Sunday, March 19, 2006

A Strange Twist of Fate Part II

There is a bit of a long road leading out of our home that curves and twists just before reaching the main highway. It is a very dangerous intersection that is desperately in need of a traffic light. Leaving for our trip I noticed a city bus pulled over to the side of the road just before this intersection. The angle was a little off and I couldn’t make out if it was stopped in the road, thus blocking my way, or far enough to the side to allow me space.

As I approached, I could see that it was out of the way, and by looking underneath the bus I could see a rather damaged mini van on the other side of the bus. Realizing there must have been an accident, I approached with caution.

Riding past the bus I rubbernecked to see the damage. I wish I hadn’t. Lying just to the side of the road was a rather large person in blue sweatpants and a red t-shirt. Face down and not moving I couldn’t tell whether this person was alive or badly injured. A man and a woman were both standing near by beginning to attend to this person. Seeing that the paramedics were on there way, and knowing there was nothing I could do I drove on feeling sick and bleak towards a rough start to our trip.

Miles down the interstate I saw another accident. This time it was well after the fact, as the police and ambulances had taken care of any injured, leaving only smashed up vehicles to the side.

After our vacation we headed home Saturday evening. Somewhere in northern Alabama I gave my wife the driver’s seat so that I could get a little rest. I normally do most of the driving on our trips, but she is very helpful when I need a break and does some excellent driving.

Around 9:30 in the PM driving on I-65 in southern Tennessee with virtually no traffic about a dog ran straight in front of the car.

My wife jammed the brakes and veered sharply to the left. The anti-lock brakes locked up and we skidded sharply into the left lane, missing the dog.

My initial thoughts were there’s a dog. As the brakes locked I thought we should have just hit the dog.

The car skidded off the road into the medium between the highways. There had been a rain recently and we slid quickly through the muddy grass.

My wife excitedly cursed and called out to me.

I remained rather calm, taking the wheel while I tried to remember if you are supposed to turn into the swerve or against it. At this point I remember thinking that my wife should let her foot off the brake and pump it instead. Yet I knew that if I said anything to her it might cause her to panic even more and cause more harm.

Instead I held the wheel and kept saying that it was going to be ok.

The car fishtailed to the left and then turned 90 degrees facing our end of the interstate. We climbed the embankment and stopped just short of entering the interstate again.

A kind off duty fireman stopped to ensure we were ok. We check out the tires and checked underneath to make sure nothing was leading or broken. We drove the car back onto the interstate and made the rest of the trip a bit shaken, but unscathed.

Thinking back on my reactions I’m kind of proud of myself. I remained very calm. I wasn’t ever worried that we were going to cause serious harm to ourselves. I took the wheel and helped steer, I didn’t shout which would have cause my wife to be more nervous, but calmly spoke to her that it would be ok. The only concern I really had was that we would blow a tire, which would cause us a long delay in our return home.

We’re now home, safe and sound.

27 comments:

Diana said...

Oh my gosh. I'm so glad you guys are ok!!! Way to go for keeping your cool!
And so strange that it was sort of like our fiasco.

Jamison said...

Man, we are all so lucky. We all tend to forget that traveling by car is the most dangerous form of travel... and people are afraid to fly...

Glad yall made it home safe brew, and from Di's comment, I am assuming her and stubbs are home safely! We enjoyed spending time with all of you!

bigsip said...

These last few days with everyone have been awesome!

Glad y'all came through the wreck alright, Brew. God was watching over you.

Reminds me of the blow out we had on the Disney trip...

Scary stuff, man!

mullinz8 said...

When I was teaching Jules how to drive there was one rule, unless it's a cow or a person

KILL THE ANIMAL!!!

mullinz8 said...

As a foot note why didn’t you share this story when you were in town?

What a grisly tale!

Speaking of grisly tales I wish that you have stuck around on Saturday evening because we were swapping a few doozies and I know that you could have added to the mix. I always love a good Brewster story.

What’s everybody doing in three years? I think waiting ten years to see all you nuts is too long.

I’d be up for some sort of mini get together at least every year but I know that type of thing is difficult to coordinate and finance properly.

Remember this driving lesson “KILL THE ANIMAL!!!”

Jamison said...

I try to tell Larissa that too, but, when it happens, our brain reacts whther we want it to or not, expecially sweet women's brains.

I have gripped my steering wheel several times and clenched my butt cheeks together and killed an armadillo (did a number on my front bumper), a rabbit andcountless squirls.

If I know no one is on front of me, behind me, or coming at me, I generally try to avoid them though.

Jamison said...

"kill the animal"... classic Mullins life lesson...

I gotta say, I am with Mullins, Brew... he was in true form, sitting at a table of friends (mostly our wives ironically) telling tales of yore. I was playing with the kids and had to look up often as i was startled by the outburts of laughter emitting from the table, then I would see Mulls with a proud look on his face as if to say "Yeah, I own this table right now".

