Yesterday morning I was on my way to the mall. Since the mall opens at 10:00 and my daughter has to be picked up from kindergarten at 11:15 AND the mall is 25 minutes away, you can do the math; my window of opportunity is VERY small. Sure, a more sensible person would put off a trip to the mall until she had more time instead of wasting gas to go for 50 minutes, but I was chomping at the bit to check out a couple of things. I figured if I got in my car no later than 9:30 and parked right outside the store I needed to visit, I could accomplish my To Do List in less than 50 minutes so that’s what I set out to do.
Well if you know me at all, you know I don’t ever get in my car when I plan to, but I did pretty well. At 9:35 I was buckling R’s safety belt. I hopped in the driver’s seat and glanced at the clock on the dash and did a quick mental calculation. If I didn’t hit any red lights, I could still be at the mall when the doors opened. I set my iPod to my favorite playlist and started off on the familiar route.
Everything went swimmingly and I exited the highway at approximately 9:55. Perfect timing! I began navigating the road that is the home stretch. There are quite a few traffic lights with turn lanes on this road so I drove carefully but quickly. I didn’t want to miss any shopping time, and there wasn’t a minute to spare. I flew through the first couple of lights, and then I approached another. I noticed three cars ahead of me entering the left turn lane to turn at the light, and as I began to pass them, I distinctly remember making the observation that they each had their turn signals on. You never know when someone is going to change their mind and unexpectedly pull out in front of you, but they all looked as if they intended to make that left turn so I put my foot on the gas and accelerated towards the green light ahead of me.
But just as I was passing the 2nd car in the left turn lane, the 1st car in the lane, actually a clunky delivery truck of some sort, decided he didn’t want to make a left turn after all and HE PULLED OUT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! He didn’t even do it quickly, like he was going to try to get out ahead of me, he just leisurely pulled out of his lane and right into MINE.
There was no time to stop so I abruptly swerved around him and into the right lane, simultaneously laying on my horn and glancing at my rear view mirror to confirm that there was no one immediately behind me. There was a car a few car-lengths back but thankfully he wasn’t close enough to be affected by my sudden maneuver.
And just like that, the incident that turned out not to be much of an incident after all was over. Once I realized that I had successfully avoided an accident, I looked back one more time to see the stupid truck just sitting there in the intersection like he couldn’t figure out what had happened. I haven’t got a CLUE what he was thinking when he pulled over into that lane. I must have been in his blind spot. That, or he didn’t look at all, which, HELLO. Who DOES that?
My anger soon turned to relief, and I immediately I sent up a prayer of thanks for my safety, to say nothing of the preservation of my shopping trip. And then I thought of that Amy Grant song from the 80s — Angels Watching Over Me — the one about all the near misses that we never even know about because the hand of God is protecting us. Sure, bad things happen all the time, but just think of all the bad things that DON’T happen. I’m sure I take way too much for granted.
I parked and went about my shopping excursion and accomplished everything on my agenda and even made it back to the car with five minutes to spare. And as I climbed into my car and headed to my daughter’s school, I couldn’t help but think, “I never see with human eyes that hands that lead me home.”