I had a great early morning on Tuesday. I didn't have to leave for work until 10:30. I got up early, and was flying through my day's to-do list. I just love checking things off my list, and I was drawing a lot of check marks that morning.
At 8 am, I ran out for some errands. I started at my bank, then headed just a few blocks away to pay our rent at a different bank. Pulling out of the drive-through, I waited, and waited, and waited to pull out onto the four lane highway. I guess not all people get to leave for work at 10:30. Finally, all four lanes were clear. I pulled out, and while crossing the two west-bound lanes, I looked towards the east-bound lanes to double check before easing into them. It was an ideal fall morning- crisp, sunny and barely breezy.
Suddenly, an east-bound truck catches my eye. Just feet away from me, he is headed straight for my driver-side door. In a panic, I slam on my brakes and he swerves in front of me. We've avoided a major accident but I know my perfect morning is going to go a little different from here on out. The small impact causes the dreaded sound of metal-scraping-metal.
With other cars driving around our little mess, we agree to move our vehicles into a nearby parking lot and I call the police to come for an accident report. I was shaken up that, although I was not in a hurry, and spent a lot of time waiting for the traffic to clear, I didn't see that truck coming. The police suggest that the beautiful, sunny morning and the strong glare it brought with it might be to blame. I got a ticket.
I called Nathan and suggested that he might be bad for me. I went six and a half years without getting a ticket, and since we've been married, I've had two. Joking aside, we were so grateful that God protected me from what could have been a serious accident.
Calling 9-1-1 to report the accident reminded me of another time I called 9-1-1. I was 16 and had been the proud owner of my shiny new car for a whole week. I dropped my younger sister off at her horse riding lesson and headed out to do an errand of my own. I was driving along the highway, about an hour away from home, when, in an instant, all of the dials on my dash fell to zero. I quickly pulled over while the car was still coasting. Panicked, I knew that I must have bought one of those "lemons" I'd heard about. Something must be seriously malfunctioning on my week-old car. I'd heard about those "lemon-laws", so I'd probably get my money back. But what was I to do now, sitting on the side of the highway with a non-functioning, week-old "lemon"? Well, this was an emergency, and I knew what to do in emergencies- call 9-1-1! The operator answered with the typical "state your emergency" line. I told her that I was driving along the highway, and my car suddenly stopped. I was having an emergency over here! Calmly, she asked me when I last put gas in my car.
Gas? You have to fill up your car with gas??
Of course I knew this, but the whole time I was learning how to drive, I was using my parent's vehicles, and my dad always filled them up with gas. I never even thought to look at the gas level. And when I got my own car, I just hopped in and went. I was mostly concerned with studying the tachometer, because while thoroughly studying my owner's manual, I read that for the first 10,000 miles, you should not exceed a certain marker.
Well, at least I know now. You have to check your gas gauge before you drive. Huh.
It took me three or four years before I could bring myself to tell my parents this story. They just shook their heads. I'm sure they thought they'd covered all the bases, only to find out that they should have told their very blonde daughter to fill her car up with gas occasionally.
Nathan's not sure that I've fully grasped this concept yet. He thinks he's the only one who puts gas in my car. It's somehow always on "E" when he gets in.