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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Barge Capsizes

We had a little excitement Tuesday evening. But I'll let Daughter Dearest tell you about it. In her own words, with no editorializing…

Rolled PathfinderWell, I was told to write a guest blog, about the car I probably totaled... So yup. I’m DD. Sometimes I leave sarcastic comments on Father Dearest’s blogs. You might have seen some of them. Anyways, from my point of view, I thank God that I’m alive, as well as the well-being of my passengers in the crashed SUV (also known as ‘the barge’) that were with me.

Well, it’s 12:25 AM, and I’m writing this on my computer so that I can transfer it to Father Dearest’s computer sometime today. I can’t sleep, as I keep seeing the horrifying images of the car crash in my head.

So I suppose I’ll start off by telling it from the beginning. We’ll call passenger 1 “Light Bulb” as he seems to need a couple screwed in. We’ll call passenger 2 ‘FTC’ as that’s the acronym we’ve come up with to describe what girls are like when it comes to him.

Monday, I had to take a trip to the dentist because I thought I had a cavity on one of my molars. Afterwards, Mom and I went to eat breakfast, upon finding out I did NOT have a cavity (yay!) and then we went to pick up Light Bulb to help us work on the dreaded “7th layer of hell” as FTC likes to call it. (Also known as the chicken houses for you slow middle-aged folks ;) just kidding. ) So, after we pick Light Bulb up, we return home to change into more suitable clothes for the chicken houses. Mom had mentioned something about going to the cannery to help Maw-Maw (grandma) can some vegetables and make applesauce.

We drove down to the grandparent’s and Maw-Maw is about to go to the cannery, so Mom tells me to go with Maw-maw, and Light Bulb can help her with the chickens. In between the process of home to grandparents, I set my cell phone on my very cluttered, in-between-cleaning-and-moving bed, so it wasn’t with me the entire day. (I will reference to this later.) So, Maw-Maw and I go to the cannery to get our stuff done. We arrive at our destination at 12:30 PM or so, and The Big Man (one who runs the cannery) isn’t supposed to be there until about 1:00 PM.

Long story short, Light Bulb and Mom show up, and we finally get everything done around 8:00 PM. We all go to eat at our favorite place in the world (we being mine) and I don’t get home until around 9:00 PM. At this point, I figure I have maybe 2 missed calls on my phone that’s on my bed, so I run upstairs to get it.

I had 7 missed calls and 3 voicemails, which was pretty much shocking, as I never have so many calls or voicemails. 6 of the calls were from FTC and 1 was from Father Dearest. The basic messages were as follows:

VM 1: FTC: Hey, I just wanted to know if you wanted to go psssshmming. Call me back.

VM 2: Father Dearest: Hey, where is everybody?

VM 3: FTC: Hey... are you okay? You haven’t answered your phone all day... Please call me when you get this...

Well, I did call him back, and he had said he had been worried that I was in a car accident or something (ironic, no?) and couldn’t get to my phone, or that I was really really busy, which I was. He also said he wanted to know if I wanted to go swimming earlier in the day. This, of course, was sprung off of me chewing him out because he hadn’t called me or sent me an e-mail just to say “hi.” for a week, and I was kind of upset as I was under the impression that best friends usually checked in every couple of days or so, like we had been for the past several months. This is the basic conversation:

“Do you want to go swimming tomorrow?” FTC asked me.

“Um, I’m not sure. I’ll check with Mom to see if it’s okay.” -Me

“Okay. I have to work but maybe we can go afterwards.” -FTC.

“All right, I’ll call you when I know that it’s okay.” -Me.

So Tuesday morning, I asked Mom if we could go swimming, and she said sure.

That afternoon, she gave me $20.00 to put gas in the barge, and that we could take it because my car is in the shop. I found $5.00 in my pocket, and contributed to the gas, which filled it up to about half a tank. It took a while for FTC to call me that afternoon, and I figured he’d be too tired, but ‘lo and behold around 3:30 he called me.

