The good news? I found something to blog about this week. The bad news? It involved crashing my car. Sigh.
The weekend started out great.
The weather was absurdly gorgeous on Saturday so I decided to drive out to Elora Gorge for a hike. After a lovely walk I took a different route home and stopped in Guelph for a bite to eat.
And then, cruising down highway 124, listening to a terrible Fefe Dobson song on the radio, I approached the Meadowville Garden Centre. I guess the other car didn’t see me or just didn’t look because the next thing I know a station wagon is pulling out of the Garden Centre directly in front of me.
“You got to be kidding me,” I thought as I slammed on the brakes. I attempted to swerve to the left to get around him but there was no way I was avoiding this.
What followed was a teeth-jarring CRUNCH, an exploded airbag and a shower of Coca-Cola as the fountain drink I had from lunch flew out of the cup holder.
The first thought that went through my head was, “I really hate this song.” So before I put the car in park or check myself for injuries, I turned the radio off.
People from the garden centre rushed over to help me and the couple in the other car out of our vehicles. Besides a few scratches on my arm from the airbag (and being covered in Coke), I escaped unscathed. Luckily the couple in the other car seemed to be okay as well.
Paramedics, fire trucks and cops arrived on the scene and got us all sorted. The staff at Meadowville was very kind and helpful, despite the fact that our accident was blocking access to the Garden Centre on their busiest day of the year.
After I gave my statement to the cop, CAA towed my crippled Corolla back to my house and I called my insurance company. The other driver will be charged so hopefully that will keep things pretty straight-forward.
A couple things struck me about the whole experience. The first is how everything can change in the blink of an eye. I went from having an awesome Saturday to being in a car crash in a split second. Things could have gone a LOT worse and I got away extremely lucky. But still a good reminder of how precarious life can be and a motivation to make the most of the time we’ve got.
As Horace said over two-thousand years ago: “Be smart, drink your wine… seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow.”
The other thing that struck me was how much trust we put in the hands of other people. Whether it’s trusting that the engineers built a bridge properly, trusting that a doctor knows what she’s doing, or trusting that someone will look both ways before driving into traffic, we are at the mercy of others.
I guess that’s just part of being a social animal.
As much as I like to say that I don’t have attachments to material things, I really liked my car and am going to miss it if it can’t be repaired. All good things come to an end though and the important thing is that everyone is okay.
Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is the author of the book “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.