Sunday, October 4, 2015

Photo-of-the-Week #231 One Instant In Time, Sparta, North Carolina, August, 2011

That's all it takes to change the course of your life. Just one Instant in time. In this particular instant, actually, a couple nights before I took this photo, I was driving this car. I finally found this particular car and bought it less than a year before in September of 2010. I had already acquired my South Dakota license plates and left as soon as I put them on the car for Rapid City, South Dakota to complete my official residence change and obtain my South Dakota drivers license. This car was destined to be the “toad” (RV slang for the car towed behind a motor home) for the motor home I was shopping for. And, in one instant all my plans changed.

Yes, you're looking at a totaled 2002 Ford Focus that had the low mileage, the exact door, seating and cargo configuration, the five-speed manual transmission, the engine and other features I specifically wanted. It even had a satellite radio receiver installed. It took me two months to find this particular car. I downsized from my 1996 Cadillac Seville STS, one of my favorite cars of all time. I had 256,000 miles on the old Caddy. I bought it with 104,000 miles on the odometer. The Focus was about 8 years old when I bought it and only had a few thousand miles over 50,000 on the odometer. Then . . . 

a kamikaze deer shot out of the darkness of the night and in that instant everything

about my future plans changed. No! I wasn't hurt, just a little stunned. I didn't even make contact with the airbag when it deployed. And, therein, lies the crux of the matter. There was no one in the passenger seat, but both airbags deployed as you can see in this photo.

When the insurance adjuster went over the car, he had to total the car. The actual damage to the front of the car, headlight, grill and windshield were all repairable at nominal expense. It was those two airbags that moved the car into the totaled category. They brought the cost of repairs well over the threshold that made sense for the insurance company.

Obviously, one doesn't plan for an accident, therefore they always happen at an inopportune time. This was no exception. The insurance company had me in a rental car virtually immediately. So, I had wheels. However, due to my schedule and upcoming events, I had absolutely no time to go shopping for a replacement for this vehicle. It took me two months to find this Ford Focus, so I fully expected it to take that much time or possibly longer to find another car matching my precise requirements as the “toad” I had planned this car to be.

Ultimately, by the middle or end of September I had changed my plans. I decided to alter my plans for a motor home and a toad. I decided to find either a Class B or Class B+ van based motor home or a high-top conversion van I could modify myself to use as both a tiny house on wheels and a daily driving vehicle. I looked at a couple vehicles, but ultimately decided on the self modified, high-top conversion van, now known as My McVansion.

The positive outcome is the change in plans saved me from paying insurance on two vehicles, double maintenance, upkeep, operating expense, repairs, depreciation and the cost to modify the “toad” vehicle for towing. The frustration is that I had sold a beautiful high-top conversion van with a slightly larger engine, nicer interior and even lower mileage only about 18 months earlier.

Such is life! Everything can change in an instant. It certainly did for that kamikaze deer. It's “lights” went out permanently in that instant. Of course, I'm very thankful I didn't lose control and roll the car or hit a tree or worse. Ultimately, perhaps, there was a message from the universe in that event. Although, I just think it was a standard dumb deer doing what dumb deer do and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time that night. 


  1. This is a cosmic view of seeing events as part of your particular road to be traveled. It is inherently positive because whatever occurs, the value within can be discerned. Not always at first, but often in hindsight. How often we say things like: "It was devastating losing my job, but it's the only way I would have changed my life."

    Happy traveling to you Ed, and all us readers of your blog, as we do our best to discern the way in which we should go and courageously follow the road less traveled.

    1. Right on! Richard. Most people, me included, tend to stay in our comfort zone, or as we might think, the path of least resistance. I believe there is such a thing as human or life inertia. We will remain in whatever life situation we are in until acted upon by an outside force. An object (human) at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by that external force. In my case, in this instance, that force was a dumb doe.