So my trip to Europe is behind me and I have to say, I’m happy to be home on US soil. As beautiful and amazing as the sights were, as delicious as the food was, and as nice as the cruise ship-wait-on-you-hand-and-foot-life-style was, there is truly no place like home. Unfortunately, thanks to jet lag, I only got a day to enjoy it before I crashed my car into a tree on the way home from my first day back at work. Obviously, I was still on Italy time and dozing, waking up at the instant the tree jumped out in front of me. I recall a squeal escaping my lips, a horrendous crunching of metal, and literally bouncing off the tree to end up with my car in the middle of the road, the airbag deployed and filling the car with noxious fumes.
Miraculously, I walked away with only seatbelt abrasions, a few bruises, and a twisted knee—all healing in record time—but not a great way to celebrate my return. My car did not fare as well as I did as you can see. Thanks to air bags, seat belts, and crumple zones, I’m alive and feeling extremely lucky to be here. As far as near death experiences go, this is as close as I’d like to come, and I fully intend to send Volkswagen a thank you note. I’ll also be sending one to the Granville, MA police and fire department who were all awesome and took excellent care of me at the scene.
Being somewhat of a Pollyanna (I’m sure it’s no accident I was named Paula), I seem to have built in shock absorbers and routinely make lemonade out of any lemons I’m handed in life. This is likely due to extensive experience with lemons growing up (figuratively speaking). At any rate, as I said, I’m grateful to be alive and well, grateful that my careless mistake didn’t cause anyone else injury, and especially grateful to be home, ready and able to jump back into work with a new appreciation for the preciousness of life. Let’s not forget that I’m also grateful for Gap Insurance.
If nothing else, this experience will make one more story for me to add to one of my books. Can I write this off as research?
What real life catastrophe have you added to one of your stories?