Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?
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Anne's Randomness

The whole story

I've been posting bits and pieces on Facebook and Twitter about what happened to me early Christmas morning (aka why I haven't put up "Simple Gifts" on my Fictionpress when I said I would, or posted much at all for nearly a week), but I thought I should take this opportunity to set the whole thing down in as clear of order as possible.
 
I was driving at highway speeds towards my parents' house at about 3:45 AM on Christmas morning (in, I should add, a borrowed car), when Poppy the cat tried to jump onto my lap. I became distracted by her movement, allowed the car to drift slightly, then overcorrected, sending the car into a skid across the road's two lanes.
 
After I struck the embankment on the left side of the road, I blacked out. Upon waking up, I tried to turn on the four-way flashers, only to discover that they would not work, nor would the doors unlock. The airbags had deployed, the windows were shattered, and my glasses and cell phone were both missing, as were the cats.
 
I could not see very much (3:45 AM, unlit section of highway, no glasses) and was rather cold, since I had taken off my coat because the car's heater worked very well, but I could tell that the car was safely off the road, up against the median. I was also, to my great surprise, mostly uninjured, barring a few minor facial cuts and bruises.
 
After a few minutes of trying to find my phone, with no luck, I decided to climb out the window, grab my coat and bag, and start moving towards the nearest light, both to keep warm with exercise and to try to get some help. I began to walk along the shoulder of the highway. When cars passed me, I would try to flag them down.
 
Three or four cars passed me with no luck, but then one pulled over and put on its flashers. I crossed the highway to knock on their window, and when the lady in the passenger seat asked if I was all right, I said, "no, I just crashed my car". She very kindly let me sit in her seat and warm up while her husband called 911 for me.
 
The police and an ambulance both arrived quickly, since I was only two miles outside a good-sized town (actually the same place I went to college), and the paramedic confirmed that I had probably broken my nose and had a small cut above my eye but did not seem to be otherwise injured. Still, I agreed to go to the hospital to be sure.
 
While I was in the exam nook at the hospital, the policeman who'd gone to the scene of my accident came to interview me, and to tell me that he had seen two sets of cat tracks running away from the scene of the crash, with no evidence that either Poppy or Sesame had been hit by a car. It was the first time that night I remember crying.
 
It was about 5:45 by the time a technician was able to get me a telephone, from which I called my parents and the roommate (who was in Kentucky visiting her family, with our two dogs). I have never heard my father say "Oh God" quite so much in all my life, and would strongly prefer not to hear him say it in those quantities again.
 
My mother made it to the hospital to pick me up at about 7:30 that morning, by which time I had been scanned, examined, and discharged with an official diagnosis of a slightly broken nose and minor facial cuts. After Christmas breakfast and opening of presents, plus much hugging, I slept most of the rest of that day, and that night.
 
The next day, December 26, Mom and I, along with the older of my brothers, went out to deal with the things I'd lost. We made an appointment for me to get my eyes examined later that afternoon, then returned to the town where the car had been towed to have a look at the damage I'd done, and to collect my clothes and items.
 
The tow truck driver said that judging by the damage to the car, I had probably rolled over, possibly up the hill on the median and back down. To my astonishment, he took the time on the side of the road to pick up my presents for my family, which flew out of my trunk on impact. To my further astonishment, every one of them was intact.
 
My cell phone was nowhere to be found, either by examining the interior of the car or by listening for it to ring, so that had to be written off as a loss. More astonishment, though, ensued when my glasses were discovered neatly folded up on the back seat. I simply unfolded them, cleaned off the lenses, and put them back on my face.
 
After returning home and obtaining a new cell phone, I decided to cancel the appointment with the eye doctor in person, since we were very close by the office. I got to chatting with the receptionist and mentioned that my cats had gone missing, and she gave me the name of a Facebook group for lost pets in our area.
 
The posting on this Facebook group netted a sighting of Poppy and Sesame, alive and together, in the same town where I was taken for treatment, late Christmas Day. They have not been seen since, but I have messages out to all the animal shelters in the area. With any luck, they will get hungry enough to let someone catch them soon.
 
So, that's the story of how, about twelve hours after posting a story in which I declared that a halo wouldn't suit me and wings would be a nuisance, I nearly got to find out if I would be a candidate for either. My mother calls my survival a Christmas miracle, and my father is recommending the Honda Accord to everyone he knows.
 
