My day began to be disrupted last night. I was supposed to drive to my sister’s in Lancaster, but the school district’s automated system called to tell me there was a 2-hour delay in the morning. I called my sister and changed the visit to Tuesday.

So at quarter to ten this morning I was awakened by my kids returning home from their dad’s, ready to get on the bus. We were all cheerful and happy. The kids left. Their dad left. I took a shower while Henry played Lego Star Wars on the PS2.

I needed to go to Wal-Mart. I had a flat tire and needed an oil change. I went out to warm up the car–though I couldn’t warm it TOO much, my gas light went on the day before the snow storm. And the battery was dead. There was a massive amount of snow in front of my car, so I was going to have to go wading just to open the hood. I got my dad’s battery charger and an extension cord. I had to run it through my car for it to reach the passenger side. It took a while to get contact, and then three tries for the car to start. My cousin (who lives next door) had come over by this time. We were discussing alleged heinous car battery accidents. He commented on my flat tire and said I should fill it at the gas station rather than drive all the way to Wal-Mart.

Henry was pleasant and willing to cooperate as always (NOT!) when I announce that it was time to leave. He was playing in my cousin’s snowy yard. (And wearing a Hulk sweatshirt rather than a coat.) Finally we left. I kept the car running and put a few gallons in the tank. Then I paid 50 cents for air. Problem: there was no built in air gauge. So I put in “some” air. Then McDonald’s drive-thru for lunch. On to Wal-Mart. I arrived exactly 30 minutes after starting my car. I finished throwing out all trash. My car looked clean and ready for a complimentary vacuuming. I checked the car in and asked them to check the tires.

Then I was off to return two items. I had to walk through the store to get to the front for their stickers. But in doing so I set off the alarms. So, basically, I walked out of the store, set off the alarms, and told the woman that I had returns. She gave me stickers and I got my $48 back. In gift card form, of course. Because I had no receipt. Good thing I’m an honest person.

Just as I was finishing with the returns, the school nurse called and said David threw up half way through lunch. Since my car was getting an oil change, I told her that David could wait or I could ask my dad to leave work and get him. We agreed to see if he could lie down and rest till my car is done.

I got stocking stuffers. I got gel inserts for my new boots. (Which were killing my feet.) I forgot the lasagna. I priced a couple WII games. (I know of our gifts.) Then we checked on the car. Not done. Henry wanted to see the fish. I had intended to get an algae eater. Off to the fish. After 5 minutes of no service, I flagged down a passing worker. She suggested I walk back to the restrooms and electronics and ask someone there to call for help. (Did I mention my feet were killing me?) I opted for the shorter walk back to automotive. The woman there was shocked at the response of the other Wal-Mart worker. Shocked? Really? Were you? Anyway, the woman at automotive walked to other workers, and asked them for help for me. The fishing license guy sold me my fish.

Then we finally got our van. Paid. And headed to the school. I called the school nurse and told her I was on my way.

David looked okay. A little sleepy.

I wanted to see my grandparents. I needed to return my grandmother’s mop (I borrowed it to clean grape jelly off my ceiling) and pick up our Lego Star Wars WII game. But most importantly, I miss them. I’ve only seen them twice since they returned from Florida.

We had only an hour to visit, but worth it. We had a nice visit. We munched a few cookies all gooey from the oven. And then I had to leave to get the kids off the bus. I left a little late, but I wasn’t worried. I decided to call my dad and ask him to get the kids. And worst case scenario, the kids would be taken to the High School office to wait for me.

I called Scott or Scott called me. I don’t remember. We were cut off eventually. Back roads. And about 5 minutes later, I accidentally hit the snow at the edge of the lane, lost control , over corrected, braked, and hit a tree.

Seriously.

I didn’t think it was too bad. I knew I hit  something. I was on a bad spot on the road. I couldn’t focus. I needed to stop. To assess. Then I realized David was crying. I glanced over my right shoulder and noticed the car wasn’t right. I stopped. I traveled about 20 feet past the tree I’d hit.

David and Henry both said they were okay. I realized why the car seemed weird. The side and back windows were gone. Then I noticed that my tire was back by the tree I’d hit. It was still on the wheel.

There was suddenly a lot of traffic on that little road. Most people left when they saw me on a phone. I called Dad first.

“Hi, Dad. I need you to get the kids off the bus, I was just in a car accident. We’re all okay.”

Then AAA. While I was on with them, I gave David the other cell phone, highlighted my grandmother’s number and told him, “Call Grandmom and Grandpop. Tell them we were in an accident, and we’re all okay. We’re on Hill Rd.” My grandparents are so impressed with him and how well he handled that call.

Eventually a dump truck driver and a pick-up truck stopped and insisted on staying. The dump truck driver offered to let the kids sit in his cab. Since it had windows, it was considerably warmer than my van. It was so nice of him.
When the truck driver called to confirm, he informed me that I NEED to call the cops. So, I got to dial 911. Fun.

My grandfather came. He picked up the kids and some of the things from my van. (My food for Chicago that was loaded in the back.) Soon Scott arrived.

Then the cops and then the tow truck. Broken rear axle meant flat bed truck. In trying to get my insurance and registration cards, I realized that the front passenger door no longer opened, even though it did not appear to be damaged. Everywhere I looked, it was just so bad. The tow truck driver thinks my van is totaled. Imagine totaling a car while driving 35 miles an hour.

I didn’t cry over my broken van, but I did cry over the affect it would have on our travel plans to see my mom in Chicago.

Back home, Dad sprung for pizza. Scott picked it up. We actually had a nice dinner. Scott and I got to talk like we haven’t in forever. We discussed my car future. Our income tax check. My child support. And our divorce. We both agreed that there’s no need for a lawyer as long as we keep agreeing on everything.

How can such a horrible day from start to finish have such happy times in between? I was in such a sunny mood today. And I was glad Scott was around to help in crisis.

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