Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
Its Saturday night and mom and I decided to drive into Christiansburg to get some errands crossed off our todo list early for next week. We’re cruising along in Alice, our 1988 Toyota Landcuiser, I’m driving, and we’re talking about something I can’t remember, and I hit a deer. Or maybe the deer hit me. I’m kinda fuzzy on how to determine this.
It ran out of the woods and across the road from the left hand side. I had enough time to put my foot on the brakes, but not enough time to stop or slow down enough for it to pass in front. She impacted with the front left bumper/grill/headlight, and then thumped back down the side of the car. It happened fast. It happened, and I remember saying something like, “I just hit a deer. What was I suppose to do?”
“You did exactly what you were suppose to. You slowed down and didn’t swerve. That’s all you can do,” Mom assured me. I kept driving, kind of in a daze, not really accelerating any, but still moving.
I pulled over at the next road, found the hazards, and we got out to survey the damage. It was dark, and of course we couldn’t find the flashlight. I distinctly remember deer hair stuck in the bumper and being relieved that there was no blood. The worst of it seemed to be a dangling turn signal, which we unplugged, and the dents behind the wheel well and down the driver side door. Nothing Alice couldn’t handle.
We keep heading up the road, not thinking that our little run in with a deer is any reason to go home, but I suggest, and mom agrees, that we should pull over at the gas station in Riner a couple miles up ahead to check things out in better light.
As I put my turn signal on and start to brake, something clunks and a tire skids. Immediately I let my foot off the brake, missing the first turn in. Mom thinks its a flat, I’m not so sure, but I manage to slow down enough to make the second entrance, and I head straight for a parking spot with plenty of light.
We get out, we don’t have a flat tire, I spot something dangling next to the tire that I’m pretty sure is suppose to be attached to something. The two us were standing there with “now what?” written all over our faces. Which is what Kenny Graham saw when he asked, “How you ladies doing tonight?”
And mom replied, “Not so good, we hit a deer.”
This is when good karma starts running in overdrive.
Turns out Kenny Craig and his son Ian know a thing or two about trucks, and the very thing we broke (he quickly informed us it was the tie rod and that he couldn’t believe I was still able to steer) just so happened to be one of the things they fixed on Ian’s truck today. Within seconds it seemed, once it was established that we were essentially stranded and would have to call a tow truck, Kenny offered to help us fix it, like it was the most normal thing in the world. And we said yes like we had all the faith in the world. Because at that moment in time, how could we not?
We hit a deer and we didn’t die. Alice got us safely to the gas station even though she was broken. Where Kenny Craig just so happened to park next to us. For hitting a deer, I was feeling pretty darn lucky. Still am in fact.
We climbed in the back of his big diesel work truck and Kenny drove us back out to the auto parts store (where he had just come from) to see if we could pick up the part. Turns out that old Landcruiser parts aren’t so easy to come by, and we left empty handed. So back we drove to the gas station, Kenny formulating back up plans B, C, and D for tomorrow. He went in and asked the attendant if it was OK for us to leave the truck there. We watched from the back of his truck through the window as he explained a short version of our predicament. Ian sitting in the front seat smiling as we said in unison, “Poor Alice.”
On the drive back to our house, Plan B was decided that he would be back to pick us up early in the morning with his car trailer and we would take Alice to the car parts store in search of a tie rod that would make do until the right one could be acquired. If that didn’t work, he could jury rig something up with a washer and his welder that was just down the road a little ways. Either way, he was sure he could get her home, and make her drivable, at least enough to get us around for a few weeks. And when the real part came in, we could take her over to his house and he’d fix her up for good.
Really. That is how my night went.