When normal stops…
Last Wednesday, January 20, 2016, Knoxville experienced the first real snow of the season. The prospect of snowfall still brings excitement to the childlike part of me. The white blanket that shrouds everything, the quiet, the glory of winter’s beauty fills my heart with wonder.
As an adult, however, my excitement is tempered by the fact that, snow or not, I still have to get to work. Most of us do. It is a reality I have dealt with for a long time working in the media. Our world doesn’t stop for snow or for anything else.
I have also long prided myself on being a careful, and fairly competent, snow driver, preaching the principles of safe speeds, proper following distances and plenty of extra time to get where we need to go. I still believe in all those principles. Being careful is just common sense.
But despite my best efforts, last Wednesday, I wrecked my beloved DivaMobile anyway.
It seemed to happen both in accelerated time and in slow motion, all at once. I was driving through downtown. The interstate did not look like it had been treated with either sand or brine, and lane lines were not clearly visible. A small pickup truck veered in front of me, too close for my comfort, and in trying to avoid crashing into it, I applied my brakes, slid, spun several times and crashed into a guardrail. I came to rest on an interstate on-ramp facing the wrong direction. Had the guardrail not been there to stop me, I would have most likely gone down an embankment and landed on 5th Avenue.
I am OK, physically. A few scratches, bumps and bruises, but I’m OK. And by some miracle, in all this madness, no other vehicles were involved. I didn’t hit anybody, and nobody hit me, and I never lost consciousness. After I realized what had actually happened, I found my phone, called 911, then called work and Jeff to tell them I’d had an accident.
Here’s the thing. Seeing the damage that happened to my car, I realized once more just how fragile life is, how quickly an event can change everything. I took the day of the wreck and the day after off from work, and on Friday I returned. In more snow. And yes, I drove myself, although I had to drive the SweetPeaMobile. Was I scared? Absolutely. Will I be scared for a while? Most likely. But for all the fragility of life and how scary things can be, I can’t let fear keep me from doing what I need to do. I’ll just have to do it afraid for a while, praying and trusting God to protect me and those I love, being as safe as I know how to be and getting on with the business of living and working, finding a new car to try to replace my beloved DivaMobile and looking forward to feeling, eventually, a little less Fragile.