So, Light Bulb and I were off to swim with FTC. We went swimming, and while we were there I had to call mom to see what time we needed to be home. We decided around 6:00, which was perfectly fine with me. I told the boys, they complained, and they took a while to get out of the water and to the car. After that ordeal we had to stop by FTC’s house so he could get some dry clothes. It was 6:00 when we left his house, and I checked my phone as I was waiting for them to get in the car.

Mom left a message saying we needed to meet Father Dearest at the AT&T store, so I told them to hurry up and get in the car. We started off down the dirt road, and everything was fine until we turned onto the second dirt road. I was going about 20-25 miles an hour when we reached the curves in the road, and I hit a bad rut that gets in the curves from the stupidity of the teenagers who drive too fast around them.

Upon hitting this rut, the Pathfinder started to fishtail, off of the said path I wanted it to find, but I controlled it until my foot slipped off of the brake and hit the gas pedal, in which the speed was probably 30 mph at that point and we hit the embankment really, really... REALLY hard. I saw it coming, so I was the one who tensed up really bad, and all I could think was “OH SH**, OH MY GOD HELP US PLEASE* at the same time. I thought maybe after the impact of the bank, we would stop, but it seemed like it lasted forever because it DIDN’T stop. Once we hit the embankment, the car had done a complete 180 and decided to topple over on my side of the car. That was an *OH DOUBLE SH** moment, and then I thought *God I hope everyone will be okay*. But I heard the words “It’s going to be okay,” in my ear as God spoke to me, keeping me from going completely insane. After a few seconds, of finally realizing what had happened, and my eyes adjusting to the sudden dark and disorienting situation, I looked over towards Light Bulb and said “Is everyone okay?”

My heart stopped pounding so hard when I heard both of them say “Yeah..” in the way that we were all in shock and pain. Prior to asking, I had looked up, and the sunroof fell out just as I had done so. My thought was “Oh, that’s nice. Guess that’s how we’ll get out.”

I unbuckled my seat belt, I think.. I don’t remember... but then I crawled out through the sunroof. (Did you know it’s very disorienting sitting in a car that’s turned on it’s side?)

When we all escaped from the Pathfinder, which was now toppled over on the driver’s side I started looking for my phone, because it had been between my legs when I had driven, so I could feel it ring if I need to answer it. I realized my phone was in my hand a few minutes later when I actually looked down at it, and the ghost white knuckles surrounding it. It was then that I started crying, both in relief and despair as thousands of thoughts went through my mind:

“Oh God, Mom’s work car.”

“Oh God, the insurance.”

“Oh God, what if I get a ticket, although I didn’t do anything wrong?”

“Oh God, what if they’re more hurt than they look?”

“Oh God, what’s going to happen?”

I was shaking so hard, I didn’t believe I would be able to hold myself up. It was at this point, that I fell on the ground just out of the edge of the glass all over the dirt road, and just cried. FTC called his mom and told her to come because he knew she would want to anyway since she was only minutes away. I looked at my phone and I was going to call my mom, but FTC pried the phone out of my hand and said I was incapable of calling my mom in relation to the condition I was in, which was correct.

However, he didn’t handle the conversation with my mom like I wanted to handle it:

“Hello? Okay um... Don’t panic, everyone is okay. [DD] rolled the car, but everyone is okay. Umm.. Uh... we’re on... uh.. [Such and such] road. Yeah, not far from my house.”

And then I quit listening, because I knew mom was on her way. I didn’t really know what Light Bulb was doing. I think he was thinking about calling his mom and dad. I didn’t worry about him while I was on the ground, just so he didn’t step in the glass.

FTC’s mom got there just a few minutes after he had called her, and Light Bulb was walking around without his shoes on the gravel in which we told him to be still because he was going to step on some glass or something. It was when I saw FTC’s mom that I realized I couldn’t really see. Everything was blurry. In the crash my glasses had flown off and were in the unknown rubble of the toppled Barge, or so I thought.

I got up from the ground and looked at my hand as a small twinge of pain caught my attention. A small piece of glass had punctured my hand and it was bleeding slightly fluidly. The glass had fallen out and I wiped some of the blood off. FTC saw it and wiped the rest of it off on his shirt, which was sweet. Yes, he may be air-headed, but he’s sweet too. He hugged me after I got up and cried and kept telling me everything would be okay.

