Tuesday, July 6, 2010

So Much Depends Upon Wheelbarrows and Timing

A minute after I entered the freeway it happened - the red wheelbarrow soared from the bed of the pickup truck in front of me, and bounced to a stop. Up until the moment the wheelbarrow became airborne I’d been on autopilot, fighting the stupor induced by a four-hour Indesign class and wondering if the kids had made themselves lunch.

It took a split second for my brain to register that the large object in front of me was solid and ought to be avoided. It took another split second for me to slam on the brakes and hope the driver behind me wasn’t texting or reaching for his frappachino. Another fraction of a second to realize I couldn’t stop in time, and to glance in the side view mirror and hope no one was in my blind spot when I swerved.


Minutes before, I’d been chatting with a classmate about the design exercise we’d just completed. We compared thoughts on how clumsy it felt to be wrestling with programs so new and foreign, with things like control panels and smart guides.

“Hopefully it’s like driving,” I said. “Eventually we’ll be able to do all this by reflex.”

Precisely because I stayed after class to have this conversation about complicated rules and reflexes, I arrived on the freeway at the exact moment the wheelbarrow took flight. It was as if I’d just ordered up a test to prove I actually had driving reflexes.

If I’d entered the freeway an instant sooner, the wheelbarrow might have landed in the front seat with me. An instant later and the guy behind me might have redesigned my bumper, frappachino or no frappachino.

Earlier that same morning when I’d left for class, the brake light on my dashboard flashed on. I was already late and thought about dismissing the brake situation until later. Instead I decided not to take a chance, and submitted to doubling back home to add brake fluid.

Some days just work out like that.

20 comments:

Kelly H-Y said...

Wow, wow, wow ... the whole thing gives me chills! Glad you're safe!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Oh my goodness. Thank goodness you're alright! So much can change in an instant.
Beautifully told. You had me on the edge of my seat. (In fact I couldn't stand the tension and skipped ahead, just to make sure you're ok!)

Ocean Girl said...

Hello Adrienne, glad you are okay. And it is better to be late and safe. You did the right thing.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

WHoa! what a scare! Glad you're fine and Safe! Glad you exercised caution.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My heart is POUNDING reading this post! How scary. Thank God you're okay.
It's true, about timing.

ICQB said...

Yikes!! I'm glad you refreshed your brake fluid, I'm glad your reflexes were sharp, and I'm glad you missed the wheelbarrow.

You did miss it, right?

adrienne said...

Thanks for the nice comments - nothing like a close call to make you feel alive and thankful...and pretty darn small!

ICQB - I did miss it, by a hair. I looked back to make sure the car behind me missed it, too (then I shook most of the way home).

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm glad you are okay! I always figure there is a reason if I'm running late...You never know what might have happened if you had been a few seconds earlier.

Ara Burklund said...

Wow! I'm so glad you're okay, Adrienne!!! What a scary experience! Thank God everything turned out okay!!!

Mary Witzl said...

My God, what an incredible story! And the title is totally perfect. That haiku could hardly be more pertinent.

Things like this really do make you think, don't they? You don't know what's going on, but you do know that whatever it is, it's pretty amazing. I'm so glad you got your brakes checked and didn't end up with that wheelbarrow through your windshield.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Holy cow. That is SCARY. A wheelbarrow? Good god. I'm glad you're safe.

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Oh my goodness!!

cheeky curves said...

Thee but for the grace of God here go I.
Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
so glad you are safe

Joanna Jenkins said...

Jeez-- That makes the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. So very glad you were okay and no one was hurt. You are definitely living right!

As for the guy who didn't tie down is wheelbarrow-- Grrrr.

Stay safe.
jj

C.R. Evers said...

Wowza! girl! The situation gives me the chills, your description of it kept me hanging! Let me say again, Wowza!!! I'm so glad you're OK!

Anne Spollen said...

Flying wheelbarrows - I'm glad you are safe, but how can anyone stay safe if morons like that guy don't know enough to tie down heavy objects that can hurt people?

Talk about last second saves...

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Rena said...

Yikes. I'm glad you're okay. You just never know what life is going to throw in your pathway.

Nora MacFarlane said...

Yikes! You are fortunate that didn't come through your windshield.

Angela said...

WOW!!!

You did order up that test & you DO have driving reflexes.

Driving reflexes + brake fluid = the perfect combination!

Glad you are okay!