Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Ending

Yesterday morning I was feeling somewhat sad and stressed for reasons I don't need to go into here. I decided on the perfect cure for sadness and stress: go out at lunchtime for a jolly little drive in search of covered bridges. I remembered that there was a covered bridge not very far away from the university, and I thought I had a good chance of finding it. I turned on County Road 200W, wandered past cornfields and copses of trees, and there it was - a covered bridge! I continued curving around past barns and fields of soybeans, hoping I'd now come across the road that would lead back to the university. I reached an intersection that might have been the correct road, but then didn't seem to be. I hesitated at the stop sign, decided against making my turn, kept on going forward through the intersection, and - WHAM! BAM! I lost control of my car and careened into a farmer's fence.

I still didn't know what had happened. Then I saw a huge 18-ton trash truck there right behind me. Had he seen my inexplicable accident and stopped to help? No. He had just hit me and sent my car spinning off the road.

It wasn't his fault. He had tried valiantly to miss me and had almost succeeded. It was clearly my fault, because I was the one with the stop sign, and the person with the stop sign is the person who is supposed to stop. An eye witness to the accident, who lived across the street, came over to me and said, "I saw your car, and I thought, what IS she thinking?" Reasonable question!

So now the happy ending:
1) I am alive.
2) I am completely unhurt.
3) My car is drivable.
4) There is considerable damage to the body of the car, especially to the trunk which now no longer opens or shuts, but State Farm will pay for all of it except my $500 deductible, despite the accident's being 100 percent my fault, because I've been a customer in good standing for so many years.
5) Best of all: the police officer called to the scene did not give me a ticket. He said a state trooper would have given me one, but he was just from the county sheriff's office, and they "don't like to make anybody sad."

Well, probably the best part is being alive. And having the other driver alive (needless to say, his enormous truck sustained nary a scratch). But the sheriff's comment is my favorite part of the story. I went out at lunch to reconnect with the sweet charms of Indiana, and then had this terrible misfortune, and then along came this sweet charming Indiana county sheriff. So this incident isn't an omen that my second year in Indiana is going to be fraught with peril. It's an omen that my second year in Indiana is going to reveal unexpected Indiana marvels.

Moreover, being hit by an 18-ton truck and emerging unscathed turns out to be a highly effective cure for sadness and stress. Whatever I was so sad and stressed about? Right now, it really doesn't seem to matter.


  1. Oh, Claudia. Life can change (or end) in a second, and now you know that from first-hand experience, if you didn't before.

    I love to read about all the amazing and even incredible things you are doing, but maybe--Slow down a little, dearie? Do what you were meant to do, if finances permit?

    Not meant to be a too-personal lecture, just--so thankful you are alive to enjoy life and to write more books. (And maybe to make those kindly sheriffs some cookies?) Sally

    (I don't mean to have my profile be "Anonymous," I just can't quite figure out how not to be, unless I should use Name/URL.)

  2. You always have such a positive outlook on life, Claudia. I'd probably still be shaking like a leaf!