Monday, September 7, 2009


The day started out iffy. There had been a real down pour that was officially canceling my plans to attend the Chuck Wagon races in Clinton. It is a pretty big event that had drawn over 1000 horses this year. I had planned to post the pictures and I was rather excited to see something so original.

It was a pretty fierce storm with a lot of lightening so I had unplugged all electronics. My brother called from Ohio but I begged off talking on the phone because of the storm. Two minutes after we hung up, there was a scary BOOM, and I saw a light flash out of the corner of my eye in the house. Now lightening and I have met before and while I obviously survived and actually had a marvelous high for days, I really didn't want a repeat.

I checked my kitchen light and found it was out, probably the flash I saw. Then I checked my breakers and one was tripped which I reset. Everything seemed fine and in working order after I changed the light bulb. However my phones were unusable due to a loud roaring sound instead of a dial tone.

The storm calmed down a lot but I knew it would be a muddy track for the races and not a good day for that. Those plans canceled, I decided to drive to Missouri to get my lotto ticket which had just expired. I get 15 draws when I go so I don't have to go often and I usually pick one up for a friend while I am there. Mighty loves the trip so we looked forward to the scenic drive. We set out in a drizzle and the closer we got to Missouri, the nicer it got. It was a pleasant trip and the ride was beautiful.

It was afternoon when I returned. Going through the town closest to me on the return trip, I entered an intersection that has a yield, curving right turn lane at the stop light. The car ahead of me pulled through and I craned my head to the left to make sure it was clear when "THUNK." Instead of continuing through, the fellow ahead of me suddenly decided to stop though nothing was coming and I hit him.

Aw crap. When ever that happens, there is always that instant when you really wish you had a "do over." I was only going 5 miles per hour so no one was hurt and we pulled into a restaurant parking lot to get off the highway.

Now in some parts of the country, this is cause for practicing your blue vocabulary, middle finger dexterity and elevating your blood pressure. True, there was only minor damage but there is that ugly deductible to be met and raised insurance rates which is never pleasant. It could easily have been a situation for tempers.

Damage was minimal, he lost a light and I got a dent in my bumper. Important thing was, all necks and backs were fine. It took a while before the police arrived so we chatted. Turns out we were coming from the same place and he laughingly said, we should have ridden together. We did the "do you know?" routine but had no common friends. They were "lived all their lives in same town" locals and I am still a newbie. In no time however, we were laughing and enjoying each other.

Our accident was written up and it was time to part. They opened their arms and it was hugs all around with "call me" requests. We all agreed it was so nice to have met, just not so nice the way we did. They were a very delightful couple and while I hate the accident, I am glad to have met them.

I have lived in areas where this would not have played out the same way. There would have been accusations and finger pointing though not on my behalf as I am an admitted wuss and it was my fault, I hit him. The civility displayed is why I love this town. There is a gentleness coupled with plain old fashioned good manners here. Such a joy.

One more instance of why I love this town. When I got home the friend that I got the Lotto ticket for called and when I told her what happened with the lightening strike, she relayed the fact that she knew of someone that the same thing had happened to, lights, breakers and etc. She said they did nothing and their house burned to the ground about 3 days after the strike, from a short I would suppose.

Well now, that bit of information will keep you awake, so I called an electrician who had done work for me before, at about 7:30 Saturday night. I talked to his girl friend and she said he would be over after church on Sunday. I was thrilled, it being Labor Day weekend and all. They left a little while ago after testing my outlets and breaker wiring. He found no problems. The other reason I love this town?? Quick service ---on a holiday and---- no charge.

Had all this occurred in your area, would the results have been the same? Do you have similar stories?? In our screwed up world today, good people deserve a shout out. They so outnumber the idiots.


  1. Well that was a refreshing outcome...I was once on the receiving end...stopped behind a school bus waiting to turn left, when a young girl rear ended me...She was the mayor's daughter and so nervous and scared...being a grandmother...first instinct was to comfort her! I love small town living...and the politeness that just happens!

