Saturday, March 26, 2011

CAR ACCIDENT

In shock, with pain radiating across my back and chest, I was taken by ambulance from the scene of the accident to the hospital. My daughter was also transported there. It had started off as a normal day. The two of us had traveled across town to go grocery shopping. After we loaded the car with groceries, my daughter wanted me to make a quick stop at Subway to pick up a breakfast sandwich. They make one with egg whites, so she was craving it. I told her that would be okay. I wasn’t hungry because I had already eaten before we left. I made a split decision to go through downtown, instead of the back way. As I approached the Y intersection going that way, the light was green… but a person had stopped their car and was just sitting there. I had just enough time to slam on my brakes and avoid hitting them. I honked my horn. “ MOVE!” I shouted. Then I pumped my brakes to warn others behind me, we were stopped. I thought to myself, this was going to cause an accident. I looked in my rearview mirror, traffic seemed well behind me. The guy in front of me, still wasn't moving. My daughter said something to me, distracting me from turning on my flashers. Then, the next thing I know... we were thrown forward. BANG! CRASH! Rear-ended. It was at this point… the car in front of me, sped away. UNBELIEVABLE. I had avoided hitting him and now someone had hit me. The minutes that followed are almost a complete blur. As we were loaded into the ambulances, my car was towed from the scene to an undisclosed location. And I briefly thought about all the perishable groceries inside. What a waste. This was the least of my worries. At the hospital, I was given oxygen, hooked up to monitors, IVs. They took vials of blood. They thought I might be having a heart attack. So more tests and then tons and tons of X-Rays. My daughter was going through a similar routine. Fortunately, my husband and other daughter arrived to hold our hands, while we waited for results. All I wanted to do was go home. We had been in the hospital all day long. My prayers were finally answered. First they released my daughter. Then an hour after that, yours truly… got to leave, too. Still shook up, we were nauseous and ached everywhere. But it COULD have been, so much WORSE. What if I had hit the car in front of me, too? Three or four days have passed, and things are slowly getting back to normal, here at home. Unfortunately, I keep reliving the accident, over and over in my head. I hope that in time, that will subside. But, in the meantime... I don’t think I’ll be going near that Y intersection, anytime soon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

MOM SAVED THE DAY

I have speckled enamel cookware. It’s old fashioned but modern. I chose the Avocado green color. It reminded me of fresh vegetables. I love looking at it. I love cooking with it. I LOVE it period. So when I was in the market for a 5 qt. sauté pan… I exhausted all possibilities, including online… looking for one in that color, to replace the ugly old generic pan I owned. I finally contacted the manufacturer of the speckled enamel pans. Unfortunately they no longer carried it in green. Go figure. I thought I had new cookware, but apparently it was outdated. The company told me they had recently added new colors to their inventory. So I had a decision to make. Which one? Turquoise Blue, Brick Red or Pumpkin Orange. After much debate, I chose the pumpkin. I thought it best complimented the green pieces I already had. My local Wal-Mart carried it for $43. Cha Ching! SOLD! A year has passed since making that purchase. Unfortunately that ugly generic pan never got tossed. It is still in use, along side the speckled enamel one, because I sometimes need to use two big pans, when cooking a meal. But it’s getting really ratty, so out in the garbage it went. I’m now short a pan. So I went on a shopping expedition to get a matching one. Would you believe I can’t find one anywhere. No pumpkin. Does this sound familiar? Remember the problem with the green? A little birdie told me, they’re introducing MORE new colors. Oatmeal Beige, Butter Yellow and Eggplant Purple. The orange is considered passé and will probably be discontinued. This is ridiculous. It’s only a year old. My heart was set on Pumpkin. I casually mentioned this dilemma to my mother, when I was talking to her on the phone, a week ago. She lives on the east coast. She said she’d see what was available there and get back to me. She SAVED the day. Though there was nothing local, she found one on a day-trip she made out of state. She excitedly called to tell me. She said it was my birthday gift. My birthday isn't until May. I was so excited. I told her to hang onto it... until I could make the trip east to get it. I didn’t want her spending a fortune to ship it. Too costly. But being a mom, she knew how important this was to me. UPS arrived the other day with a package full of goodies, including the saute pan. MOM you’re an ANGEL. I love you. I don't have enough words to say THANKS.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

LEARN THE HARD WAY

I don’t drive too far away from home on a weekly basis, but my husband does. He commutes to a daily job and racks up the mileage - about 140 miles per day. The high cost of gasoline is really adding up for him. Me, not so much. But, I trick myself to make my bottom line seem less outrageous. When it goes down a little, about once a week… I’ve been topping my tank, so I don’t keel over from the shock of the final total. My husband, on the other hand, fills up every day or two. So, he’s really seeing the truth and feeling the pinch. Last weekend we were running errands and running low on fuel. We decided to get some gas. We pulled up to the pump and my husband did what he always does. He puts the gas handle in the tank, sets it to automatic, so it starts pumping, and then gets back in the van. I chided him, saying I never do that. He wondered why not. He tells me it’s much more convenient than standing out in the cold, with your hand pulling the lever. I told him I don’t trust it. What’s not to trust? He thinks I’m being silly, making things more difficult than they need to be. I disagree, so we end up talking about something else. My husband glances back at the pump to see if it’s almost done. Then we hear a sound we weren’t expecting. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! The automatic shutoff didn’t work. Gasoline was being pumped everywhere. My hubby jumped out of the van and immediately yanked the handle out of the gas tank. Only then did it trip off. But not before it had spilled three or four gallons of gas around the pump and our vehicle. As a result, my husband ruined a good pair of shoes. I tried not to step in it, myself, when I went inside the station to tell the attendant what had happened. I knew it was a potentially dangerous situation. But the folks in charge weren’t too concerned and said they’d send someone outside to deal with it, later. So we waited and prayed nobody threw a lit cigarette butt on the ground, in the meantime. What a day. My husband had debated the topic of the automatic shutoff with me at nauseam before this happened. Now he was chagrined. To add insult to injury, he had to PAY for the gasoline that spilled. I didn’t say a word.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

THE POWER OF WATER

Mother Nature dumped more precipitation on us again this week. With rising temperatures, it was rain instead of snow. But that only made things worse. As the snow melted and rain poured, local rivers overflowed their banks, leaving widespread flooding throughout our region. It’s wreaking havoc on everyone’s lives. Sump pumps can’t handle all the water in basements and crawlspaces. Traveling around town is a major headache due to streets that are closed. Yards and empty fields look like giant lakes. Some people have lost their houses and cars. It’s a big mess. Fortunately, when we moved here, my hubby made sure we were not purchasing property in the floodplain. So we’re about 60 feet above the river and about half a mile away. Therefore, we haven’t been affected, other than the inconvenience of being rerouted. Still, it’s been dangerous to drive, to and from, a lot of our favorite haunts. Even though you aren’t supposed to drive into standing water, it’s sometimes tempting, if it doesn‘t look like it’s that high. On more than one occasion, we’ve had to back up quite a bit to avoid potential trouble. We’ve seen some pretty strong currents out there... crossing the roadways. A guy in a semi-truck tried to get through one of these flooded areas the last time this happened, and unfortunately, he perished. He and his truck were washed downstream, into a makeshift lake, by a wall of fast moving water. No doubt, he felt like it wasn’t a big deal when he attempted to get through it. Little did he know he'd lose his life. Since that happened, I don’t take any chances. Better to play it safe. Never underestimate the power of water. It’s potent and can be deadly... no matter how serene, beautiful and calm... it may appear.