Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to pop a quick post on for you who might catch this before you’re all off for your Thanksgiving travel to spend quality time with your favorite folks. Please be safe, stay warm, and enjoy yourselves.

I’m going to offer up this story in hopes that it helps you all be aware as you make your way across the country’s roads this weekend. Monkey and I drove from SC to the Chicago area over the weekend, and we did eventually get here, but we got into a very unpleasant accident in our overnight driving. I had been just snoozing (we switch off every 2-3 hours for driving duty, so I was trying to recharge to take over again at 3am) when Monkey suddenly said, “shit!” and I awoke to a big crashing boom against the car. Disoriented from sleep, I thought we were about to crash headlong into a semi truck that had just stopped short (and that we were seconds from dying), so I freaked and started to scream (I was disoriented from being abruptly awakened, remember). Thankfully, Monkey is one of those keep-his-calm-keep-his-cool kind of people in the middle of stressful situations, so he calmed me down as well as he could (the airbags had all been deployed on the front end of the Murano; it was hard to see over the smoke of the powder tucked into the airbags and hard to breathe as well). What I had thought was the backend of a semi truck was actually our hood (it few open and stayed up), and what we had hit was a very unfortunate stag. We had been in the fast lane, so Monkey had to move us (hood obstructing view) to the right shoulder. The car was basically undriveable (I couldn’t even open my door…the frame had been crushed and wedged my door shut), and we had to sit for several hours without turning on the engine (the radiator had been ruptured) in 21 degree night cold. But Monkey, Casey, and I were all ok. Shaken, but ok.

The deer had really come out of nowhere, so Monkey didn’t even have time to react properly. It was not a case of fatigue, but of timing. That deer and our Murano at that same point in the road at that same point in time. I think Monkey did a hell of a job keeping us in the car as safe as he could’ve, and he is still, five days later, so sorry for the innocent poor deer we’d killed. Its unwitting expression as it crossed into our lane (from who knows where) was what he saw just milliseconds before we made contact, and it’s its innocent, unknowing face that is still haunting Monkey. It’s amazing how long the accident has resonated for us all. For days, when I awoke, I felt dread and fear, like the sleepy remnants of a nightmare when you first awake. Really, it was frightening as hell, but we are so extremely blessed and lucky to have been able to walk away from that accident unscathed. Absolutely unscathed.

We were blessed to have an excellent insurance claim center¹ (they spent about 2 hours on the phone with us and helped us get into contact with anyone and everyone we needed to be in contact with…they even helped make hotel reservations for us at a great place that would accept pooches). Louisville, Kentucky has proven to be a very warm and comforting place (from the cop who came to our aid to the tow driver to the hotel folks to the cabbies and Nissan dealership²) at a time when we could really use the warmth and comfort.

We were not on a country road; we were on a well-traveled interstate highway. It was still pretty active when the accident occurred.

So, I just wanted to tell you to please be careful in your travels this weekend.

We’re here unscathed and happy and warm with Lizzie and her boys (well, Monkey’s at a client site in Des Moines right now, but I am praying for his safe return this weekend and that my folks have a good, safe drive from snowy Indiana), and I am feeling thankful for my family and for being safe and healthy and being able to cozy up in Lizzie’s warm house with some of my most favorite people in the world. I hope you all will do the same this weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving! Take good care of you!

¹Conversely, my crappy Allstate Motor Club people were extremely cold and unhelpful and basically told us we were shit out of luck and there was nothing they could do to help us. Going to cancel that service for sure, after over 10 years membership. Is AAA better?

²Our beloved Murano is badly banged up but fixable. The adjuster estimated we’ve got $11k in damage, and that crack in our windshield was actually from the stag’s antler. Thank God he rolled off the roof and didn’t go through our windshield. We sould be in much, much worse shape if the fates had it in mind that that poor deer would crash through the windshield. I still shudder to think how terribly that night could’ve turned out. I am so thankful for the lives we’ve all been given to keep for longer than this past weekend.