Most of us are familiar with the saying "when it rains it pours." However, for Northern Michigan purposes I would like to describe my feelings about today this way: "When it snows....it blows."
In other words, it seems as though we are having a month of bad luck, because today Steve got into a really bad car accident. Last night he announced a surprise that we would be going into Canada to do an all day ski at Hiawatha Trail System. However, this morning when we woke up we saw that it looked cold and dreary and windy. But, when Steve got home from his morning run he was still optimistic about us all going. "It won't be that bad in the woods...come on guys, in a few weeks we won't be able to ski anymore!"
Even though we knew he had been planning on spending the whole day skiing with us and we were excited about skiing, for some reason the girls and I didn't want to go. We weren't buying that the weather would improve. Since we are able to view the weather conditions at our house almost every day and tend to notice patterns, we felt confident in our decision to stay home, believing that the wind would only increase as the day went on.
So, Steve packed up his ski gear, and asked one more time if we were sure, (making us feel really guilty), and then headed out the door.
First, he stopped at Soo Fireplace, because he needed to pick-up our repaired glass fireplace door. The week before we left for Florida we were re-stocking the fire when a funny shaped log turned as I placed it into the firebox, and it somehow managed to crack the glass. It was a bit of a fiasco because we had to get the fire put out and toss burning logs into the snow. But, we ordered a new piece of glass and it had finally come in and was ready for us to install so we could stop freezing around here! Steve and I were REALLY excited to get it!
Then, Steve crossed the border into Canada and began the quick drive to the ski trails. About 5 minutes before he got there, at a big intersection, as he was going through a green light, he was struck by a Ford Escape on his right front end. The Ford had blown right through a red light. Steve thinks he was traveling about 30mph and that the other car was probably going 50mph. The impact spun him around and totaled the car. It tore our ski box and roof racks off the top of the car. And, our new fireplace door that he had just picked up was smashed :(
Steve didn't take a ride in the ambulance because he didn't know if our insurance would cover it, but the driver of the other car was taken away on a stretcher. Of course, Steve immediately called me and asked to come pick him up. The girls and I rushed around grabbing bridge toll, birth certificates, blankets etc. and then started the drive in. By this time the wind had really picked up, but I didn't know the roads would be as treacherous as we found them to be. Had I known, I would have left the girls with a neighbor. There were sections of 6 Mile rd. where I couldn't see for 20 seconds at a time, and we were terrified that WE would get into an accident on our way to pick up Steve. (Later on we found out that there were lots of accidents today and many roads were closed for periods of time because of the white-outs and drifting snow).
When we arrived on the corner where the accident occurred we found Steve waiting with a police officer. He was still shaking; partially from adrenaline and partially from being cold. Our ski box was tossed up into the snow bank, and Steve had removed the girls car seats and any other necessities from the car. The car had already been towed away, and the tow truck company would have to come back and pick up our ski box and roof racks. Steve and I thanked the police officer and then drove down to the tow truck company and took a quick gander at our newly deceased car. Then we drove to the States, and Steve went to the E.R., because by this time he was complaining that his chest was really hurting him.
It turns out he is pretty lucky, because chest x-rays show only deep bruising and no broken ribs. He also really bruised his knee when it jammed into the dashboard. I am sure he will wake up even more sore tomorrow, but we are all thankful that he probably won't suffer any long lasting effects from the accident. Let's hope the other driver has a similar outcome.
The car Steve was driving didn't have full insurance coverage on it, but the police officer reassured him that most likely the other driver's insurance will cover the car, and possibly even the belongings that were in it.
So, I don't know if it was our intuition about the weather that saved the girls and I from also experiencing this accident, but we are thankful that we weren't in the car as well. We are also just feeling really sorry for "Daddy." Not only did he not get to ski, but he lost a lot more. He lost his work commuter car, his new fireplace door, and a way to transport our skis :(
Let's hope these "bad winds" we seem to be experiencing this month shift soon and start blowing some better luck our way! Maybe our family is just in need of some good lessons on perspective, patience and thankfulness?
With spring coming up Steve and I were talking about things we are looking forward to doing on the lake... like sailing. So, this week I think I will meditate a bit on these quotes to help us weather these storms of life:
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott
"We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail."
"A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor."
(Autumn took this little snippet of video on our treacherous drive back home)...