Rogue River Crash

12 05 2019

Hanging upside down trapped in a car is not a fun place to be.

That’s where we found ourselves on April Fool’s Day but this was no joke. Driving back from San Francisco, David and I were involved in a motor vehicle accident. We are lucky to be alive.

The crash occurred on Interstate 5 in southern Oregon. This is a rigorous stretch of roadway along the Cascade Mountain range which I had not given much thought. It can be treacherous as the road turns through the Siskiyou Mountains and in-and-out of forests of Douglas firs.

I underestimated the difficulty level of this portion of our trip. My travel planning was still operating under Florida driving distances. Looking back, San Francisco to Portland in one day — for one driver — is pushing it.

And then you add the rain.

And the darkness of night.

We hit a pool of water and the car began to spin.

“Hold on,” David said as the BMW turned 90 degrees in a blink of the eye.

And then we flipped and landed upside down. It all happened so fast. The roof came crashing down and busted us in the noggin pretty good. David began to scream and yell for help. I unfastened my seat belt and tried to open the passenger door. It wouldn’t budge. Realizing we were trapped, I began to yell for help.

Thankfully, help would arrive. A young couple traveling north witnessed the accident as did a trucker. They arrived before the EMS crew. Clint got the driver’s door open and pulled David out. I crawled out right behind him. It could have been way worse.

We didn’t land in a pool of water or tumble off the side of the mountain and the car didn’t catch on fire. David suffered several fractures in his neck and torso and was hospitalized. He would need staples to close the gash in his head from where the roof hit.

If it wasn’t for Clint and his girlfriend Christina pulling bloody David and I from the car, I’m not sure what may have happened as the panic set in. Their actions could be described as good Samaritan-esque. I considered them angels.

“Not angels just did what we would have done if we were in that positioning,” Christina texted me the next day.

I escaped the carnage with a diagnosis of whiplash. Seeing David in such sad shape was traumatic. His sister Julie once again came to our rescue — traveling down from Central Oregon to fetch us from the hospital.

The BMW is totaled which doesn’t hurt my feelings. I despised that car and all of the problems that came with it. Naturally, David wants to replace it but I am in no hurry.

The important thing is for us to heal. I am back to work now and realize how lucky I am to work for a company that provides family leave time. I’m also lucky to have co-workers and managers that genuinely care.

When I go to work now it’s as if I am being taught lessons in humility, discipline, boundaries and respect. The accident interrupted my higher education planning pursuits. A refresher course on wants and needs is in order.

 

 

 

 

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New Seasons in the PAC-Northwest

27 09 2018

The leaves are changing and some are falling. Autumn is here. I am content with my life in New America. The financial difficulties and poverty struggles are in the past, although the memory still fresh in my mind and it serves me well in my daily interactions with the less fortunate.

The streets of Portland and Seattle this summer were riddled with the lost — San Francisco, I heard, is way worse. In Seattle last week, I had a delightful time with a local son — a true west coaster. Kyle showed me the sights around Capitol Hill, a neighborhood I had previously visited five years prior with my good friend, Ryan.

Ryan is on the slow boat to China, but that’s another story.

Kyle is a visual merchandiser for a major American department stores chain headquartered in Seattle. He is a handsome man who likes to read and is interested in things that nourish your soul. He also enjoys a good laugh. We got a long famously.

Seattle, like Portland only to a larger extent, appears to be a growing city with cranes of construction abounding. It is picturesque with its hills and harbor — protected from the ocean storms that often batter the east coast around this time of year. From my perspective, Seattle is a politically left-leaning city that gets business right and welcomes tourists from around the globe.

SeattleKylesView

Before skipping around Capitol Hill with Kyle, I had to participate in yet another episode of David’s car breaks down. He drove the BMW up from Portland and took it down into the masses at Pike Place Market where the vehicle promptly overheated upon entering the parking garage. Smoke fumed from under the hood as we descended into the underground garage.

It would take 18 hours to get the car out of the garage. Two tow trucks couldn’t fit and AARP offered little assistance. Frankly, I did not handle the situation well. I have long since lost my patience with David’s desire to rehab this particular car. Fans, radiators, tires, you name it — I’m over it.

I wonder how many marriages have become divorces because of cars?

But I digress.

I remain grateful for our life here on the West Coast. The challenge of learning a new city, state and regional culture is exciting. Working your way up a ladder is fun and seeing David’s design spirit come to life is true joy. Revisiting Portland is a glimpse into where he was born and raised. The hospital is still here. We drove past his boyhood home in Mount Tabor. David was a junior in high school when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

“My passion is still with architecture and design,” David said recently. “But I have yet to find my vision here in Portland,” he added.

DavidPortland2018

We still have our tiny flat in one of America’s queen cities. I now work for a B corporation and we are starting to make friends. I would like to see Kyle again. I’m not sure what that agreement would be. Maybe a trip to San Francisco or Japan?? You know, to save the lost…..

 





My Valentine

14 02 2011

Breaking out of my lil’ depression now. Listening to the brilliant Pandora app on my I-phone. When I think about my life, it is silly to wallow in self defeat.

Yes, I’ve experienced Ammmmazing things through the course of three decades. Been to exotic places and met incredible people. It’s high time to be grateful.

I am most grateful for David. He has seen me at my worst, heard all the stories, rumors and half-truths and still manages to see through it all. I know it hasn’t been easy for him, these last two years.

We met when my world was falling apart. And he still let me drive his BMW.

David is truly a gentle soul. A believer in overcoming obstacles and moving mountains. He rebuilt that sporty ’89 BMW and restored it to classic condition. It was a blast to take out on the campaign trail.

There was a moment, during the sultry summer, at the Fourth of July parade in Lynn Haven, that sticks out in my mind. David had suggested I stand in the BMW — through the sunroof — and wave at the crowds. This idea, at the time, seemed foolish. My confidence was weak then. Instead, I donned a T-shirt for the Governor candidate and marched with the party faithful.

Looking back, that was a mistake. The Beemer would have probably got me noticed more. It’s a cool car and I especially love zooming through traffic in it. David enjoys talking about the work he’s spent restoring this ‘ultimate driving machine’ to tip-top performance.

He’s done the same with me.

When I came back to Panama City, after failing in New York, David was there to pick up the pieces — shattered ego, bruised body and all. I know it hasn’t been easy for him. He has made many sacrifices.

And no matter how hard I fought to remain independent, he kept loving me. All those times, I railed against the system, complained about my plight or sinned for the sake of sinning, David stood by me.

The campaign was, for all intents and purposes, a very public trial. I learned a great deal about my community and found true friends. There were days when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed yet David always managed to motivate me to be better.

I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve him. I’m just happy he chose me.

Happy Valentine’s Day Lover!