And a new car.
What's that? A new car? Yes. Unplanned. Back in October, we did some research for D so he could replace his '01 Civic Si coupe (manual) with something a little more grown-up/passenger friendly with better suspension, no crash history, and lower mileage. So we did the research and narrowed down his list and went on some test drives. Got him a 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer SE, blue, with upgraded stereo, sattelite radio, manual transmission. Nice car... very pretty... he was very happy. (other than it taking them a week+ to arrange transport of the vehicle so he could get it)
In December I made my annual pilgrimage to the One of a Kind show. I go ever "Christmas"... D comes with me most years, but for various reasons, didn't this year. Anyway, I did a little shopping... picked up an ornament for my Secret Girlfriend (it's something one of my online forums does fairly regularly... you sign up and get a 'target' to whom you send small gifts every month... and you get small gifts from someone else)... bought myself a handbag more expensive than any I had ever purchased before... put my purchases in the passenger footwell and headed out to do some more of my Christmas shopping before the 'dress rehearsal' for our parish Christmas Concert.
Or that was the plan.
On the main highway across town, near home, in the space of 1km of highway, there are 3 on-ramps and one transfer from "collector" to "express" lanes. Invariably, someone getting on at one of the first 2 on-ramps is determined to take that trasfer, and other than perhaps at 4 a.m., there isn't enough space to safely manage it.
Anyway, there I was, tootling along doing about 110 km/h in Zippy, my '01 Ford Focus SE... my pride and joy... the first car I ever owned. Suddenly a silver import (and that's about as much as I saw in the split second... maybe an Acura, maybe a Honda) cut into my lane... about 2" too close to clear me. I swerved to avoid getting hit... in retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have. Anyway, I swerved, then over-corrected and went into a skid. I was still in skid recovery when I hit the concrete wall head-on. I remember the noise of the skid... I remember seeing the wall coming at me (ok ok, it wasn't moving... details)... and then I remember sunlight shining down through a haze of smoke & black powder. The passenger airbag was on fire (small flame). My mouth was full of grit. The windsheild on the passenger side had been shattered by the airbag blowing. There was an airbag open in front of me. And I hurt.
As things slowly began to swim into focus and my brain started to process things, I turned off the windsheild wipers (I used to think that was silly on TV and in movies when they showed a crashed car and the wipers were going... not so much any more), turned off the engine (forgetting entirely about the concept of gears), and opened a window.
Suddenly I was surrounded by people. A woman was in front of the car on a cell phone and I remember thinking "she must be nuts, it's the 401!". A car full of Canadian Forces guys went into emergency mode... one opened the passenger door, another forced my door open, they started asking me questions to make sure I was alone in the car (apparently 5 calls went to 9-1-1 at least one reporting a carseat smashing on the road... I think it was just bits of my car), to make sure I was fairly coherant, to keep me calm. They asked me to get out, but I thought I'd better wait for EMS to arrive, so they got a light blanket from their car and covered me with it and made sure they knew where my asthma inhaler was.
My right hand was swelling and turning purple at the base of my index finger (we think it got blown off the wheel when the airbag blew and hit the roof, spraining it), and my right knee was hurting like mad. But thanks to the CF guys, I was fairly calm and able to tell the fire crew, EMS and the OPP what happened. The other driver, needless to say, was nowhere to be found... and unlikely to be found, driving the most common colour of car in the country and not having incurred any damage.
Anyway, I hobbled to the ambulance and got taken to the hospital. Made a call from the back to tell Dad I probably wouldn't make rehearsal, 'cuz I had crashed the car and was en route to the hospital, but I was ok, so no need to meet me there. I'd call when I was done.
Of course, Mom heard 'crash' and told him not to be ridiculous and came to the hospital anyway.
In keeping with tradition... no broken bones, by some miracle. My right hand was sprained. My right leg just below the knee was determined (after 2 sets of x-rays, ultra-sound, and an MRI) to be suffering from a bone bruise to the head of the tibia due to crushing impact with the dashboard. I was in physio for nearly 5 months, and using a cane 'til April, but managing to be mostly functional.
That was the 5th of December. On the 31st, I took delivery of my own new car... also a 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer SE (with slightly different features), having taken advantage of earlier research and test-driven 4 other cars as well. So now we have His and Hers cars. Eeesh.
I leave you with some pics of Zippy... she served me well and died honourably.
That's a bag from absorbant powder tucked up under the hood. They used about 5 bags of the stuff.
Note the lack of car in front of the front wheels.
Something important-ish that got forced down and back by the impact that completely rubbed all the paint off my front licence plate.
For obvious reasons, that kind of overshadows anything else that happened in the year I was missing from Blogger. ;)