Everything works out in the end. We are all fine. We are all in our bed tonight, holding each other but the events are running through my head and I just need to get it out.
So today is Easter. Not a big day in our little family. However, this year, Nancy accepted an invitation to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner. As it is for every family, get togethers can either be awesome or extremely frustrating. Well, besides the ham (I hate ham!) this one went pretty well.
I enjoyed sitting with my great aunt Dot Jones (who at 88 is my oldest living relative and the last of that generation in my family). I visited with my cousins Lee and Marc and their families, as well as my cousin Lars' wife Susan and her youngest. Heck, even my father behaved himself.
We stayed a little longer than we intended but were so thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Leaving I made a wrong turn and we had to back track. Those sort of things changed the afternoon.
Driving north in Bristol, Vermont on Burpee Road, I was approaching Plank Street.
(I think I am including the map for thoroughness)
There was a car on Plank, travelling west in an attempt to cross Burpee. I noticed the driver only looking to the north.
She didn't look in my direction. Not once. And she didn't stop at the stop sign.
It took my mind a moment to realize that she was not stopping. I couldn't understand what I was seeing. And then I needed to decide what to do. It's one of those moments where everything goes through your mind at once. Do I try to slam on the brakes? Do I swerve? Do I punch it? Where is everyone sitting?
I decided to swerve and accelerate. Get ready to hit the horn and move along on our way.
I swerve around as she comes into the road. I start to breathe a sigh of relief as I think I have cleared her.
Then she hits us.
Our car is turned sideways, perpendicular to the road, facing the cemetery on the eastern side of the road. I hit the brakes and try to regain control of the car. I start to breathe a sigh of relief as we start to come to a stop.
Then we start to roll.
Nancy claims I said "We're going over." I'm not sure if I did. But then everything starts to move in slow motion.
I see the road coming up towards my window. I see a cup of water tumble and fall. Suddenly I am showered in dirt (at the time I distinctly remember thinking of that scene in the firstSuperman movie where Lois Lane is trapped in the car as it fills with dirt....though in reality it was only a small bag that contained some dahlia bulbs that my grandfather had grown.) There is a loud noise as everything not anchored down finds a new place to be.
And we stop. I think "I need to turn off the car." The key wouldn't turn. I realize I need to put the car in park. Surprisingly calm, I do so. Both Nancy and Logan say that they are okay.
I try to figure out what to do. I unbuckle and tell Nan to stay in her seat and I will take care of Logan. His buckle is jammed. The window next to him is shattered. He is so brave and so calm.
I unbuckle him and show him where to put his feet.
I try to open the sliding door that is now above our heads but it won't open. I know now it was only a few seconds of trying but at the time it seemed like a half hour. (I later realize that Logan usually sits on that side of the car but today I put him behind me.)
I move to Nan's door and open it. I realize that it is not going to stay open. I see someone's hands on the frame trying to get to us. I tell them to get back and shut the door. I roll the window down (sideways?) and push Logan up and out.
We get Nan unbuckled and get her up. The car is so precarious. The undercarriage is hot. She is a little bit dazed. She gets down and I hop up. Two men brace the roof so that it will not roll that way and two others brace the underside. I jump down and run to Nancy and Logan and we embrace.
I keep it together. Rescue people are on the scene so quick. A witness who was behind us shares her thoughts (and tells us she was coming home from spending the weekend in Massachusetts with her brother who is in ICU!)
I turn to look up the road at the car.
Nan says I commented to the EMT that I did not know that we had a spare tire underneath the car! Susan and my Aunt Anne come upon the scene and help keep us calm. My Aunt Sue called Lauralea (who teaches kindergarten in the town I used to teach in) who lives nearby and she came down. My dad was called and came back.
Eventually the state police came and the trooper verified my story through two eyewitnesses.
(Logan's toys and books on the road amidst the broken glass)
Dad took us and we followed the wrecker so we could empty the car. The man suggested we take the plates because we "won't ever see it again."
(The car getting flipped back up)
So now we enter the phase of dealing with insurance companies and making do with one car for a little bit.
But we are all safe. We are all together. And that is all that really matters.