Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Today's Dangerous Adventure

Our adventure for today was full of danger, heart-stopping terror, flying objects, and a brush with death!

Did we go rock climbing?


Did we go sky-diving?


Did we go swimming with sharks?


We walked Michael to his afternoon Kindergarten class. Now that doesn't sound so dangerous does it? The twins were in the double stroller. Madeleine was on the buggy board. Michael was walking along beside.

All was going well until we were crossing the driveway leading out of a parking lot. As we were half-way across, an old lady came zooming out to turn right. Only she wasn't looking right or straight ahead. She was looking left at the ongoing traffic. Seeing a break in traffic, she hit the gas. She was heading straight for us!

I screamed my loudest scream while trying unsuccessfully to break into a run.

The scream worked. She saw us. She hit the breaks. The car stopped resting on the side of the double stroller.

I gave her my most horrible, evil, shocked, death stare. Silently. I was speechless.

Michael from behind me said, "HEY SHE ALMOST RAN OVER US!"

Maddy said, "That's not nice!"

The elderly lady had turned an odd shade of ghostly white with a dropped open mouth. The kids and I "moved it" out of there post-haste. I looked behind me from half way down the block and she was still sitting there in her car.

This is not the first time I've been almost done in by an elderly driver who has NO business on the road. I'm blessed we weren't hit. It was very, VERY close. If she hadn't hit the brakes when she did, her car would have hit me AND the double stroller with three kids rather hard; rather than just bumping the stroller while stopping. Michael may have been missed as he was lagging behind us a couple of paces.

This leads me into one of my regular rants. Elderly people should have mandatory DRIVING TESTS from age 65 on. Retirement age people too old to work should be regularly evaluated for their DRIVING. Elderly drivers are the 2nd most dangerous category after teenage males both for number of accidents and fatality rates. Rant over.

Michael was dropped off uneventfully and we headed home. We crossed 176th street on a walk light. 176th street is in the process of being widened to 4 lanes and there has been construction for months. It was not surprising to see a couple workmen and some equipment on the other side of the street. What was surprising happened just as we got next to them before getting back onto the sidewalk on the other side.

We were suddenly pelted with a deluge of mud, dirt, and gravel bits. Someone IN a hole had started doing something causing mud, dirt, and gravel pieces to plume heavenward and then rain down, covering us and about 2 feet all around us.

"It WAINING!" said Megan.

"I'm all DIRTY!" wailed Madeleine.

Maribeth just sat covered in mud looking shocked.

"Careful!" yelled a workman. It remained unclear as to whether his comment was directed at us or the other workman in the hole but the dirt deluge stopped about the time we managed to get onto the sidewalk.

We continued with Maddy walking rather than riding on the buggy board. I was lost in thought, contemplating how odd it was that the twins were so dirty without leaving the stroller and how lucky we were not to be hit by the car earlier. Then I heard a far away little voice.

"Mommy, I hear the doggie but I can't see it."

The voice was much, much too far away. I looked down. No Maddy. I looked up ahead of me ... no Maddy. I looked to the right and looked to the left. No Maddy. I looked BACK. There walking the double yellow line, in the WRONG direction, in the middle of a blind curve next to a truck yard was Maddy.

"Mommy - I heard a doggie somewhere!"

Primal scream!



The truck heard me AND saw her and stopped while I raced back to get Maddy out of the middle of the road.

Altogether enough excitement for one day!


Whyme said...


Yes...I agree...over 65, or in some cases over 50, mandatory testing. Yes yes yes yes....

Mama Bird said...

Be still, my heart!

I've been saying that for years, though I've said, "retake driver's road test at least every three years starting at age 70" because that's the age at which the accident rate starts to climb above that of 20-somethings (though still not as high as that of those in their teens).

Politically, though, we'd be more likely to be able to push through testing at age 80 and up. Those are the ones who do things like drive the wrong way down the freeway...or pull out and around a line of stopped cars and run head-on into a bicycle race (as happened here not too long ago).

You didn't happen to get that woman's license plate number did you? I didn't think so. Pity. That woman has no business behind the wheel! Hopefully, she'll have been scared enough herself that she'll now voluntarily stop driving before she does succeed in killing someone...or several someones.

LarryandJean said...

I hope that driver realizes how close she came to spending the rest of her life in jail.


Anonymous said...

Praise God that you are okay! Wow! I'm with MamaBird on the age 70 and over being tested. At nearly 48, I can say that I don't need to be tested at this point. ;-)

We have weekly close calls due to CELL PHONE USAGE of all age groups! Ugh! Yesterday's close call was a 30-something male in a pickup who nearly turned into the wrong direction after stopping at the 4-way stop sign. It was two-lanes each direction, but clearly marked and not a problem. He was busy talking! He actually swerved left-right twice in an attempt to make up his mind. I should have checked out the business name on the side of the truck!

Take care of yourself out there!

Gotta love those M's,