dys·func·tion /dɪsˈfʌŋkʃən/ [dis-fuhngk-shuhn]–noun
1. Medicine/Medical . malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body. 2. any malfunctioning part or element: the dysfunctions of the country's economy. 3. Sociology . a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Third Car

You may recall that at the end of the post about My Second Car that my credit card limit was increased again.

Unfortunately, when one has very little income, credit card companies are a little less willing to give you more money to spend.

This resulted in us borrowing money from my parents and his mom AND increasing the limit as much as possible.

I just wanted another car. Something with wheels and doors, but noooooooooo. He wanted a van.

My Third Car First Van wasn't even technically mine. Even though Scout was unable to legally drive (no license) he was quite insistent that the van went under his name for "tax purposes".


That fell through.

It was a light blue 1997 Dodge Caravan.

No matter how hard I tried, my scanner would not pick up any more of this image.
What do you know? I can't draw vans either.

It turns out, ALL of my cars have been blue.


This newest purchase cost six times more than the previous vehicle, and yet, it was still a piece of garbage.


Imagine that.

* * *

Within the first month of owning it, the brakes stopped working.

Being as poor as I was, the repair job was...less than ideal.

* * *

February 29, 2008.

We were driving to my Dad's house to pick up Brother. He was supposed to come and spend the weekend with us.

A massive snow storm hit. The worst one that winter.

I was driving.

My cell phone was on my lap in case Dad called, I could hand it to Scout to answer without having to dig it out of my pocket.

The front left tire hit a block of ice.

It felt like I had run over a basketball.

The van went up and down and then turned towards the concrete median.

All I did was correct. Such a gentle movement of the wheel.

I guess the van was on ice...

It spun 180 degrees (completely around backwards) to face oncoming traffic.

The force behind the spin, and the fact that it was so slippery out sent us careening towards the ditch - driver's side first.

We hit the pile of snow on the side of the road with such force that the tires peeled off and we began to roll.
I thought we were going to die.

In that moment I knew that I had killed every person inside my van.

I shut my eyes.

The van rolled onto the driver's side, breaking out all of the windows. My head hit my window before it exploded into shards.

It then rolled onto the roof, caving it in. Another collision - head to roof...or should I say roof to head.

It teetered in contemplation before deciding to roll back on to the driver's side, filling the van with snow, burying me in my seat.

These pictures were taken at the tow shop days later.

The tires peeled off from sliding on the driver's side.

The roof caved in.

Driver's door wouldn't open any more. It was crushed.

The part of the roof that hit my head.

I could hear Scout calling my name and I realized we hadn't died.

I tensed the muscles in my back, feeling for a break or bleed.


Next my thighs, then shoulders, ankles, arms - nothing seemed broken.

I used my free right arm to dig my face out of the snow. It was so cold.

I spit snow and glass from my mouth and brushed it gently from my eyes.

Scout climbed out of his window (the new 'roof' of the van) and began trying to flag down help.

I realized that my head was throbbing in pain.

I reached up and touched it, then looked at my hand to see blood.

My first aid training kicked in and I remembered that your head bleeds a lot for small injuries due to an increase of surface blood vessels.

I shrugged off my small injury and continued digging myself out.

I was digging snow out from in front of my chest when I found the rearview mirror.

Being in shock, I laughed hysterically.

Then I sighed and used it as a shovel.

When I finally dug myself out, I unbuckled and climbed on the steering column.

Standing on the wheel, I was still too short to climb out the passenger window unassisted.

Finally free, I stood in the snow... in the ditch... and shivered.

My phone was long gone, it had flown out a window.

A passerby had stopped and called 911... then left.

Another couple stopped with their van. They offered us a warm place to sit while we waited.

They were on their way to the airport, but they stopped. And they stayed with us. I don't even know their names. I am so grateful to them.

I asked for a tissue or napkin since my head was bleeding.

"I don't want to bleed on your seat." I had said so eloquently.

The tissue led to the discovery that it wasn't my head that was bleeding - it was my hand. In my state of shock I forgot to check my hand before I touched my head. A few small scrapes from the glass on my palm had caused a little bleed. It was really nothing.

The tow truck showed up within the first five minutes.

It was 30 minutes before any emergency vehicle arrived.

Fire was there first.

They kicked Scout out of the warm van and made him stand outside while they talked to me.

When the paramedics arrived they seemed perturbed to be there.

I explained the situation, saying specifically that I had hit my head twice and was PREGNANT.

They told me that 'babies are hearty at that age' and said that we didn't need to go to the hospital.


They wanted us to call someone for a ride and wait in the snow for them to arrive.


I requested to go to the hospital.

The said I didn't need to go, so they weren't going to take me.


Then I got angry.

"I am pregnant! I will start making up symptoms. You are taking me to the hospital now."

They took us to the hospital that was farther away from where we lived, although we were closer to the one in our hometown.

Everyone was fine, luckily.

The van was totalled.

By the time we could get back to the tow shop, the fees cost more than the van was worth. So Scout signed the ownership over to them.

Hence, My Winter Anxiety.

It would be more than a year before I drove again.


blogger103 said...

car accidents suck! plus it was winter!!! i totally get why you didn't drive for a year :(

yellow_buttercup99 said...

You certainly like your blue vehicles don't you?

dys·func·tion said...

@blogger103: I was so nervous when I did start driving again... I ended up flipping someone the bird because I thought they had honked at me at a stop sign. :S Nerves.

@yellow_buttercup99: My fourth car was blue too!

yellow_buttercup99 said...

I know!