Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oh Deer!

I left our home in Jackson Tuesday morning at 8am (central time) to begin my trek up North for my 2 weeks in Indiana. Little did I know that the most exciting leg of my adventure would happen just a mere 20 minutes later.

Being that it was bright and early, I was in a zone. You know, where you are well aware of everything in front of you so you won't hit anything, but not necessarily watching scenery to understand where you are. I was cruising along (thanks cruise control!) at 73 mph in our new car.

All of a sudden, I noticed just to the right of me that a doe (doe, a deer, a female deer. . . ) was bee-lining it straight towards my car. I noticed her in just enough time to slam on my brakes and swerve to the right (I was in the right lane with no cars around me. Although, there was a semi behind me, but I'll get to that. . . ). She was rather large (probably stood as tall as the car, or at least it seemed that way. It kind of all happened way too fast to take measurements).

We made contact, although it wasn't nearly as bad as it should have been. Luckily, she and I bobbed & weaved in unison & her rear end made contact with the front driver's side of my bumper. My car then locked up (remember, I'm slamming on my breaks. . . ) and I sort of fish-tailed. Luckily, I not only remained in my lane, but there wasn't another car to the left. However, there was a semi behind me). Had I hit the deer head on, the semi probably wouldn't have had time to slow or get around me, and he would have only had the option to hit me. However, this is a happy story, and we don't have to think about this scenario.

I do wonder if the semi driver saw the deer pop up in the field next to me & would love to hear the story from his perspective. However, I was in a sort of shock, and just continued to drive the car. I couldn't believe what had just occurred and didn't know "clipping-deer's-end-on-highway" protocol. I can say, that I was able to watch the deer's rear end (which looked in-tact) hide into the woods on the other side. (Keep in mind that we were on a divided highway and it made it across the West bound lanes, as well).

I called Steve (like any frantic wife would do). It took me a few rings to actually reach him. He knows I never call (always text!) and we had just said goodbye 45 min earlier. His immediate reaction was, "What's Wrong?!" I then proceeded to frantically tell what had just happened. I told him that I just kept on going. Should I have stopped? Do you call the police to report it? He responded with a simple, "Are you okay?" Upon my "yes", he just said, "keep on driving".

I had to stop for gas a few hours later, and hesitantly looked at the front of the car. Shockingly, it looked completely fine. Anyone I passed would be oblivious to my morning situation-- WHEW!!

I completed my journey to Indiana with no other issues. I didn't hit any traffic (except a couple of construction zones, but not too bad). I got to my parents' house and did a full investigation of the situation. I washed the front of the car and discovered a little paint chip on the hood. It looks as if someone jammed the hood with a writing pen -- no scratch, just a small paint chip:

(The paint chip is located in the middle of the picture just below my hand in the reflection)

As I was finishing up washing the car and drying it, I discovered that the bumper was cracked at the very bottom. The plastic sort of wraps under the car, and the damage was on the under part. By looking at the car straight on, you'd never notice it (which is how I missed it from the get-go).

The next morning, as I was headed to school to meet with the teacher I'll be replacing for the next 2 weeks, I noticed a screaching noise. It sounded like something was hanging under the car, but wasn't convinced at first. However, by the time I pulled into the school parking lot (which is literally a 1 min drive), I realized there was definitely something wrong. I pulled into a parking spot and did another brief investigation. There was definitely somthing hanging, but it was too dark (early in the morning) to tell what it was.

After school, I walked home and returned to the school with my dad. He crawled on the ground and looked under the car and discovered what the dragging piece was. It was the bracket that provided extra security in holding the bumper onto the car frame. He did a quick tape job so that I could drive it back to my parents' house.

(You can see the crack in the bumper, and the tape holding the bracket back onto the bumper).

My dad -- who is Mr. Fix-It, as well as just pure Awesome -- will be doing a full patch job before my return to Jackson (my parents are headed out of town for the next week).

I feel bad about the car, but know that things could have (as well as should have) been much worse. Colliding with a deer is just one of those freak situations that are sometimes impossible to avoid. I feel like the deer came out of no where. The sun was out, and the field had appeared empty. I'm just thankful for God's mercies in the situation. There were definitely many praises throughout the entire situation. Thankfully, we both (deer and myself) came out with minor bumps and bruises. Praise the Lord!

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