Mulls, your kids are awesome. Consider bottling up whatever it is you give Isaac before church and consider selling it to church goers with kids everywhere.

bigsip said...

Indeed...it was a great time with all you guys.

Every 2 years sounds good to me.

Like I said, one of us needs to hit it big and get a posh time-share or vacation home in TN or something.

mullinz8 said...

Charlie was just as good with the stories I just wish that everyone could have been in the room together. The wives are a good audience because there are so many stories they haven’t heard, about us all together, especially Di. Think about it, we spent many an evening hanging out and we were witness to many a strange occurrence.

Chuck showed Isaac the video games too early; if he could have stalled we would have had more time, oh well. Yes I promised Isaac we would get one of those gaming platforms, I’ve always wanted one so I can now thank Chuck for showing it to Isaac.

I was thinking of so many stories of later years too. Like when Jamison and I were at Kingston Plantation and we busted in on the close of some technology seminar and pilfered a bunch of swag, ocean kayaking and horribly expensive buffets. Years later stalking Britney Spears, having dinner at that swanky Golf Course. Still we had our own Wednesday night devos for a while. We blew up stuff. Pied Pipers. The hurricane. Driving on to the FU campus I was thinking about the time Corner Stone tried to embarrass me by inviting me on stage with them during chapel, poor saps. The list goes on and on…

We have too much fun when we’re together to not get together more often than we do. I told Jules and now I’ll have to be put to my word that if the next one is in the Smokies we’d help cover a larger cost on the location so we could all try and stay together or at least closer. I hated being in a hotel away from the real visiting and missing post jam smokes but duty called. Plus when you folks who might have little kids go to a place like the smokies there are tons of things to do other than a surprisingly nice little zoo, despite the horny elephants and grumpy monkeys.

Thank you Jamison. I’m very proud of both of my boys. Isaac also got the “on your best behavior” talk before we got out of the car. Plus, I think he liked hanging out with you and Charlie.

I would like to thank you all for being a friend to my boys. There are so many adults who are afraid of being kid friendly and there is no greater waste than missing the smile of a child.

Diana said...

I had such a great time. I can't wait to live in Montgomery. So I think we should plan reunions for March of every even year.
I really enjoyed getting to know all of you I don't get to see much. I just love being around all of you and listening to you all. Charlie and I really miss you all.

bigsip said...

It's really hard to pinpoint my favorite part of the whole gathering. It's probably a tie between C&J's house and our house. Simple, cheap, and fun!

The zoo was a blast, too, though!

Loved frolicking in the park. Wish I could've kept that kite flying, though...

tnmommieof2 said...

what i think is interesting is some
thing we touched on saturday nite

i was there for most of the stuff we were remincsing(sp?) about...
anyway...and i know i'm not a guy
but i feel kinda like one of the
guys...i mean..i was "the girl"!!!

and i count brew as my first official friend that i really got to know at ol' FU...and i was friends with jamison before matt and i started dating...

i guess what i'm trying to say is
i don't ever want to feel like i'm
"butting in" to guy time, but i love you guys like brothers and
have now gotten to know your spouses as well...so i feel even
closer to you all...we had a great
time and can't wait to do it again!

bigsip said...

Hey, sister! Don't ever feel like you're butting in. We were just happy to spend some good time getting to know everyone better. Some of the best times I had were watching other people's kids!

I can see a lot of you and Matt in Isaac and Caleb and Alexandra is like Chuck made over!

I look forward to y'all getting to see our next papoose, too! You can tell there's a lot of love in our family and friendship.

bigsip said...

Just wait till we have little Stubbs, Brews, and Bralys running around!

Diana said...

I second what Jules said. I look up to all of you guys. You guys never make me feel younger or more naive, and I really appreciate how I can go to all of you for different things. You all have a special place in my heart.

You wouldn't think it by how much he blogs, but Charlie loves you guys like brothers. He gets a special twinkle in his eye when we talk about his Faulkner days and he can't wait to be close to everyone.

Diana said...

The last picture didn't work too well. Poo, I really like it. :(

Brewster said...

I think I planned it wrong. Our plan was to do more stuff earlier in the week and taper it off later. You guys didn't really get going until the weekend. Plus I thought we were all set for a play, and that didn't turn out.

Man, I had a good time so don't take that paragraph wrong. And I'm all for getting together more often, though I suspect that will be more and more difficult with more and more children.

Our talk with Dr. Morris and Rampersad went well, so who know we may move down that way someday soon.

And Jules you are so a part of the boys. the thing is we all have extended families anymore. I don't think any of us want to exclude our wives and children. The boys were and are a very important part of my life, but so is my wife and so is everyone elses family. We can all be together.

Jamison said...

Jules, you know I always say, after seeing you again that it dawns on me how you are more of an "old friend" rather than "Matts wife" and this weekend was no different.

