I apologize for being incommunicado since Sunday's post. I have been down sick for a couple of days......down less than I wished, sick longer than I wanted! Let me catch you up on events in the Ostrander family's realm:
This past week our school has been taking the Stanford Achievement Tests. The normally-combined 1st/2nd grades split so that each grade's tests could be administered separately; plus, the 2nd grade has an extra booklet that they do. As a result, my :-( spare classroom was taken over by the 1st grade for their test. Dale and I moved into the teachers' lounge to do our usual speech worksheets and stuff. We decided after the first day that we did not need to stay at school for the usual length of time because Dale actually was working far beyond our regularly scheduled time of 50 minutes. We worked in that room for about an hour-and-a-half and then opted to go home. The upper classes did not start their SATs until Wednesday, but we went home early on both Monday and Tuesday; once home, we took a looooong walk around the neighborhood (at least 40 minutes) before relaxing in our house. Tuesday afternoon, Dale had PT scheduled at 1:30. We left the house about five minutes early so we could stop and get some gas. Unfortunately, we wound up cancelling PT because.......
We were in a minor car accident at the gas station!!! This is the first (hopefully ONLY) car accident I have ever had, and, of course, the only car accident Dale has ever been in. The gas station has two lines of pumps that are accessible from both sides of each line. I had been pulled up to the middle pump of the inside of the pump line closest to the building. When I finished, I pulled around the car in front of me (at the first pump) and proceeded to make a U-turn (right) around the other line of pumps so that I could use the other exit from which I could turn left onto the main street. Still following me? I had gotten my vehicle about half-way in front of that other line of pumps when a young woman accelerated straight forward from the outside of that line of pumps---directly into my front right wheel! I didn't see her coming until a second before the impact. I slammed on my brakes and said, "No, no, no!" But, as you can imagine, it was too late; she had already hit my van. Needless to say, we were all shaken up a bit. She and I both climbed out of our poor vehicles to assess the damage and exchange information. I called Chad to tell him what happened and make sure I was following all the proper procedures. He advised me to call the police even though we were on private property when the collision took place because she had initially told me that she had no insurance. I put in the call to the police who said they would not come out (private property clause) unless someone was injured or under the influence (neither). When I got off the phone, she said that she did have insurance; she thought it had lapsed because she had not yet received the new papers (I think). Anyway, we exchanged all information possible besides SSNs, and I dialed my insurance agency's number. Thankfully, just as she was about to pull away---she had to go to work---I remembered to get her license plate number. I talked to USAA for a while, making my statement and getting their help and advice. Originally, I thought I might could drive my van home, but, when my friend pulled up, she nixed that idea. There is barely any body damage to my van; the impact seems to have been fully on the tire. There is a tiny dent by the wheel well and a couple of paint transfers; the major damage was originally assessed by everyone at the scene as a bent/broken axle, but it turned out to be a broken strut. Whew! Her headlight or fog lamp (I put lamb!!) broke, and she had to remove her front bumper in order to drive as it was bent waaaay down. After the call to the insurance company, I made a quick call to PT to tell them what happened and why we wouldn't be there. And, of course, I called my husband back several times to keep him updated on things. (He had also advised me to take pictures of both vehicles with my phone camera; when I relayed this to the young woman, she decided to do the same.)
To top things off, my cell phone battery was dying! I had no idea it had only one bar of power left when I left the house. After phoning my husband 3x, USAA 2x (I had to call back for towing, after all), my wonderful friend Novella who dropped everything to come help, PT, my husband again (!), and taking pictures of our cars, my battery died. Thank God for Novella! She not only came when I called.......she gave me a hug which I desperately needed; she helped me to smile again; she gave her opinion that I shouldn't drive my van (I called her to simply follow me home in case there was another problem); she waited with me for almost an hour until the tow truck arrived (who had been trying to reach me, leaving messages on my dead cell phone!); she related the accidents she has been involved in, making me realize things could have been MUCH worse; she texted another friend of ours to ask her to pick up her/my children if we didn't make it in time (tow truck delays); she drove Dale and I to school to get our children as the final bell was about to ring; she arranged for someone else to drop her kids off at her house and stay with them for the short time it would take for her to run us home; she took all of us home (duh); and she brought our girls home after school on Wednesday and Thursday as well. Yes, she was and is a God-send!
