I must really be getting old.
I have an appointment to get my eyes checked this morning and I have been up since just past four being restless and thinking about it. It is now just after six and I have already gone through most of my mail and read the headlines and picked around here a bit. It didn’t help that it rained all night and I know that I will have to drive on the wet highway.
Last April I had to go on the same road after the rain. The road is not in great repair and after only about five minutes after I got on it, I hit a water-filled depression and the car hydroplaned and after spinning two times fully around, slid backwards across the highway and flew into a 10 foot ditch. It landed pretty much on all four wheels, with the back end and passenger side receiving the brunt of the damage. I was not hurt, but completely stunned and after sitting a minute to compose myself, I opened the door and had to step out into a foot of wet mud. After all it was April here and raining and the mud is probably what cushioned me from further damage.
I had never had an accident before this and (no lie) it was one week before I was to pay off my Mustang convertible after six years of large payments. It sounds like something out of a movie, but it is the truth. I don’t know why the air bags didn’t deploy, but I hear if they did, the car would be a total loss. I was lucky. I was also fortunate that the car didn’t roll and actually flew in the air and landed on all wheels because if it had slid down the bank and rolled I would have been severely injured because it is a convertible. It took three attempts to pull it out, as the ditch was deep and the side so steep it kept wanting to roll when they were pulling it up. It groaned with protest with each attempt and it was very disturbing to watch. The damages exceeded $7000 and even though I was insured, I still had to pay a substantial portion of it myself. It looks as good as new after the six weeks it took to repair it (they had to wait for parts) and I am fine. But I still consider myself lucky.
I have never driven the same since then. I learned to put the car away in the winter. I couldn’t really afford storage, but I parked it and didn’t drive it AT ALL from November until March or so last year. That car has nine inch wide tires and rear wheel drive and a 300+ hp engine and has no business whatsoever being driven in the hilly areas around here – especially in the wet and snow. Maybe by next year I will be able to purchase a cheap workhorse of a car. But for now I will make due like I did last winter and just plan my trips ahead and depend on friends. It worked last year fine and I am sure it will for this year.
I don’t know why my mind went to all this gloom and doom this morning. Perhaps because the accident happened when the pavement was wet as it is today. I know I will be careful and drive slow but the thought of going still kind of rattles me. I haven’t driven a lot since then, and I know it is a matter of getting back on the horse and overcoming my anxiety. I will just bring some good music and leave early enough to take it slow and try to enjoy the countryside.
Thinking along these lines really makes me feel old. There is something about experience that changes us I think. Good or bad, we are different. I watch my daughter and her friends and I hear stories of some of the things they have done and I think how reckless they are and wonder why sometimes they don’t see it. But then I think back to my own past and when I was growing up and her age, I did some pretty wild things myself. I suppose we all have. We look back on them and kind of chuckle to ourselves and wonder what we were thinking. And again we realize how lucky we are.
Many times people ask how I can keep such a positive attitude every day. In fact, I am surprised at how many do ask, because I don’t even realize many times that I am that positive. I kid about my ‘pink cloud thinking’ sometimes and I do know that I try to look at things on the bright side for the most part, but I don’t think it is anything out of the ordinary. But I suppose sometime it is.
The way I look at it, if it were my ‘time to go’ then the higher powers had a fine opportunity to do so that day in April. I walked away from things without a scratch, as they say. But emotionally, I feel that there must be some reason that I am still here to write and talk to you all every day and do my job. Man has questioned the purpose of his life since the beginning of time. I had not really thought in those terms until the accident. I feel very fortunate that I am still around to be able to teach others and encourage them to do their best and help them reach their own potential. When I hear all the positive things back from my customers, friends and colleagues, I know I am doing things right. If I can help someone see all the good things that are waiting for them to embrace in this world I am successful.
So with those thoughts, I will get on with my day. I am sorry for the strange post, but it is where my thoughts are this morning. I’ll be back to woodworking and painting tomorrow.
Have a wonderful day.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. ~George Bernard Shaw
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"