  2. I had a similar accident at the "Y" at Midway. Yes, it was my fault...period. There was no damage to either vehicle.

    The older couple were not cordial and I received a lecture on driving safely, which I deserved. Law enforcement was not called for which I was eternally thankful; the deductibles and premium increase would not be welcomed.

    I had no excusely except the used vehicle I owned had a "strange" way of accelerating rapidly with no foot on accelerator. I had it checked by several mechanics who probably did not believe this WOMAN's story.

    Once I measured and clocked my acceleration from 0-40 mph with no foot on accelerator; accomplished in less than one block .

    In desperation I took it the dealer service, despite the fact I dreaded the bill in a time when $'s were in short supply.

    Surprisingly, I had some defect in the emission control apparatus which had a recall factory and the recall was still active . The bill was significantly less to finally fix a dangerous defect.

    I believe the non-lethal fender bender probably saved a potentially more serious accident.

  3. First, I am glad to know that you had no lasting damage from the storm and second, no harm from the "hit".

    I had one such small wreck. I hit a guy who (it turned out) was in a rental car because his brand new Porche was in the shop for a pre-vacation check-up.He was very nice to me because he was so happy he was hit in a rental and not his new Porche.

    I met his wife a few months afterward and told her how nice he had been, and if I ever had another wreck - I hoped it would be him (but not in the Porche.) LOL

  4. I'm sure it's not always the case, but usually rural southern manners bring a good outcome to such experiences. My son had a small fender bender here in town. The other vehicle had only a small scratch. The owner of the other vehicle said don't even worry about the insurance. The patrolman didn't give him a ticket, and even called me to let me know what had happened.

    An Arkies Musings

  5. Glad you are okay, Patti.. I know ANY accident can be scary (even the ones where nobody is hurt). Sounds like you met some wonderful people. See why we love Arkansas so much????? We Do!!!!

    But--we live in a fairly small town also, so I'll have to admit that there are some really nice people here also. I'm not sure we could have gotten an electrician on a holiday weekend though. Glad your wires/breakers are okay.

    Thank God for wonderful people in this world.

  6. Don't even ask about drivers here...temps are hot when you are in a car, bumper to bumper traffic and it is 115 outside....

  7. I am so glad everything is okay: electrical, car and YOU! I guess they are called "accidents" for a reason.
    Nice to make new friends though. I'm a strong believer in everything happens for a reason.

  8. I'm glad you are okay - I loved the 'do over' line. I sure wish I could have a few of these to pull and use now and then. They would be way better than a lotto ticket.
    Small town America - for sure still has its pluses.

  9. Wanda,
    Aw, weren't you nice to that young girl. I am sure she was terrified. Way to go and perfect example of how we need to be.

    Wow, that was a fortunate accident for it prevented what could have been a much worse one down the road. How scary to have a car do its own thing. That was a win/win for you.

    Phew, were you lucky he wasn't in his Porsche. That would have really tested his good nature. Having him be so nice like my people, really takes the sting out of an unfortunate accident.

    That is why I almost settled in Mena. I was heading that way when this town caught my eye. I love how they took care of your son and informed you. Pretty special.

    Amen to that. Don't know why small towns are so nice but they just are. People tend to look out for one another rather than "take" one another. Just to rub it in, the phone company came out today to check my crazy phones.

    4th sister,
    I can imagine a totally different outcome had I been in Miami in a similar setting as you described.
    Heat and crowds cranky up a person.

    You are right. The fellow I hit said that very thing several times regarding accidents. No one really sits there in a car thinking, "Wouldn't it be fun to smack into that car ahead of me." Unless you roll out of a car under the influence, it is just an "accident."

    I do believe we should be given 3"do overs" in a lifetime to use at our discretion. Wouldn't that be cool? Would just be hard to know when to spend them.

  10. Great story. I can see why you would want to stay right where you are located now. Sounds like a very nice town.

  11. I can't predict how people in my town would react to a fender bender, not ever having one myself (brag). However I can tell you how quickly someone would answer my call for an electrician. I would be in the dark for days.

  12. Me too! I also love it when I go shopping in town as I always run into friends who greet me with a smile and a hug. : )

  13. Patti..glad you're not hurt!

    I generally find that a lot of other people's attitudes depend on my own. But you're right there are some places today where there's just hostility no matter what peace and kindness you offer.

