Most of the time, the nightly news, which can now be seen at 4, 5, 6, and 7 o’clock, is a bombardment of how mankind can be so very unkind.
But lately a few feel-good stories have made their way onto the broadcasts: young people saving elderly, humans saving animals, animals saving humans. It’s a beautiful example of what people and animals are capable. Often without thinking, creatures spring into action without taking into consideration possible consequences to themselves. They react, then think back on what happened — with amazement.
The stories reminded me of a situation Denise and I had to deal with, and it truly was a life and death ordeal.
When my two eldest children were pups, ten and seven, we would take them on Sunday afternoon drives, or when we could, once a year take them on an affordable (for us) vacation. We couldn’t do the Disney thing with them, but they were happy with just getting away with us for a few days, or even a Sunday afternoon.
On one such afternoon jaunt, we took the kids somewhere out to western Massachusetts. Ben and Lauren were sitting in the back with Denise and I up front as the pilot and co-pilot. We were in our new (to us) Subaru wagon. As an aside, I loved driving that thing. It was a standard and I so preferred them over automatic transmissions.
We were on Route 495 somewhere out Mansfield way, on our way home from wherever it is we went. Traffic was light and we were breezing along in the middle lane — going the speed limit, which was 65 m.p.h.
We were talking and laughing, when all of a sudden, in a terrifying instant, the car’s hood blew open pasting itself to my front windshield. It made an awful sound as it whacked against the glass, that luckily didn’t shatter. But I could not see a thing in front of me and I was still going 65 m.p.h.
My first reaction, rather than slamming on the brakes was just to remove my foot from the accelerator. In retrospect, had I slammed on the brakes we surely would have lost control and crashed. One never knows what one will do in a crisis.
In a few seconds Denise and I regained our wits and she watched the lines in the road to guide me on a path to keep me in the lane I had occupied.
I glanced in my rear view mirror and Denise monitored traffic around us — on the sides and back. The front was just a yellow Subaru hood.
She guided me into the slow lane as I drove just fast enough not to be a hazard to those behind us.
Eventually Denise guided me into the breakdown lane and I slowed to a stop.
We all just sat there in disbelief at what just happened, also in gratitude that God took care of us in those perilous few moments.
I got out and secured the hood with a metal wire I had in the car. There was never an indication that there was a problem with the hood latch — until it was all I could see.
We got back on the road, but as soon as I reached Route 138, we exited and took the long way home — but the safer way home.
Once safely home we made sure the pups weren’t overly traumatized, then we talked about it.
It amazes me just what a human being can do — both good and bad. We are a complicated species, but to me that merely proves that only a higher power could have created us — and thankfully gave us the power to overcome whatever pops up. Even if it’s the hood of a car driving 65 m.p.h.