Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Well folks, don't panic, but we were in a car accident. No one was hurt but we are a bit stunned. The car is beyond redemption. I am doing a lot of sitting and staring at things lately.

We were driving to Quaker Meeting since it was my turn to open the space up and I had the milk for the tea and the “key”. I had felt kind of flu like the day before and had called to ask someone else to do it for me, but by the time this person responded, I was feeling better, so I decided I could do it.

We were leaving the house and I said, “I don't really feel like going today. I wish I could stay home.” and in the car we went. The intersection with the Fire House and Hospital, I said, “Gosh, I really feel like not going today,” and Steve tried to cheer me up by mentioning something about the hike we could go on afterwards if it wasn't raining too hard and we came to the next intersection. It was our green light so we proceeded as we should. Another car, in the opposite direction was stopped and looking around for a safe left turn and as we were in the middle of the intersection, he came on. I said, “He's coming at us!” and Bang.

His car hit the front wheel on the driver's side and Steve's door. We kind of skidded to the other side of the intersection and sat there stunned for a few seconds. I saw that the air bag was out and flattened, but I never saw it inflate it happened so fast. There was smoke and an awful smell. I panicked at the smoke and we tried to get out of the car but Steve's door was stuck. He was starting to scream, he was so upset and I think frightened. I could open my door and I half pulled him out while he climbed out. He just kept screaming and I thought he had hurt himself. He had hit the side of his face on the steering wheel and his right shoulder took a smack somehow. He was so upset that when I pushed him down on the ground, he stayed.

A doctor was driving by at the time and saw him on the ground and she stopped to take a look. I was so thankful and whoever she was, she was a blessing. She checked him out and he was fine except for the smacks. I was so frightened by the smoke, I thought we had a fire, but it turns out the air bags have a powder I them (I didn't watch the Discovery Channel show on air bags) and the powder looks smokey and smells awful once it is popped.

An hour, two police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck, and the other driver's parents later we were driven home by a very kind friend, Alex and her husband Dave. Theirs was the only number I could remember and thankfully they were there and able to help. I am so grateful to all the people who were kind to us, the ambulance people were fabulous and the police officer tried to crack a joke. It didn't work, I cried, but then I laughed because it was funny.

I have been to see Jocylen an osteopathic practitioner, and she is fabulous. There is nothing wrong beyond muscle tension. Steve is going today and his shoulder probably needs some work, but nothing looks to be damaged in a serious way.

I didn't have my camera with me, just the bloody keys and milk and let me tell you, if a person has the keys and milk and they don't show up to Quaker meeting, the people standing outside the locked doors are pretty confused. They sorted it out, but I don't think they ever settled down, according to reports. If you want a cup of tea with milk, I can help out but if you want a picture of the car on a flatbed tow truck, looking sad as it was towed away, I can't help out.

We are now looking at going from voluntary simplicity to involuntary simplicity. We had determined last spring that this intrepid blue car could last us another 2-5 years. It had such low mileage, 130,000 km after 12 years and we had been super careful about maintenance and rust that it's value was in its potential not, its book value. We can't afford to replace the car, we had decided instead to buy new storm windows and get some upgrades inside the house and we bought a fabulous piece of art 6 months ago. I should write about that piece of art, that will cheer me up.

In the meantime, no car. Someone, who's sensitivity is a little bit missing, told us a few hours after the accident, that not having a car is one way to live a simpler life and the challenges could be fun. That might be true, but we were still walking a little cockeyed and would have preferred 3 seconds of “Oh woe is you” time. Good thing we had bought the two bags of 10kg cat litter the day before.

“Cats, there is only half a bag of litter left. Don't poop until we figure out how to carry 20kg of litter”

The journey now begins on how to be without a car. In itself that isn't a big challenge, we already walk 90% of the time. It is the load of groceries on Saturday, the drive to the hike on Sunday, the drive to church on Sunday and the treat of not having to drive to the library on Saturdays if it is raining. Oh yeah and we have to drive to get to our “rustic” camp in the summer. I am currently voting for a two seater vespa so we can get to the everywhere except the camp. Steve thinks this won't work well in January or February. Usually he's the optimist but I win on this one. We can buy really good snow pants or skidoo suits. It's been decades since I last wore a skidoo suit. OK, maybe that's the solution, vespa and skidoo. How Euro-Canadian.

Thank you all for your good wishes and acts of kindness. We love you all.

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