in the event of unintended acceleration keep calm and try not to panic

Imagine if you will me after dropping my son off at school turning left onto the main drag from a residential neighborhood…and as I turn, the car suddenly accelerates and KEEPS. ON. ACCELERATING….45506070

When I imagine all you all imagining this I can just picture what some…one… might be imagining because cautious, prudent, defensive driving just might be a character flaw…or at least something to mock.

Clean driving record, schmlean driving record…so boring…so underwhelming!

But imagine it if you will anyway because it for real really happened right after I dropped Daniel off to school.

No ,I might not have said ‘fuck!” because I did say “FUCK!” because in spite of initial braking efforts, the car was not responding at all and fast…much too fast…approaching stopped traffic on that two lane road.

Now some of you are saying “fuck!“…or something like that.

But cautious, prudent, defensive driver that I am most of the time, I jammed both feet HARD on the brake as I tried to guide the car to the shoulder of the road right next to the freshly plowed field there while reaching to shift the car into neutral when it slowed very quickly then stopped with the engine idling normally.

After screaming “FUCK!” again, I tried to breathe normally because adrenaline and panic was settling in.

What the hell???!!!

After what seemed like forever, but was perhaps only 90 seconds, I eased back onto the road and drove like my grandma all the way home.

Don’t like my driving 30 mph (or less) in a 45 mph zone for the next three miles?

Whatever!

Pass me.

Flip me off.

I really don’t care.

I am getting home alive and then I am going to try and figure out why the accelerator pedal malfunctioned. Turns out, in this case, the floor mat had wedged under the pedal.

And it turns out that I did exactly what one should do in such an emergency situation.

  • Stay calm and try not to panic.
  • Push the brake firmly with both feet and hold it down. Pumping the brake can interfere with the vehicle’s power brake vacuum assist.
  • Shift the car into neutral. If the car has a manual transmission, remember to depress the clutch to shift gears. If possible, guide the car to the nearest shoulder or safe place.
  • Do not initially turn off the engine unless shifting into neutral is unsuccessful. Turning off the engine will also turn off power assist functions and make it harder to maneuver the car.
  • If your vehicle has a start on/off button, hold the button down for at least 3 seconds to disable the vehicle; do not tap repeatedly.
  • When you have come to a controlled stop out of the way of traffic, turn the engine off (if you have not already done so). If you use a key, keep it in the ignition when you turn off the engine so that the steering wheel doesn’t lock.
  • Call for assistance. Do not drive the vehicle until it has been professionally serviced.

Well, at least the first three steps…especially the staying calm and trying not to panic part because screaming “FUCK!” actually kept me calm and not panicking.

Perhaps I should have turned the engine off and maybe not drove the car home until it had been properly serviced.

Oh well!

Nobody’s perfect.

not driving in this picture…just me parked along the side of the road with the car in park and the engine turned off drumming to my jam, Ed Sheeran on the radio

aca-family time

When your family circus is mostly grown and mostly out from under The Big Top and have lives, you sometimes need to plan family outings in advance.

Literally.

Don’t judge.

Pitch Perfect is on the list of movies the whole family enjoys watching together so much they will literally drop everything to watch together; a list that includes Mean Girls, Bring It On, Easy A.

Yes, chick flicks.

Again, don’t judge.

Yes, Bill’s favorite movies too. So seven months ago we made plans because a birthday celebration, a wedding anniversary celebration and, even better, the darling husband return to good health after a deadly heart attack.

The Pitch is back!

Aca-awesome!

Wait!

Where’s Abby?

Bay to Breakers because when most of your circus act is grown and mostly out from under The Big Top and have lives, their lives sometimes still get in the way of family plans made months in advance.

Whatever, Abby!

We still have Mean Girls.

80 days later…

Two weeks ago, Bill was working it up on a treadmill literally wired all up for sound.

Wired all up for ultrasound that is…a stress echocardiogram along with a 48 hour monitor and cardiac labs all to determine if he was healthy enough to return to work and play and basically normal life…or at least a new normal life not smoking, taking multiple cardiac and cholesterol medications twice daily, exercising more and eating better.

And the verdict is labs are still a bit off but his heart is strong enough to return to work and ease slowly back into his Krav Maga workouts. Oh, and the cardiologist commends the wife, that’s me, because the diet changes are working. The diet changes that basically I have done all along but someone might not have been eating…AHEM!

And so 80 days later, after the STEMI, the 100% right coronary artery blockage that could have been, should have been fatal according to Bill’s cardiologist, my darling husband has been here the last three days.

Believe me, he is smiling on the inside. He’s back to work. He’s at a job site on a project that he was hoping to be working on because, like the Levi’s Stadium project that he was a part of, this is kind of cool.

At our dinner celebration last night, he shared with me just how awesome this is because back to work…and alive…and celebrating another year together…

The conversation went on as he reflected on a coworker, age 46, who died from the same type of heart attack the same week Bill had his…and an old friend the same age who also passed recently…and a younger, former colleague…and the father of someone we’ve known for the past 10 years who was not that much older than we are. I’ll confess the last one shocked me because I did not know what he died from, just that, sadly, he died very unexpectedly. But Bill is friends with our friend on Facebook so he was privy to the details. The loss of all of them was sobering, very sobering. Sitting beside my darling husband right now I can not imagine the pain and grief their families must be feeling even though we came so close…much too close 80 days ago.

Bill agrees.

So much has happened the last 80 days or so. We can’t help but think about life, fate, luck, grace and how close we came to not being here now more than 80 days later.

And what happened to these two kids from 1982 because if you look past the damaged heart and grey hair and no hair and creakier limbs and worry lines and laugh lines, they are still there…somewhere.

Thankful.

So very thankful.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Chest Discomfort- Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain

Discomfort in other areas of the Upper Body- Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

IF THESE SIGNS ARE PRESENT CALL 911!!!

Learn CPR!!!

Your actions can help save a life…perhaps the life you love most.

not together, celebrating

Right after dropping Daniel off at school, I received a phone call from this beauty.

Happy anniversary, Mommy!

Awe! She remembered! Then again, how could she not since she crashed our anniversary party nineteen years ago today. Of course I wished her a very happy birthday because she remains my baby, my love, my heart, my joy…something that I have called her since the day that she was born.

So we are celebrating.

Celebrating that 32 years ago when this guy said let’s get married, I said okay. Even more so, given our misadventures that happened this past February, we are celebrating the fact that we get to celebrate 32 years together. Oh, and we get to celebrate the fact that time does not stand still as our darling daughter #4, Jodie Grace Wynonna, is now 19 years old!

Just not together today…for the first time…ever.

Weird.

I guess she is preparing me for when she moves to Arizona.

palindrome, schmalindrome

Geeks and nerds (and pretty much everyone on Facebook) are so very excited about this week because it is Palindrome Week. Of course there was a Palindrome Week during the month of April 2014, March 2013, February 2012; as well as coming soon in June 2016, July 2017, August 2018, September 2019…are you seeing this geeks and nerds…and everyone on Facebook sharing this once in a lifetime phenomenon?

Of course one can not forget other palindromes like 01-11-10 or our favorite calendar palindrome here under The Big Top, 11-22-11.

As for our perfect little palindrome, she really could care less about all the fuss going on with this calendar week because, people, she’s three and she is a palindrome