Once we got to school Tuesday afternoon, I got out to gather all of our combined children. Amanda and her class were standing on the front sidewalk, waiting for the bell to officially free them. I walked straight up to her and wrapped my arms around her. It took her about .0001 second to realize something was wrong. I told her what happened and that we were all right and yet now we had a deductible to pay and somehow the van had to be fixed and our insurance didn't cover a rental car.......and so on and so forth. My second daughter, Katie, came up in time to hear most of the conversation and put her arms around me as well. Our church's "Holy Spirit" (our pastor's wife) came up behind me, enveloped the three of us in her arms and began lamenting aloud, "I wish we had a God in Heaven Who could take care of us. I wish we had Someone Who could handle all of this for us!" Of course, this made me laugh a bit as I realized that was exactly how I was acting---as if God was somehow powerless in this situation (as I felt), as if He was unable to do anything to work all things for good, as if He was in Heaven wringing His hands in despair. I tried defending myself by saying, "I already prayed!" But even my own words condemned me. "I already prayed" as if one time would do it. Really? I only need say a few words at one moment to God and He is supposed to move Heaven and earth to do my will? I admitted she was right; she squeezed me and told me she loved me. And then I began praying again, allowing my requests to God to run in a continuous pattern, while I talked with others and gathered my children and headed for home. One of my college Bible professors used to tell us, "You shouldn't have a prayer time. You should have a prayer life." He was soooo right!
And life continues, as it always will despite good days we want to hold onto forever or bad days we wish would end quickly. We actually had no therapy scheduled for Wednesday, so Dale slept in a bit. About 10:00 Dale and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. He had already begun to slip back into shakiness, so his legs buckled a bit. Since there was a light rain falling, his seat got damp each time he had to sit on the sidewalk. When we got back inside, he changed and we built Legos together. As the day progressed, I developed more and more of a severe head cold. One nostril stuffed up, then I began to cough, followed by a scratchy throat, and several bouts of sneezing. By the time Chad got home after work, I was fairly miserable. I still went to church Wednesday evening, but I cannot honestly tell you what the sermon was about other than the title: Get Over It. Ironic, huh?
Thursday, again, Dale slept in. (I had to get up to get the girls ready for school. Feel sorry for me?) I had gone to bed the night before with a headache and woke up Thursday morning with the same cold and a fierce migraine. Taking some migraine medicine helped a bit, but I decided to absolve myself of all responsibility that day. I did not take Dale for a walk (it was raining much harder anyway); I did not do laundry; I did not update the blog; I did not even go upstairs. I had to call and cancel PT because we didn't have the van back yet. The only activity I was involved in was going to pick up the newly-repaired van from the shop. (They had originally told us that they would get to it whenever they could, possibly next week. Two days later, it's done! Praise the Lord!) When we got back home, I lay down (about 4:00 p.m.) to sleep, not waking up until my husband got back from the store around 6:00 or so. Amazingly, he expected me to get up and fix dinner! Don't worry---I'm laughing! He has had to listen to me say, "Why did you fix that? I was going to use it for ______ later" too many times. I guess he decided he'd rather risk my being upset over having to fix dinner while seriously under the weather than have me upset because he used something for dinner that I was saving. The poor man!!! At any rate, I was actually feeling a bit better, so the older girls and I made dinner together.
Friday was business as usual. We all went to school in the morning, and then Dale and I went to SP at 11:00. We returned home for lunch and rest (I was still feeling rather sick). I received a phone call from USAA, needing to ask a few more questions about the accident. After speaking with the adjustor for several minutes and giving him a chance to review the claim with the additional information I then provided, he gave me good news. USAA does not see me at fault for the accident!!! While this does not affect how Geico (her insurance) sees the situation, at least my insurance rates will not go up as a result. WOW! What an answer to prayer. Also, USAA said that, if Geico accepts fault for their driver, we will be reimbursed the entire $694 cost of repairs to our van. If not, USAA will reimburse us the $194 over our $500 deductible. This is good news as well. I did receive a phone call from Geico as well on Friday afternoon, asking me to give a statement and asking me additional questions about the accident. Each time I spoke, I tried to be honest and clear, not wanting to paint her in a bad light or me in a good light. Having said that, I know my tongue's ability to get tied in knots, so I did my best and had to deliberately leave the results in God's hands. From my perspective, the most important thing is that my husband believes me not at fault. Second most important is that USAA believes me not at fault and will reimburse us at least $194. If Geico accepts their driver at fault, we will get it all back. Whether we do or not, it's in God's hands. We have our van back again; it only needs realignment now. We are (kind of) back to normal. I'm just not sure I'll be able to use that gas station again........and it's the most convenient! We'll see. :-)
Praising God through all things whether good or bad, easy or hard, sick or well, up or down, in the body or out of the body, we will continue serving Him. He is worthy and we are blessed.
Jude 1: 20 - 21 "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."