Monday, August 12, 2013

When We Last Heard from Draven...

Nearly a month since my last post!  Where have I been??

We did go on a vacation for a few days for my family's annual vacay to the Chesapeake Bay.  Did some kayaking, explored the bay on a pontoon boat, played mini-golf and shuffleboard with my sibs...even got a bit of healthy color on my otherwise doesn't-tan-only-burns-to-a-crisp skin.

My hubby and I haven't been on our own vacation, just the two of us, for years.  This past weekend, what was going to be an actual weekend getaway for just my hubby and I in Baltimore turned into much more than we bargained for on the infamous I-95.

First, let me start off by making something clear.  I have two things that make me nervous while driving:
1) Tractor trailers
2) Long/high bridges over water

Now the story.

I was driving us in my car on the bridge that crosses the Susquehanna River.  Being nervous on this bridge, I was furthest from the sides as I could be.  It was three lanes, so I was in the center.  We were nearly to the end of the bridge (yay!) when I noticed that the traffic just after the bridge was moving slower, so I began to slow down and put on my flashers, because I also have seen way too many people not paying attention to the speed of the cars in front of them and don't slow down enough to avoid a collision.

Which is exactly what caused the crash.

Just a few seconds after I had put on my blinkers and made sure I was slowing down enough, we both noticed a green jeep-like vehicle just ahead to our left going too fast and close behind the car in front of him, and so he started to slam his brakes.  We were just going by him when he decided he hadn't allowed himself enough time to brake, so he swerved and slammed his car right into us.  I remember having a split second to think, "Omigosh! Where should we pull over?! This will delay us quite a bit...".  But then the guy continued to push us, demolition derby style, until he had slid past and was in front of us in the center lane.  However, when he slammed us, he also pushed us so that we were now sliding directly towards the right lane and the edge of the bridge with the water just beyond.

Peachy, right?

All I remember seeing was the cement divider with the water just beyond and below it out my windshield, and thinking how this couldn't really be happening.  Then the nose of the car was suddenly sliding along the cement divider, and then, we came to a stop.  Silence.

I heard Karl say, "Are you ok?!"  (I learned later from Karl that he was concerned because I wasn't saying anything)

I leaned against the steering wheel and just uttered out something to the effect of, "We stopped!  Thank you, Jesus!".  I was just so glad that we hadn't fallen off the bridge, that it was all my brain was processing in that moment.

That's when I turned around to look at Karl for the first time and saw his window gone, glass all over us, and the not-so-subtle headlight and grill of a truck right next to Karl's head.

"What do you mean 'am I ok'?!  Are you ok?!  You're the one with a truck next to you!"

Both of us hadn't even known a truck had rammed into us until we had stopped (and later when we got out of the car, realized it was a large tractor trailer.  Our brains really were kicking into high gear that day trying to process what we were seeing!).

Karl said he was ok, and then a guy, who we later learned was the trucker, came to Karl's window and leaned in, looking super scared and worried, and asking if we were ok.  We found then that Karl had a few cuts from the glass (and Karl asked for a bandaid, lol), but we assured him we seemed to be alright.

It was only a few seconds that went by from the point the jeep rammed into us to the point we were sent flying into the right lane and into the path of the tractor trailer and then pushed along by the truck for about 50 more feet, but it had seemed longer and felt like it was entirely in slo-mo, just like you see in the movies.  Very surreal.

This is for all you "pics or it didn't happen" peeps:

You can see by the tread how much the poor trucker guy had been braking

Oh, and the jeep-guy?  Yeah, he fled the scene.  The police said there are cameras along the highway that may help them to ID the guy, so here's hoping.  Otherwise, if you see a dark green cherokee-like-jeep with scraped white body paint on its passenger side, get their license number, k?

Thankfully, we had several factors in our favor that made it all a God thing, because what happened to us couldn't have happened more perfectly; we were able to walk away with nothing worse than whiplash.  One factor being the lessened speed everyone was already going so that more people didn't get pulled into the accident.  Also, the trucker was paying attention and had also seen the accident with the jeep, causing him to immediately push his brakes so that by the time we were in his path, he was able to just scoot us along with him for the ride to a stop, versus slam, get the picture.  Truly, we owe him (and he was such a great guy - gave him a hug to thank him for basically saving our lives).  Also, the timing of when the truck hit us was perfect, because it was just when the tip of the car's front bumper was close enough to just scrape the cement border, so we had no frontal impact to knock us around, but instead we were just pushed along the divider, which was not half as jarring.

There are so many scenarios (and believe me, I've played them out in my head since then) and how just the tiniest thing could have made it so much worse, but didn't.  Like I said, there's no way it could have been any more perfect.  Praise God.

I'll be finding out soon if they will pronounce my beloved car totaled or not.  Last they told me, they said it was "borderline".  I'm really hoping they choose to fix it, because I really like that car and put a lot of work into it (it's my project car/baby).  I'll be updating on that.
Edit:  it's totaled.  :(

Soooo, other than vacations and death-defying would-be vacations, I've been very inspired lately and have been busy trying out lots of new recipes, foods, methods, etc.  I'm very excited about some of the new meals that have appeared on our dinner table lately.  As I've mentioned before, my ultimate goal with a meal is that it is not only something safe for me to eat (that part is easy), but that it's something both of us find ourselves devouring because it is so good it makes us not even miss gluten, dairy, and nightshades.

Here's some rough, taken-with-cel-phone teasers for recipes to come:

Lamb Shoulder (ready to go into the oven):

Stir fry/wok experiments:

Asian Chicken & Bok Choy Soup:

Roasted chicken thigh & leg:

I'll be posting at least one of these recipes this week.  Take care till then, guys!  TTFN!

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