Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Day -- Almost My Last Day on Earth, Maybe

What a way to start a new year. Talk about taking stock of your life.....while out in my Civic on a routine errand late this afternoon I almost got creamed by a big black pickup. Just a second more, just a few inches more, and I may have been placed in the same Heaven Orientation session as Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. But I don't want to be overdramatic. Maybe I would have merely sustained gross bodily harm and debilitating injuries. There's no way to know for sure what would have happened if I had driven just a tad more into that intersection.

What I do know is that as I was traveling south on a quiet street that runs behind Walgreens and Pizza Hut, a street where I had the rightofway, a pickup traveling west ran a stop sign and came barreling out of nowhere, blasting through the intersection I was entering. He was going so fast it was clear he hadn't even thought about slowing or stopping. You expect this sort of thing on New Year's Eve. You don't expect that just running out for take-out pizza the next day, a short distance from your house might get you killed. You hear these stories, but don't think such a random, senseless act could bring an end to your magnifico life.

When I saw the pickup what I saw was a sure collision course. I must have slammed on the brakes though I don't remember and I jerked my steering wheel hard to the right. So as my car turned the pickup slithered past me and though I waited for the SLAM at the point of contact, there was none. Miraculously, it seemed, there was no contact at all and the pickup continued on its idiotic, assholish way. As I watched it skitter off, I laid full-force on the horn, glaring, then pulled into a nearby driveway to collect myself. I saw its brake lights come on down the road...but that was the last I saw of it.

I pulled back onto the road and then pulled over again, to collect myself some more, and contemplate what had just happened.

When I got home, I found the pizza had "shifted" to put it mildly. The slices were still in the box but were all willy nilly. I was just grateful that was the only thing that had to be put back together.

This post was going to be about the Yankee Cracklin' Cinnamon candle (pictured above) I've been burning...the nice little sound it makes...and how my New Year's Resolution is to buy more and keep burning them. (I demand so much of myself.)

So I'll be burning the candle in the coming months, with perhaps even a little more reflection, appreciation and gratitude than I had before.     


  1. Last time I was out in Western Kansas, my brother and I got into a conversation about how many times we had each cheated death...or, possibly worse. Mere seconds or inches made the difference between all or nothing. If we live long enough, I believe we all have those stories.
    My concern has always been the number of times that it has happened and I never had a clue. You know...the one's where you notice your shoe is untied and you bend over to tie it just as meteor whistles by where your noggin was. Or you stub your toe on a rock and the rock rolls out in front of the rattlesnake that was just launching a strike, hits him in the mouth and knocks his two front teeth out.
    I've always said that, although I really don't want to go, if it has to happen I hope that my last words are "What th...!"

  2. H.B., what's incredible are those people who don't just cheat death ---they taunt it and dare it to come after them! People who drive race cars, for instance. Death must be standing back watching you with arms crossed scoffing, thinking, "Low-hanging fruit! Dude's making it too easy. I like a little bit of a challenge."

    I can't tell you how many times I've stood up from tying my shoe to a faint whirring about my head, or dislodged a large rock, followed by a curious clatter. Hmmm....miracles abound.

  3. are misinformed about the level of risk involved in driving a race car.
    My car is maintained to "brand new" every time it hits the track, it has a roll cage, crush panels, fire suppression system, I'm wearing a helmet, fireproof underwear head to toe, a three layer fire suit, head and neck restraint system, on the track with other drivers with a minimum required licensing/experience level, on a track with soft walls, sand traps and runoff areas, and most of all...we are all going the SAME DIRECTION!
    It's you poor souls out running errands flirting with disaster in your little runabout, taking a chance on getting smoked by some douche nozzle running stop signs in big ass pickups.
    Be careful out there, cuz.

  4. Nice try. You make it sound nearly as safe as riding in bubble wrap around a track and walls made of fun foam. There is obviously an element of danger and an adrenaline payoff or you'd be bored silly. But you've alerted me to a safety feature I have never contemplated before----fireproof underwear!

    I like the number of accoutrements required to get the risk down below the insanity level: roll cage, crush panels, three layer fire suit, head and neck restraint....all that and you don't even get to leave orbit!...or maybe you do....