Friday, January 8, 2016

Tuesday Morning Part 1

Tuesday morning was a typical second day back from break for all of us. There was more enthusiasm than typical and I had to leave early to get to a meeting and the family was getting ready for dad to drop L off at school, a treat she totally loves. Things were going smoothly, there was a giant cup of water spilled all over clean clothes right as I was leaving but non the less crisis averted. I checked the weather and I checked it again it was going to be windy, but most days are windy on the plains. I listened to the radio no road condition warnings. My kiddo said, mommy I miss you and I hugged her and said I will be home tonight honey. Then I seriously thought to myself that is dumb to say what if I don't make it home, shrugged it off and was on my way.  It was still pretty dark out, I made my way to the gas station and filled up. I was running 8 minutes late but figured I would either make up time because it never takes as long as the app says or big deal I am ten minutes late. The roads in town were wet but not too slick. I eased on to the high way and slowly felt out the roads. It was smooth sailing and we (me and my fellow drivers) were traveling at speed.

As I passed into my last county on that highway, county signs and grain elevators are my new land marks, the snow had started to blow on to the high way. (I was singing along with my new CD from Christmas about wanting to be closer to Jesus, in a blues souly sort of way.) It had been really windy and the car was getting blown around a lot which meant I had already slowed down. The snow blowing across the highway is actually pretty it makes beautiful little swirls. The wind, the snow, I knew I couldn't drive at speed anymore. I drove past a bunch of slower moving cars and thought hmmm that was a lot of slow cars I better cool it. It helps that my car does not like to go fast. The wind was picking up and visibility was reducing. I decided that maybe I should slow even more. Now I have to tell you I have been warned about the blowing snow and how dangerous it was. I had no idea that this meant crazy ice patches you can't see, I thought dangerous blowing snow meant that there was limited visibility making blizzard like conditions out of the already fallen snow. I noticed a lot of wobble under the over pass. Then out of now where it happened, the wind blew and the car gave this strange wobble I corrected and was back in my lane for a split second before I was in a full on spin, I was in the other lane, I was scared, I was peeing my pants (literally), I was slamming on the brakes as I tried to at least slow down the impact (I know better, don't hit the brakes when you start to slide it gets worse). And I knew, I would hit the ditch, and I knew it was steep enough that I was going to roll. I closed my eyes. Crunch of the metal coming down around my head, crunch of the snow outside, crunch of the windshield shattering. Thud. I am laying on my drivers door and I am stuck. The snow is coming in the now bent door and I reach up to turn the heat up because I am stuck and realize no I need to turn the car off. So I turn it off, and I am trying hard not to panic. It isn't working. So I throw things off of me, maps, a snow brush, a floor mat. I start beeping the horn, why isn't anyone there. I am in a full on panic I am stuck, I may be stuck for hours. My head is pinned between the door and the roof which has collapsed all around it. My left leg is bent almost to my chest and stuck between the door and the steering wheel. I CANNOT GET OUT! I start saying oh God oh God oh God. My limbs are ok. HELP ME! I can move my feet and my hands. HELP ME! I see CDs and a bumper sticker littering the window next to me. BREATHE BREATHE you have to BREATHE you cannot panic. I was able to get my head out of it's confinement. Ok I am Ok. The angel appeared them in the form of a snow plow driver who was ready to see what ever mess I was inside that car. He opened the now top door, passenger door with so much authority and I think was relieved to see I wasn't a bloody pulp. I told him I was ok but stuck.

Just the mere presence of another human being at this point calmed me down. I was able to get my leg out and then eventually stand up. He wanted me out of the car ASAP. He calmly kept encouraging me and I was terrified to try to get out and thinking dude I am a big girl you won't be able to pull me out. So he asked me for something hard to brace the door, and I grabbed my daughter's booster seat. IT IS PINNED BETWEEN THE ROOF AND THE DOOR AND THE SEAT. I WILL NOT LOOSE MY SHIT I WILL NOT LOOSE MY SHIT AS I THINK ABOUT HOW MY DAUGHTER WOULD BE DEAD. SEAT YOU ARE MINE! Yank and it is free. He gets the door secured and I say I have to call my husband. I look at my feet and I say if my sun glasses are there and this is there and that is there then my phone must be... here and I put my hand on it. I cannot tell you how I did that it defies all logic. I stand there in the car wondering why I am all wet, duh I peed myself, and I call my husband because he is not far behind me on the road and A. he does not know the roads are shit when you cross the county line and B. He is car guy even if he sees the undercarriage first he will know it's me in this ditch and he will crash because he panics first and then reacts. We cannot both be in the ditch. I put the phone in my pocket with my keys. And started figuring out how to get out.

I climbed the dented roof, the steering wheel and reclined the passenger seat so I could get out. I made it to the top of the car and I had to jump down. Mind you all this time I am injured and I don't realize it because of adrenaline. In another rash of irrational thought I am not worried that my knee is going to twist when I make the jump. So I get back wards and steady myself on the ledge for longer than I needed to. I have the bruises on my knees to prove it. And finally I jump down the driver pulls me toward him so I clear the roof . I am out. I am not trapped. I am freezing and covered in pee in a ditch, my car is totaled, and I feel like WONDER WOMAN.

I am alive and I am grateful.

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