2. Run-in with a ditch, pt. 1 - I was driving to my parents' house, from Whitehall, this time. It was dark, and I was driving my brother's 70s Toyota Corolla (his license was suspended, and my car was in the shop). There was a light but steady rain, and I remember that the headlights on the Corolla did not illuminate the landscape very well. I remember feeling an odd sensation while tootling down the country road at 60 mph. It was like the car had lateral rollers underneath the tires. Odd, I thought. Then, I hit a bump or pothole, and my steering wheel spun under my hands. I was hurtling diagonally across the road, the car heedless of the direction the tires were spinning, directly toward a telephone pole. The brakes were ineffective.
|If I'd gotten my gloves, I'd have been right in the|
spot where the car was hit.
3. Run-in with a ditch, pt. 2 - Leaving my parent's house for work in Delaware, Ohio**, I crept across deep fluffy snow, from the house to State Route 605. As I turned north onto the road, I was greeted by a (barely) two-lane path, which had been plowed into the snow. Accumulation had obscured the road, so it was difficult to tell where it was. But I was on it, that wasn't the problem. I'd scarcely gotten half a mile when I felt the wind. There was an open field to the west, and the wind was gusting. My Nissan Pulsar NX weighed approximately as much as a large kitchen appliance. It was no contest. The wind softly and gently pushed my car into the ditch on the east side of the road.
The landing was not violent. It was like landing in a cloud, since the snow had been drifting into the ditch. My car and I were unharmed, but I was stuck. I got out of the car, and trudged to a house a hundred yards to the south of me. I called my Dad, and he said he'd bring a rope to pull me out. I walked back to the car, and desperately wanted to get my gloves out of the hatch. Then, I had something akin to a premonition. I imagined another car, also getting blown off of the road, right on top of my car. Instead of opening the hatch, and getting my gloves, I walked around it, and stood behind a fence post. Seconds later, a Ford Tempo--just as I imagined it--whooshed off of the road, and crashed right on top of my car! Dad was a bit surprised when he got there, to see the Tempo on top of my Pulsar.
4. Nearly fell through sliding glass door - In late 2006, I was newly out of debt. After nearly a decade (almost my entire 30s) climbing out of debt, I was free. So, naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to buy something I'd never been able to afford before. So--after much research--I bought a Maytag Ice20 refrigerator. I got it as a display model from Home Depot, and got a great deal. Since it was a floor model, it was missing a few trim pieces, which I managed to find online. One of those things was a plastic hinge cover for the top. Foolishly, I used a swivel stool to stand upon to put the trim piece in place. After I installed the piece, I started to get down, and the stool swiveled beneath me. The chair flew backward, and so did I. I managed to grab on to the hinge cover, and it--barely--saved me. That I didn't fall still amazes me. Gravity and momentum were working strongly against me. If I hadn't caught myself, I would have gone through the slider glass, likely back first onto broken glass and the door frame and slider tracks. I was home alone for the first of three days. I could've either been severely injured or dead there for all that time before someone would have found me.
And that, dear reader, is my top four. I'm sure there are many more. How about you?
* A coda to that story is very sad. I stayed home from work the next day, since I was in so much pain. I recuperated in Mom & Dad's bed, and was watching the news on their television. On the news was a van in a ditch, clearly on the same road I was on. The back doors were open, rear end in the air. Turns out, the driver of the fan overcompensated after seeing my car in the ditch, and crashed into the opposite ditch. The seeing eye dog the van was carrying scampered out, and was killed by another motorist. The kid the dog was being delivered to had been waiting for months for the dog. I still feel guilty about that.
** Oddly enough, most of my near-death experiences (and car incidents, and run ins with cops) have been either when going to, or coming from my parents' house. You'd think I'd learn.