I believed him, I just was so shocked, and my chest had started to hurt at that point. Finally, Mom and Maw-Maw came around the next curve and stopped. Mom got out and hugged me and I cried some more. She told me to go sit down in the van, so I did. I was very distraught as the full fledge of reality hit me as I looked at the car while everyone picked up the random farm utensils that were inside and now on the ground and still were inside. FTC found my glasses, which were behind the rear wheel, folded and unbelievably unscathed. YAY! I could see again! Not that that was a good thing...

FTC, Light Bulb, and I were very very lucky we weren’t hit by those things in the back of the barge and that we left with only minor cuts and bruises, which I still seem to find other random ones every day.

There was Barbed wire, nails, hammers, staples, huge tool boxes, hard plastic pipes, screens, and a bunch of other farm-related equipment in the back of her Pathfinder. I believe Mom as she told us today our guardian angels were all over that car. I think mine had to work super hard to keep my arm from being broken, as my window was down and my arm could have gotten caught under it, as well as I could have hit the steering wheel, and everything else (other people) that could have fallen on top of me.

Several people tried to come around the curves, but we stopped them and made them turn around as they stared in awe at the broken glass and toppled car. I think it was more awe as they found that everyone was okay. It looked pretty bad.

Mom had called Father Dearest and told him to just come on home, that something had come up and we couldn’t make it. After she saw me, and that I was okay, she called him back and told him to come to [SAS (so-and-so)] road. Mom said Father Dearest had said “Is she hurt?” so he had jumped to the right conclusion.

While this was going on, Light Bulb got in touch with his mother and father, and said that he was all right, but his dad was on his way to the accident scene anyway. When he got there, I honestly thought he would have yelled at me or something, but he was okay once he found out everyone was okay, and he kept checking on me to make sure I could breathe deep because my chest was bothering me.

Finally, the policeman got there. He was very nice, and didn’t treat me disrespectfully like some cops do treat teenagers. He asked FTC and I what happened but not Light Bulb. I supposed that was because Light Bulb seemed rather disoriented still. Our stories were the same, so there wasn’t any further investigation. Within the time that the police got there and had gotten our statements, Mom had called a towing truck.

The policeman went around to the back of his car and pulled out a black box, in which my heart almost stopped, as I thought I might be in huge trouble and be handcuffed (I thought they might be in the box), but he pulled out a camera to take pictures. As it turned out, the road wasn’t graded properly, which also contributed to my monstrous crash.

While the policeman was taking pictures, I asked Father Dearest if this crashed topped “The Boy”’s other ... six?

“Well, The Boy has always managed to keep all four feet on the ground, so this one is by far the most spectacular.”

I smiled, and finally got the nerves away enough to laugh at something someone had said while we were waiting for the tow-truck to get there. Afterwards I thought about looking for my iPod, and mentioned it to Father Dearest as most things had fallen out of my purse and on top of me. We (FTC, Light Bulb, and I) were going to take a picture in front of the car, which would have shown you the underside of the beast with us in front of it, but mom disagreed to it, saying “This is not something to be proud of.” I looked around at the other people’s faces and saw them trying not to laugh at the situation. I, on the other hand, thought it was very acceptable to be proud of having survived hell.

When the tow-truck got there, we waited to watch the car be turned over before we went home. The guy hooked up the cable to the car and started to turn it over, but it started to slide. I had forgot to mention that, the car was still running when we each emerged from it, and I had to turn it off. I didn’t put the emergency brake on, or put it in park as it was the absolutely LAST thing on my mind that was reasonable enough to do, besides turn off the car. So Mom suggested that we put the E-brake on. The tow-guy said that was a good idea, and after a few cracks and pops and a little persuasion, the car was on all four feets again. (Yes, I said feets, deal with it.)

By this point, I was exhausted, as the adrenaline was starting to drain, and the pain in my body became more apparent. Maw-Maw took me home while Mom and Father Dearest took the car to the repair man. It was amazing, I thought, that of all the things that DIDN’T fall out of my purse, were my keys. I thought maybe they had also been lost in the rubble of the vehicle.

