Friday, 21 January 2011
light snow, temps minus 9
I know the east coast is getting walloped again! But the brunt is missing us. How strange that New York would be having a tougher winter than Quebec. We're practically the banana belt this year. Hope those of you in the storm area are safe and sound.
We had an event driving in to Montreal yesterday. A car accident. The first I can remember being in since I was a child. And it was totally my fault. We were driving just outside Cowansville and needed gas, so I went to turn left into the gas station and was concentrating on which pump to go to - and not watching the oncoming cars! Seems that's a mistake.
I think I heard a horn screaming and looked up in time to see the bright red (bright red!!! not even gray or white or anything I could pretend was invisible) car bearing down on us. A split second later it hit, right in the passenger's door - where Michael was sitting - and we were shoved over the road. I immediately turned to Michael to make sure he was OK. he said he was. Then I leapt out of the car to make sure the people in the other car were OK. The entire front end of their car was smashed in. But they seemed OK. The young woman was out of the car and was crying. I immediately told them it was completely my fault. This didn't seem news to them. I went to comfort her, but she, quite understandably, waved me off. He was calling the police. The dog in their car was fine.
I went back to Michael and he complained of pain in his side, so we got him out of the car, got his coat on, and took him in to the gas station. Everyone was wonderful. The young couple had calmed down, once they realized everyone was fine - and we commiserated. He'd been in an accident a few years earlier and understood that accidents happen. How kind is that? To comfort me. I was, of course, very upset. Not hysterical - but I wanted to make sure they understood that I took full responsibility - and wanted to make sure they really were OK.
Once out of the car and seated comfortably in the gas station, Michael could take stock and said he was actually OK. Perhaps a little bruised.
The Surete du Quebec arrived along with two tow trucks and everything moved very quickly. The Surete agent was amazing. Very kind, understanding, efficient. She heard our reports of the accident - took notes - reassured me that while it was my fault it clearly was an accident and worse things had happened. And no one was hurt.
When the cars had gone and Pat was about to show up to take us home, I went to thank the Surete agent and she laughed and said that it was her pleasure and that her daughter had won the scholarship in creative writing Michael and I created at the local high school when I signed my first publishing contract. And that she was now studying writing at college. She thanked me for that.
How strange life is.
We went home, thanks to Pat, called the insurance etc. Freshened up, then climbed in car number 2 to continue our trip to Montreal. But decided to stop at the hospital to have Michael checked out. Better be safe. After about 3 hours, and a few scans, they said he was in top shape. Just bruised.
Poor man. I think he's tired of hearing me apologize. And what a brave man, getting back in the car with me driving - and our beetle at that! And with only a few whispered prayers. he said if I'd wanted to kill him I'd done a pretty poor job of it, though he admitted it might have been just a warning. A shot across the bow.
When we got to montreal I ordered two medicinal pizzas and got him a big bar of chocolate. It seems to have worked. He's feeling much better today. I called the two young people from the other car to see if they were OK too - or if some bumps and bruises came up. No answer, but left messages. But spoke to their insurance people today and she said they were just fine.
What a relief!! I don't know if you've ever been in a car accident, but the thought I'd caused it and that anyone might be hurt was horrible. Especially, frankly, hurting Michael.
Though now, of course, he has a big, fat IOU from me. And I can see him scheming how to use it.
I'll tell you too - within the scope of this being a not good event - we were exceptionally lucky. Had I turned into the path of that bus you can see in the photo, or an oncoming truck this would have been a much, much shorter post. And had we not had a fabulous, solid car, well I tremble to think what might have happened in a less robust vehicle.
Normally after something like that we would have stayed in Sutton but I had to get in to Montreal for the launch of Sous la glace at Indigo books today. There's a photo of the poster in the window of Indigo in Montreal. It went very well. And I had a chance to meet Rob Howard - who flew in from Toronto so we could sit down for a couple of hours and talk about the next book. He's the VP of Fenn, which will publish my next few books in Canada. Terrific man - very interesting discussions.
Michael - lucky one - got a bye and stayed home eating chocolate and playing sudoku. And now I must leave you to pamper him some more. He never once, from the moment that car hit to this chastised me. No recriminations, no anger, not even any annoyance. he's just said over and over that accidents happen and not to worry about it. Even as the tow truck took his beautiful car away.
What a lovely and precious man.
tomorrow is his son Vic's birthday - which is a great reason to celebrate. Among many.