January 5, 2008

Did anyone find some Blue Bumper Bits on Highway 40 Yesterday?

On the way home last night, with only an hour left in our 13 hour driving day, we hit a five gallon bucket that rolled onto Highway 40 right in front of our car before we could do anything to avoid it. I was in the backseat entertaining Ezra at the moment we hit it, and it made such a loud and ferocious noise under our car that I thought we'd blown all of our tires and were out of control going 70 MPH. We were towing a fully loaded trailer behind our car at the time. I was sure I was a goner.

The bucket got stuck under our car and ripped the front end of it to shreds. The front bumper is completely gone. All three pieces of it. One of the wheel guards is gone. And a piece underneath the car tore off as well.

We made our way to the side of Highway 40 and tried to asses the damage in the dark- with traffic screaming by us and the glow of Clinton, Oklahoma on the horizon. We wedged ourselves off of the bucket and headed for safer territory: a well-lit McDonald's a mile or so up the road.

As we caught our breath and felt the rush of adrenaline tingling our toes, we ate chicken nuggets and compared notes:

We were all okay.

That was a totally stupid bucket.

Maybe this was for the best.

We hated the low ground effects of those sporty bumpers anyways... they were thrashed and needed to be painted.

Do we call our insurance company?

How high is our deductible?

Maybe a new car is in order.

I don't know... it was really scary and I'm just so glad and grateful to be home safe and sound again.

Another memorable moment of the trip: when we pulled off the side of the road in the middle of Nevada so that Ezra could pee on a bush, and a state trooper pulled up right behind us and asked what we were doing on the side of the road. My husband told him our son was potty training and needed to take care of some business, and the cop put his hands up and backed slowly away from our car while saying "Um, okay.... okay.... that's fine... um, yeah... okay." He looked totally wigged out by the thought of toddler pee. It was so funny.

That's part of the reason why the trip felt so much longer this time. We put a diaper on Ezra, but he refused to pee in it, so we had to make about 1,834,097,826 extra stops along the way so he could stand next to the car in the middle of nowhere and pee in a cup. He wouldn't pee in the bushes, but he would pee in a cup for some reason, so we went with it. That boy pees a lot.

We've spent most of today cleaning up and unpacking and marveling at how much we love our house. We went to get some breakfast at Panera Bread this morning, and all the people there were so incredibly friendly and warm and wonderful that we instantly remembered why we love living here. Even total strangers here in Oklahoma will look you right in the face and smile and let you know that they like your son's hat. They will talk to you and help you and will bend over backwards for you if you need anything at all. It's not like that in Nevada or California- the other two places we've lived. People are cold and aloof and sometimes downright mean in Reno. I felt myself getting calloused towards strangers while we spent the last two months there. All it took was walking into a Panera Bread in Oklahoma this morning to wipe those callouses away again. The people here are AMAZING, and I don't know if those who have grown-up here even realize it, because they are so used to the camaraderie of it all...

Tomorrow is Sunday, which means we get to go to Bridgeway (our church) for the first time in over two months. It feels like a big family reunion to me, and I must go decide what the heck I should wear.

Pressing issues here, people. Pressing issues.


ElizabethSheryl said...

I'm TOTALLY with you on the nevadans being rude. When I moved to Oregon it was a breath of fresh air (literally and figuritively)..people are so nice and willing to lend a hand. I don't think I'd be on the side of the road more than 4 minutes before someone would stop, and probably know how to fix the problem. The ONLY down side to it, as opposed to Las Vegas, is that the huge majority of people have a) lived here there whole lives, or someplace in Oregon b) are Christian--but Bill O'Reilly tells me what to think kind of Christians. B would not be a problem if it weren't for the fact that they don't get that OTHER religions exist. Once I mentioned that I thought it was weird that they charged extra for Chicken Fried Rice at the chinese places around town, and then I connected that it's because Las Vegas has a high number of Jewish people that would take offense to having to pay more and the LOOKS I got..you'd have thought I just said Satan was my best friend and I'm about to officiate a gay marriage ceremony. :p But yeah, not so tolerant where I am (ps all the "hippies" of the area live in Ashland, but it's too expensive to live there)

R-becca said...

I hope you wore the perfect thing to church this morning.

I think a new car is EXACTLY what you need!

ThePneumaProject said...

Glad you guys made it home safe. And glad you taught that bucket a lesson!

Reno is a sadder place today without you 3 in it

Maggie said...

i feel the same way about nashville that you feel about okc. isn't it nice to live in a community? home sweet home!

Candace said...

come on reno.....get with it. what is the deal? I mean why can't we be crazy cool like those other states =). Anyway I guess we'll keep trying to spread the kindness in our sad little city, LOL. I am glad you are all ok, you definitely must get a new car...it is a sign. =)
Well we miss you here in Reno, and hope to talk to you soon.

Britt said...

Wow! I didn't know buckets could be so disastrous. Glad you're ok and glad you made it home.

anna joy said...

oh my gosh that picture right below this of ezra is so dang cute. and wow i love panera bread, so gooooooood. glad you are home, i love that being home feeling, where you can get refreshed and rest your body and your spirit too. that is really scary about the bucket, a similar situation happened to me once when i was 14 or something, my dad driving a billion of my friends in a giant van from a show and no one was wearing seatbelts and i think we hit like 6 anvils piled on the freeway and almost flew off of the bridge we were over. fun stuff. anyways, makes you count your blessings. happy new year, cant wait to see what it holds for you :)

Lindz said...

I too hit a bucket just like that once but it didn't do a thing to my car despite the wrenching noises it made... could be because I drive a 1989 honda? Maybe. Glad you're all ok.

Beth Enniss said...

You inspire me to write.

Miss said...

Thank goodness you are all ok! Its so scary to hit stuff on the freeway, or even be scared by it!

sherrynkb said...

Hi! I've been "secretly" (LoL - I sound like some kinda stalker) reading your blog for a while, I really love the way you write. Hope you don't mind, but I added a link to you in my sidebar.
Keep posting! :D

Six Simms Singing said...

I don't know if you noticed a comment I left for you asking if you could help a stranger around Oklahoma City or if you missed it. That's fine really. Funny, we ended up at your church and had no idea it was where you went. Hahahaha...God is so funny sometimes! I'm a friend of Shawna Herring's here in Georgia. We loved your church. Awesome place! I've been listening to their sermons online since we left and miss the dear ones we met severely.

Just thought I'd share the thought. God bless you!

Lori Simms

dawn224 said...

Oh Interstate 40 ... I've had many adventures on it, but none involving a bucket - glad you are okay!