    Sorry if I offended you this week with my opinion on my page......but that's what it is...just my opinion. LOL More FUN stuff next week!

  14. That was so endearing :) I so cannot believe it. In my country such an incident is unthinkable however minor the accident !! I'm glad you had such a pleasant experience.

    I mean, if you get to meet such wonderful ppl, I would create a few accidents daily from my end :D

  15. Patty,
    Thanks and it IS a good town. The realtor not only sold me a house but he sold me on the town. Smart man for it was the deciding factor.

    Way to go and keep that record spotless. Now when I first came here I couldn't get a plumber to return my call. However, once they do one job for you, you pretty much have a friend.

    I lived 20 years in a town similar in Florida but as it grew, it lost the friendliness. Pretty soon I could shop in Publix and not see anyone I knew. Hope that doesn't happen here.

    You are right on about that. You generally get back what you project and then there are people so stressed out that they are loaded for bear all the time.
    Hay, no problem with your post. I don't argue politics for it is a lost cause. We don't have to agree on everything to find common interests. If that were so, I would lose some delightful friends.
    I'll be back.

    That is funny. If only there were a guarantee they would all be so nice.
    Sorry about the hostile drivers in your country. Stress can make a rational person jump into an argument. Big city areas in this country are the same with all the heavy traffic and hurried lifestyles.

  16. Well you met some very nice people, and I understand that you love your town. On the whole people are also nice overhere, but the younger generation is greedier and not so generous as their older colleagues.

  17. I'm glad no one was hurt and everything worked out so well, patti. Sounds like you're living in a lovely part of the country, where there's still time to be kind and neighborly.

  18. None of it would have turned out that way! Well, that's probably not totally fair of me...Maybe 20% could have turned out that way...but, here, people are so impatient and rude and angry---It is a refection of how difficult life is now, and how much pressure people are under these days, especially in a big city like Los Angeles. Still, there ae a few people left that would react in the ways you describe. That's the 20%!

  19. Wow! What a storm! I'm glad you are ok! And I'm glad the accident was not serious. Hugs!

  20. Reader Wil
    You are probably right. This was a middle aged couple. Age does bring patience and a bit of understanding. The youngsters haven't found that yet.

    It is lovely here and I just hope it stays that way. I lived in a similar town that changed for the worse as it grew rapidly. Some day I will post about the driving etiquette here which blew my mind.

    Think the larger the city, the shorter the tempers. Had that happened in Miami where I have sometimes driven, I may have been shot. Lots of stress these days.

    Cheffie Mom,
    It was a dilly. Just glad I had hung up from talking to my brother before the lightening strike killed all of my phones. All in all it was a lucky day.

  21. I want to come live where you live it seems so nice. I'm sure that the 70s is the new 60, because I just turned 65.

  22. I love my town for many of the same reasons although as it continues to grow we are beginning to lose some of those qualities. We just have to remember to always treat others as we would like to be treated.

    I doubt I'd get an electrician to come out on a holiday at no charge!

  23. Amber Star
    Thank you for visiting TNS and I don't blame you, it is a bit out of Mayberry.
    Lets see, if you are 65, then you are technically in your 50's. Enjoy.

    I know how you feel. I came from a town that 20 years ago was like this one. Then as it grew, it lost its charm and sweetness. I can't help but think that with me and people like me moving here may be the beginning of the end. Gosh I hope not.

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  25. I love the way you tell your stories! Thank goodness your bumper-bender was a minor thing and the other party was of good humor. That's definitely a plus during any automotive confrontation.

    Glad you survived the storm; we had only rain, about an inch, a few thunder-boomers and one power-flicker that was just long enough to have to reset the clocks and restart the computer.

  26. Babli
    Thank you and welcome to TNS. You made a long trip and I shall do the same.

    Thanks so much. Aren't those flickers maddening? This year they have been excessive.Entergy needs to trim the trees. My Direct TV takes forever to reboot and it often loses what I was recording. I guess as long as our houses are still here, we should be happy.