The events that you are about to read are TRUE.... and happened over the course of a few days, however the bulk of them happened within a couple of hours... It was truly a series of unfortunate events..... or just another day in my life as crazy and random as it can be at times.
Jan 29 - We are out for dinner celebrating Shanna's 13th birthday (Yes that makes 3 teens in the house - but that is a post for another time and space) as is the birthday tradition in our home. The birthday girl gets to pick where we go (within reason) Pizza Hut it was this night. We had a great time, lots of laughs and fairly good food. Then we go to leave, we slide open the door of the van and we hear this clink, clink sound... something hit the ground..
Teryn says, Oh that might have been a pen that has been rolling around back here. Quite plausible, seeings as when the van got cleaned out one time there were 23 pens of various sorts rolling around. No wonder there is never one by the phone when I need one. Sidetrack aside... back to the clink clink... not a pen, but a nut like looking piece of metal from the van door.... OH OH....
The van door will not latch, meaning that it will not close. Did I mention that it is dark, and we did not have the foresight to park by the light in the parking lot that would shine on that side of the car. Trying to figure out where the "nut like thing" fit on the door was going to be a challenge. Thankfully we have 2 door entry on the van and there was light shining on the other side and my dear husband was able to figure it out - and insert the errant object and managed to get the door to close and lock. However it is in that position permanently, or at least until we find the $$$$ to get it fixed it will look like this...
Fast forward to Sunday.... Royd had been away on the island visiting a friend and I was headed to pick him up at the ferry terminal. It was late, it was dark, and it was snotting out (raining and snowing at the same time) plain miserable night. Visibility was a challenge at best! I am driving along and change lanes at the terminal to go into the pick up / drop off zone and hear this very very loud BANG! Then the tell tail sound of a flat.... pffts, ssss, pffst... Shoot! I had no idea what I hit, but I knew I did a good job of it. (figured out later on the way up the hill, that there is a low curb between lanes - I must have hit that!) No where to pull over until the parking lot at the terminal, over a block down the road. So there I was, riding on the rim, KNOWING that the tire was flat, if not total obliterated, knowing that the longer I drove the higher the possibility of greater damage. Thinking about the van door & the cost of that looming over our head. Praying that this would not add to that too too much! I managed to pull into the pick up area, this time I DID park by the best light available thinking ahead to the job at hand. Oh, so not the way to say welcome home dear.
Now I am not a slouch when it comes to knowing how to change a tire, it has happened before and I managed fine, but remember that I am at this point 3 weeks post surgery, not supposed to exercises or lift anything too heavy. So I sit and wait for the ferry to come in, I did manage to pull out the jack, tire iron and un hook (not remove) the spare and "set things up" for Royd.
I walked to meet him at the terminal and said ...
"I am really glad you are home"
His response, "oh do you need gas in the van" Funny funny guy - or either that He knows me well. The later is certainly true - I hate putting fuel in the van, the smell of gas gags me!
"ah no the gas is fine.... but, well, you are going to have to change the flat tire I just got!"
"oh....." He is a great guy.. that is about all he said.
Remember it is truly a miserable night... thankfully there was a huge golf umbrella in the van along with an old baseball mitt - which was great for kneeling on, not only for padding, but it also kept the knees dry! So it was not as bad as it could have been. However upon inspection we realize that I not only blew the tire but managed to dent the rim. OUCH -it looks like we will need a new rim and tire! $$$$ What can you do! On with the job at hand, 45 minutes to change the tire, pack things up and off we go.
Travelling down the road, catching up on each others weekends, traffic is good, due to the fact that we avoided all ferry traffic. Then we hit the Iron workers memorial bridge.. Accident. Bridge is closed, both lanes. This could be serious! Great I wonder how long we will have to sit in this traffic, it is around 10:30pm at this point. I phone home and tell the girls not to worry, we are going to be late, there is an accident on the bridge we are o.k. see you when we get home.
Sid accident had just happened, it is about 12 - 15 cars ahead of us, emergency vehicles were just arriving on the scene, we have no choice but to sit and wait for the bridge to re-open. We could be sitting here for awhile. Good thing we have lots to catch up on.....
Just a few minutes into our wait we notice that cars are sailing past us to take the last exit and managing to get back on the bridge just past the accident... should we, should we not... we debate, we wonder, we then hear the ambulance coming. We stay put, the only path for the Ambulance is to our right. Ambulance comes sailing past and cuts in about 4 cars in front of us thinking that they will be able to get to the scene, however there is no where for the cars to go to let them past, they sit there for about 5 minutes...
In the mean time Royd decides that he is going to take the exit, and pulls out to do that. Unfortunately at that exact moment the ambulance decides that he is going to do the same thing. We are just past as he pulls out and hear the grinding of metal and metal as the front end of the ambulance meets with the rear quarter panel of our van... Great! We are on an off ramp, there is no where to pullover, no where to stop and we just connected with an emergency vehicle oh his way to an accident. We got to a spot where we could pull and the ambulance could pull by and go. They roll down the window and tell us to pull into the bus loop to wait for their return. So we do... and we wait, and wait, and wait. On the up side while we were waiting, we were able to give a jump start to a lady and her son who were waiting in an unlit parking lot in a car that was not functioning trying to figure out what to do. We were more than happy to pull out our jumper cables and lend a hand.
About an hour later an RCMP officer pulls into the loop looking for us. 45 minutes of statements, discussion with the RCMP officer the Ambulance supervisor. Both who were surprised that we stuck around and waited, they said mentioned that most would have gone off. We figured that the ambulance driver was sure to have taken our licence plate number so they could still find us. Likely charge us with leaving the scene of an accident etc. Right now we are praying that there is no ticket coming in the mail. Turns out that all emergency vehicles under siren are protected by the law in an accident - they are faultless. We were told that if this was any other vehicle it would have been there fault given the area we were hit. The ambulance supervisor was pushing for charges, the RCMP officer was saying that because we stuck around and were co-operative that he was not going to issue anything. However they have a year to do so.. so if the supervisor pushes he may have no choice. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
Irony... I am forever yelling at idiots that do not pull over when the emergency vehicles drive by under siren. It is one of my biggest pet peeves. Not to mention it is dangerous. My kids tease me that the drives in other cars can not hear me. I will always pull over, I have been honked at, and had the bird flipped more than once in my direction. And we get clipped! Somewhere there is humor in that right?
On the up side of the whole thing, the tire was not blown. The rim was toast, however it was less $$$ to replace the rim than it would have been to get a new tire. I guess there is a little humor there. And if for no other reason we were in the right place at the right time to jump start that ladies car - get her on her way safely home. She was so thankful for our help. Or maybe the delay of the flat tire was just the right amount of time for us to avoid being victim in the accident. Why things happen when they do sometimes is a mystery - I am glad that despite all the unfortunate events these few days, we are able to look at them and see that in this world we are not alone, we are part of a bigger picture, a puzzle of sorts that piece by piece are placed together to form that bigger picture.