probably not be in any condition to do this post right now, if at all. I have to admit, I did get emotional when I got out and saw the size of the tree and thought of the possibility of "what could have been" had I been driving the Saturn. Thank you, lovely, white, paid offed Surburban. I don't care what those environmentalist say, you're alright in my book. You can haul me and my precious cargo of kids anytime.
Now, I have to give a special shout out to my Guardian Angel. This guy or gal was definitely NOT sleeping on the job. Not only did you give me a extra dose of laziness to delay car seat placement in the much smaller Saturn, but you got a very stubborn little girl to change her mind at the last minute to go with her Daddy. Getting that girl to change her mind at all is a tribute in and of itself. However, had she been with me I would have been standing on the outside of the Suburban putting her in. Not good, since the bulk of the top of the tree landed right where I would have been standing. See, BELIEVE people. Guardian Angels are out there, working their little and sometimes BIG miracles everyday to help us out.
Finally...you got to love a small town. I really have to give a big thanks to all the people who came to my rescue. First, my husband, who dived into a tangled mess of leaves and branches to make sure I was alright. The friend who helped me out of the car. I mean sure, it was his tree that fell on me, it was the least he could do. The swim coach, who also happens to be a fireman that called his buddies (the other firemen) to get the tree off my poor mangled SUV. The other swim coach, who made a call to her sister, who was my son's VBS teacher. She looked after him until my sister and brother-in-law came by to pick up not only him, but all my kids. Even the ice cream man, who was there to provide refreshment to all the local kids that had gathered to watch the excitement. Like I said, got to love a small town. We were slightly disappointed that the newspaper reporter never showed up, but hey I guess you can't have everything, right??
For more Tuesday Tributes visit Angie, click on SevenClownCircus
P.S. Faithful followers, our pal Amy is off on an adventure. She is driving, YES, driving with all 3 girls to Montana. She is currently in Utah after a day of misadventures. She promises to reveal all when she has a chance. Stay tuned.