Jules was friend when being a friend wasn't cool. I mean heck, can you say "the GIRL!" or "NKOTB watch"? I remember when you tried out for Narnia. Me and the boys were hanging around the auditions, Mullins was there too. I remember we were standing next to the door of the box office. You got up to sing and I am thinking nothing other than "nice girl". Them you started to sing, and I am like "She is hot!" I look at Mullins and his eyes are wide and mouth is open, Stubbs and Brew were doing the same... afterwards we were all talking about how good you sang/hot you looked.

Hey, Larissa and I are looking to take a trip to Asheville NC sometime between early june and late july. Ashevilles folk art and bluegrass scene really gets into swing during that time. I wont lie, it wont be the cheapest trip on earth, but itll be fun. We go whether anyone joins us or not, but I just know Mullins made a friend in the admin staff of the grove park, probably a lady, and he is hording his 'free night' passes...

Diana said...

We'll keep that in the back of our minds, Jamison!

bigsip said...

Thanks for the invite, Jamison. Moneywise, we're out. Babywise, we're out since Rachel will be very pregnant by then.

My bro-in-law might be getting married in Nashville around that time, too, so Weddingwise, I guess we're out.

Sounds like a good time, though! Y'all take lots of pics!

bigsip said...

Di, these seem like old pics of you. Are they high school pics or something?

No offense, just curious.

tnmommieof2 said...

oh and as a total footnote to my
last post..i'm so glad you and
amy are ok brew...not sure why i
totally forgot to mention that....

it was nice to be a "matwich" for
a while this weekend...although i
didn't get charlie to sing my song.

i would love to see you guys in
asheville jamison...i think with
the heads up we might be able to
swing it. i've still got one week
of vacation time..and i know matt's
trip to the "dark continent" is at
the end of july..so he's kind of
conserving his time off...but we will talk about it.

might even see if gran and poppa would be up for watching the boys..
be nice to have some one on one time with my hubby and friends..

mullinz8 said...

Di I said ages ago that you were like a little sister to me and I think the other feel the same way.
I’m glad that I’ve had an opportunity to spend more time with you; your effervescent personality is a delight to be around.

I think of the wives in maybe an odd way. At FU I would have trusted any of those guys with my life. The fact that they (we) have chosen Godly women to build a life with is simply an extension of our original friendship, new branches of an old tree.

Jules (wife) please don’t think of our time as butting in because it’s not. Sometimes guys like to hang out with just guys no matter the history. That’s what made the CafĂ© work. We had our social with girls and everyone else time and then we could kick back at the end of the day and be just us without the social facade. We’re not any different but we like “guy time.” It was rare but there were nights we’d lock the door because we just wanted to hang our by ourselves.

One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was at C&J’s kitchen table because Larissa and Di were there to add to the mix and we were all able to share stories. Again I wish the Brew’s had been there. The tie for second was at the Sipper household. Again we were there to just visit. I also love playing some music with Jamison.

mullinz8 said...

On the subject of our next visit I would like to have it noted that having a small child is not a viable option to NOT travel. Isaac was around one when we all went to the Smokies and Caleb is just shy of being two for the last trip. When Isaac was three plus we took him to Destin and the Sippers have traveled with Luke to at least Disney.
Babies will not be an excuse.

Jamison, as Jules mentioned I’m heading to Africa on July 23rd so the weekend of the 15th and 16th will be an at home weekend, anything prior to that and I’m game!

The guy I knew at Grove Park has taken a position at some posh FL golf resort. We’ll try and squirrel away some extra cash because I’d love a trip to at least the GPI spa if not the whole place.

I would recommend it to everyone else too, this place is wonderful. I know that Chuck digs it and the Braly’s are hip, ya’ll need to come into the fold.

bigsip said...

T'would be nice.

Unfortunately, we're about to be TKOIs (Two Kids One Income) and our financial options for trips are finite.

But, again, y'all have fun! Blog it and tell us the goodies.

Perhaps one day, when the kids are in school and Rachel is working outside the home again, we can do more traveling/vacationing. For now, though, we're glad to make the sacrifice.

Diana said...

>>your effervescent personality is a delight to be around.

Aw shucks. I got a little teary eyed at that. Thanks! You are all very special to me. I connect with you in a speial way, Mullins. And I'm not just talking about the eyeful you got at C&J's.

I'm all about going to my old stomping groups of Asheville! I think Charlie and I can swing it, depending on the dates. We were talking about going to Tennessee in Junish anyway. Keep us posted!

The pic I'm using now was taken at the Come Blow Your Horn cast party. The other one was at the Shakespear part, it's a lot neater looking in it's entirty, though. And I'm not offended, Sip! :)

Jamison said...

FYI, we will have to go to Asheville in May... Larissa's dad's 50th bday is in June and to celebrate he wants to go Marlin fishing in florida...