Monday, September 16, 2013

We Just Washed It!

Friday was already complicated before the car accident.

I had to get up early to drive Ian to his Army bus for a weekend at Ft McCoy, then come home to feed the kids and walk the dog.  Mona was still feeling light-headed from being sick so I told her she could stay home one more day (but no screens, just books).

I got in a little exercise, cleaned up the kitchen, checked email, then asked Mona if she'd like to go with me to the car wash.  I had told all the kids we would take the small car through the car wash after school and the library and before I had to go teach, but the minivan was still pretty filthy inside and out after all our summer travels, and Mona was looking more like herself, so I thought that might be a fun thing to do.

We drove to the car wash, got all the garbage and treasures (some indistinguishable from one another without Mona's keen eye) out of the minivan, paid a dollar to vacuum it out for five minutes, then did the four dollar wash which Mona found thrilling from the inside of the car.  The interior sides of the windows were still pretty bad, though, so when we got home we parked next to the house and went at them with spray cleaner.  We stepped back when we were done and were pleased with our work.  That was one clean minivan.

I told Mona to go ahead and start washing the insides of the windows of the small car while I put the minivan away.  I pulled ahead a few feet and started to turn the car around in the intersection so I could put it in the garage when BAM.

The thing about car accidents is they happen so astonishingly fast it's hard to even comprehend at the time.  My first thought was simply What?!NOOOooooooooo! mixed with a sense that it couldn't be real.  But after the woman tearing through the intersection clipped off my front bumper she swerved two houses ahead into a parked truck, and that bang and crunch was undeniably real.

Poor Mona watched the whole thing from in front of our house and was understandably freaked out.  Then once she was assured I was okay she asked if she could please please please be the one to tell about it to Aden and Quinn later.

The other person's car was pretty smashed up in front, and her airbag deployed.  Mine was fine except for the bumper, really.  (Although, I think the wheel alignment needs to be checked.)  Her arm was sore.  My heart raced for a bit, but otherwise I was unaffected.

A firetruck arrived.  A police car arrived.  A woman from the firetruck helped detach the last dangling bit of bumper off my minivan.  Mona got me a broom to start sweeping up shattered bits of car from all over the road.  The police officer took down all my information and interviewed neighbors.  I moved my minivan out of the middle of the intersection and then excused myself to go pick up the other kids from school.

We then essentially proceeded with our day as originally planned, taking the small car through the car wash and stopping at the library to pick up our DVD for movie night.  I called my insurance company, and drove the minivan to a collision place two blocks from work so I could get my estimate then just walk to the violin store.  My friend whom I team-teach with gave me a ride home after the lesson.

I feel bad for the woman who ran into me.  People fly through our intersection too fast all the time, but she really got banged up for it.  My car will get fixed someday depending on when my insurance company can get a look at the accident report.  (Those used to be online, and now you have to pay $6 to have them mail it!  What a stupid step backwards.  I'm not sure how long that's going to take.)

So, I'm grateful this weekend that as frustrating and potentially expensive as the whole situation is, it's more or less an inconvenience from our end.  Our lives are going to be a gymnastics-like event of logistics for the foreseeable future, trying to get all the places we need to be simultaneously with just one car, but we will figure it out.  Our lives are still fine.  I really hope that's true for the other person as well.

In the meantime, as Mona excitedly retells the story of the accident to any who will listen, I keep hearing the refrain, "And we just washed it!"  Oh well.  At least I was never less embarrassed leaving our car at a repair place.  The bumper may be gone, but otherwise that minivan was clean.


  1. And this post is why you are a great writer and novelist. That first sentence and the wayto told the entire story showed your brilliance.

    Sorry about the car and just glad you guys and the other driver are okay.

    Mona cracks me up. :)

    1. Aw, thanks Peg. (Mona cracks me up every day.)

  2. Great hook there with the first sentence! I actually gasped. :o) Glad to know everyone is okay, and it really is rather tragic you had just had the van washed and cleaned. I can just hear a dramatic retelling in a girl's voice. :o) Too funny!