Yes, I was very stupid to let myself get distracted. Yes, if and when we get the cats back, they will be riding in carriers from now on, no matter the level of noise they make (which is why they were riding in the laundry basket in the first place). Yes, I feel properly ashamed of myself for crashing my family's car. Any other questions?

17 Comments to The whole story:

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Anne S on Monday, December 30, 2013 7:09 PM
Truly God was protecting you that night. I'm glad you're all right. I hope your kitties are found safe and sound and returned to you.
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:52 AM
So it would certainly seem! Thanks... just keep praying.


Anna L on Monday, December 30, 2013 7:32 PM
No questions, just very glad that you are ok. Wish I could give you a hug in person, and for now just hoping that you will find the cats
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:52 AM
Cyber-hugs gladly accepted!


Alicia on Monday, December 30, 2013 11:16 PM
That was very well written -- thank you for putting all that down for us. I'm not sure I'd have wanted to talk about it. I'll pray Poppy and Sesame turn up unharmed. I think I sort of know how it feels. While driving at night on the freeway in CA, I very nearly crashed a car with two other people in it -- if there'd been ice on the roads, I certainly would have. Accidents happen. I'm thankful that this time you're all okay. (I wound up bringing my mishap with the car up at Confession. I'm not saying you did anything wrong at all, but I felt a lot better afterwards, so I'll just toss the idea out there.) Oh, and so far everyone I've given Anne books to for Christmas has been very excited and intrigued. :)
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:53 AM
Yeah, it's pretty terrifying. And that's not a bad idea, given that I'm going later today... Yay for intrigued!


Geoffrey on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 3:10 AM
I’m so sorry, Anne. (That’s the sympathy kind, not the guilty kind.) I suppose that kinda ruined the holidays for you. It certainly puts a damper on my own mood. But you’re Anne: you always find something joyful, don’t you?

Still, I can wish it hadn’t happened. That is to say, I’m glad you’re okay. We’ll just keep the halo and wings on a shelf for later, when you’re ready for them. Unless… would you like to borrow some wings for a bit?

So, Anne, what of the good? Is there anything about the holiday you did enjoy?
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:54 AM
Not really ruined (though I could wish my mother hadn't referred to it quite so much as a "Christmas miracle"). I got to be with everybody, at my parents' house instead of in a hospital bed, and I'm back to my usual routine now, minus cats. So things could have been ever so much worse and I'm very grateful that they weren't! Just hoping felines are okay...


Kaylee on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 6:05 AM
*hugs Anne gently* *is glad panther be all right* *hopes kittehs turn up safe and sound, where they can haz cheezburger* :) much love, hufflepuffly hugs, good wishes and prayers from teh kaylee-kitteh-wolf-possiblylynx!
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:55 AM
No cheezburger for Sesame. She is lactose-intolerant. :-)


Jenna on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 11:15 AM
You may not need wings or halo yet, thank God, but someone with both was definitely watching over you! Jesus was making sure you could celebrate his birthday with your family, and he's protecting the kitteh's too. Still praying they come home soon safe and sound.
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:56 AM
I tend to believe so, especially with the number of things in that situation that could have gone SO much worse. My grandmother may also have taken a hand... losing both her and me in a single year would have been very, very bad for my family.


NotACat on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 3:31 PM
If it's wings you're after, maybe I could write you into one of mine? Although how you deal with the accompanying issues is up to you ;-) Glad to hear that you, and Poppy and Sesame of course, escaped major injury: hope that you and they will be reunited as soon as possible!
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:56 AM
Thanks, I'll pass this time (though I'm thinking about it a bit). You can be the dragon -- I'll just be the cat, and hope that my two come home soon!


jua on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 9:12 PM
I am glad you didn't get hurt badly. Hope the cats will return (or be returned) to you soon. Lots of hugs from afar might help a little so *hugs*. I hope your New Years turned out more peaceful.
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Anne on Thursday, January 02, 2014 10:57 AM
Camped out in the living room and watched old seasons of "The Amazing Race" with dogs snuggling up. 'Twas nice.


Adam on Monday, January 20, 2014 7:31 PM
One, you're not a panther, you're a human. That much is obvious. Two, if you're not dead, that probably means you need to make reparations to people you've harmed. I almost died once myself, and I didn't only because I had to apologise to someone I'd hurt. Which I have now done.
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