Before Maw-Maw took me home, she asked me if I wanted to drive.

“Are you kidding me?” I really thought she was.

“No, the best thing you can do is get back behind the wheel so you aren’t too scared to drive again.” What she said made sense, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get behind MY car wheel and have no problem. SUV’s however... well... That’s a different story.

When I got home, I don’t remember putting the keys in my jeans pocket. I waited for everyone else to get there, and after the boys (FTC and Light Bulb) got there, I went upstairs to vacuum, which I was in the process of getting ready for when FTC called to go swimming. I didn’t want to be still, and I knew I’d just be sore the next day, so why not do it now when I wasn’t terribly sore? I knew my chest hurt, but it hurt a lot worse on Wednesday.

Now, I’m hoping I’m tired enough to get some sleep. Maybe the images won’t be so bad, and I won’t start shaking like I did before I came downstairs to get my mind off of the accident. I’m also completely sore, and I have a huge bruise on my chest from the seat belt. I would rather have gained a bruise than lost a life though.

I can say it was an experience that changed slightly how I look about life. I already know that life is precious, and I wouldn’t stand a chance if God wasn’t here watching over me and the two passengers that were in the barge with me. Oh, by the way, it’s 2:28 AM. So, hope you enjoyed! It was quite the adventure for me, and everyone else.


  1. Wow, glad you're okay, and I'm sure your Dad was too!! I didn't have time to read the whole story (a bit long) but I got the gist of it. Welcome to the family!! You are now offically inducted into the "Brothers Bad Crash Club". :)

  2. Lol, thanks Solar. Except for the exception that I'm slightly ... or a little more so... female. It was certainly an experience I am NOT inclined to experience again.

  3. DD, you may be more than slightly female, but you *know* you're "one of the guys" in the ways that count!

  4. YIKES!!

    This was way more than I imagined when FarF said "totalled" - I guess I missed the part about "turned over on its side".

    Glad everyone's okay.

  5. I would have like to have seen the picture of you three in front of the capsized barge! Truly a proof that God is still on the throne! I praise Him that all is well. Next time take the curves easier, never go faster than what your angels can fly! I'm sure those angels are upstairs repairing their lost feathers they needed to shed to keep you three safe! Luv YA Muches! Red Red Robin

  6. I'm glad that you're okay! That is one scary photo but not as scary as the description.

  7. Daughter Dearest! Glad you, dim light bulb and FTC, made it! However, according to the pic, I can't see the curve you're talking about..Driving a bit to fast eh?

    My wife, Mrs Yooper, slipped on a patch of ice last winter hit the snowbank and put her van on it's side (yup, driving to fast for conditions..so to speak). Anyway, it was a good thing someone was right behind her to help her out and to turn the motor off. Whew! With just over 100,000 miles on the vehicle and only two payments to be made until it was paid off, having it totaled was the last thing I wanted!!!

    If the airbags did not go off AND the motor was shut off promptly, then you should be ok... However if either one did happen, you're probably looking at a total...

    Thanks, yooper

  8. Hey all!

    Maria, I don't know how detailed I got before this post. I probably should have edited DD a little, but I know what it's like to have something you've worked on for hours shredded to pieces. I figured I'd go easy on her for the first attempt.

    Robin, welcome to the free-range insane asylum! I have the pic in question; it's a little blurry, but if you really want it send me an email.

    B2, I'm glad she's OK too. We took her to college yesterday, and I'd have hated for her to go in a cast. Or not at all.

  9. Wow! Glad to read that you're okay after that!

  10. Hi everybody! DD here. Yooper, I wasn't really driving that fast at all. 20-25 MPH, but I hit the rut just the right way. And the car's airbags did not go off, and I did have to turn the car off. And the curve is actually the way the car is facing, so, I was going the other way. The car did a 180. College is okay so far, minus the fact that I just got drenched because I forgot my umbrella. Oh well. I'll hit the shower and warm up a bit.

    Father dearest, of course I *know* I'm "one of the guys".

  11. Oh no, not the barge...I can't tell you how many times ive ridden it to the seventh level with you guys.I'm glad your all ok though


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