Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blessings from the Storm

As mentioned, we've noticed a number of blessings from the accident.  Among them are the following:

1.  Our Cutco knives were among the last things packed, and they weren't packed solidly.  In fact, that box wasn't even closed.  And it was in the front seat, next to me and in front of the kids.  They never moved.  We totaled our car, but the knives never moved.

2.  Razor blades were flying around the car in the accident, but nobody got hit.  As we were getting out, my good wife saw one on top of the air bag. 

3.  We all literally walked away.  Admittedly, I stumbled out first, and then assured the paramedic that came running behind the car that we were fine.  I then looked back and saw my wife gasping for air.  (Needless to say, our air conditioning was toast, and spitting out smoke.)  I then pried her door open and we stumbled out and away from the car.  The kids (especially John William Adams) were so enamored with the wreck that they kept going back to it.  The sheriff told us to keep our kids off the bridge where we wrecked, so we tried.  Occasionally a kid got away from us.

4.  We were on the bridge, so we could crash into the wall, and not fall into a ditch.    If we'd have hit the ditch, we probably would have rolled.  Drake's car seat came unhitched during the accident, and if it'd happened in a roll, who knows what kind of damage would have been done?

5.  We got to meet the Daetwylers.  Awesome people.

6.  Analee wasn't there.  Grandma picked her up earlier, much to Anika's chagrin.  If she'd have been there, it would have been mayhem.

7.  We left my car in Buena Vista.  We didn't know why, but we got the clear impression to do so.  Turns out to have been great counsel.  What kind of accident would it have been if both cars were involved?

8.  The car was luckily totaled.  That means we don't have to go back and get it, and can get a "new" car in roughly the same condition as the old one.

9.  The police, EMT's, and other helping personnel were great.  We loved meeting and working with them.

10.  Most of our new ward knew who we were when we got here.  Instead of being just another new family, we're the family that got in the wreck on the way to town.  People we didn't know were coming up to us and talking to us on the first day, just to talk about the wreck.

So yes, the wreck was an unpleasant experience.  We still don't have a car quite yet.  Some of our stuff was broken (a Wii game part and a bread maker, not to mention car seats, which is really not much).  It's kinda thrown off some of our plans.  That said, we really find the blessings of the Lord, even in the clouds of life.  Some people find reasons to believe the Lord isn't there in the hard times.  We're not those people.  The Lord loves us.  In this, we are assured.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

We're here!

Despite delays, we're actually in Lincoln, now!  ...and have been for about a week!

When we left Buena Vista last Tuesday, we expected to get to Lincoln in two long days.  It's about 1,100 miles distance, so we were braced for a long couple of days.

We were nowhere near prepared for what happened.

As we drove through Evansville, Indiana, I started thinking that we should stop.  My wife, on the other hand, always wants to get a bit farther.*  So we started to aim for Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  We got to about 4 miles from the Illinois border, and my wheel jerked to the left with no real cause.  I was in the wall and knew it'd be bad right away.  It turns out the van was totaled in the wreck, and the trailer with all of our stuff was on its side.  Luckily, nobody else was involved in the crash.  ...and we all literally walked away from the accident, though Drake had a limp for a few days. 

Great.  Now what?

So the police that showed up took us to a hotel (in Evansville), which was very nice of them.  One of them even gave Anika a coat because we just weren't prepared to wreck.  He also gave us his phone number just in case we needed it.  I can't say anything ill about the police.

So we called Anika's parents to let them know that we wouldn't be there the next day.  Then Anika started the insurance phone calls.  They lasted for days.  ...and our phone was quickly losing power.  The next day, still doing the insurance shuffle, our phone died.  That night, we asked Mom to put us in touch with a local bishop.  (We should have done that right when we got to the hotel room, in hindsight.)  He came over that night and started the process of helping us out.

Thursday morning, the Elders' Quorum president showed up to give us a ride to the Uhaul place, where we could get a truck to take us to Lincoln.  Then I went back to the hotel.  My wife and stuff were gone.  No worries, I figure, Bishop told us that Anika could spend some time with the sisters.  She'll be back soon.  At about noon, I ate the muffin that I'd picked up for her.  At about 2, I ate another.  Where was she?  At about 2:45, she called.  "What are you doing there?!?"  "Uhh...where should I be?"  About 5 minutes later, housekeeping showed up to let me know that my wife had checked out that morning.  (Wasn't it nice of her to tell me?!?)  I asked for a few minutes more to figure out where I was going, it was granted, and I called my wife back to figure out where I was going and when.

The high priest group leader was the next to call, and he set up time to move things from our newly busted trailer to our newly picked up truck.  That took about half an hour, and then off we went to the Relief Society president's home.

I should say right off the bat that we love the Daetwylers.  They took care of us and went far above the call of duty.  I'll let Anika write a bit more about them.  Needless to say, in my eyes they can do no wrong.

Still continuing the insurance boogie, Anika found a way to get us a car to get to Lincoln.  We picked it up on Friday morning, and then started to plan to get to Lincoln.  We decided to leave Friday afternoon, which put us through St. Louis right at rush hour (YAY!).  We stopped somewhere in Missouri that night, and then got to Lincoln on Saturday.

We've been unpacking and Thanksgiving ever since.  Literally.  We've noticed the blessings of the Lord being poured out on us from the first few minutes after the crash, but we're noticing them more and more since then.  The good Lord loves us.

That said, the hunt for a new family car begins.  Anyone want to give us a van?

* When we were first married (and less smart), we drove across the country a few times.  One day, we left Elko, Nevada.  As we passed through Cheyenne, Wyoming at about 9 PM, I thought it was about time to stop.  She asked "can we make it to Lincoln safely?"  "I guess."  I said.  About 8 hours later, we got to Lincoln.  It was horrific.  1,100 miles in one day.