Such Bad Luck–Maybe

The past month has offered us many challenges and I am working hard to avoid the “bad luck” label.  The book Zen Shorts explains that sometimes good luck and bad luck are all mixed up.  2 posts ago I wrote about some of our mixed up luck.  Now, I have another round of luck to share.

The events started with our washing machine stopping during the wash cycle, displaying an error message and smelling burnt.  It took more than two hours to research a solution online, dismantle the washing machine to reach the pump.  Rob had to bail out the left over water from the wash cycle before we could get to the pump.  The culprit turned out to be a strip of a Michael Miller‘s Ta Dot print that came from the very first fat quarter pack I bought at Bolt.  I carelessly tossed a handful of scraps in the wash the week prior and I guess this one slipped through.  The project sucked up the end of a perfectly good Sunday afternoon.  I won’t make that mistake again.

The following weekend a torrential downpour moved quickly through Portland.  Regrettably, not quickly enough.  About mid-storm, Rob went outside to open the hoses on our 6 rain barrels so that they would not overflow.  It turned out that the overflow drainage pipe for one of them was dislodged and it was spewing water into one of the basement window wells.  It was nearly full and before Rob was able to bail out the window well.  Water leaked through the window into the basement.

The interior moisture was moped up and we thought that was the end of it.  The next day Rob walked into the shop/furnace room and his feet squished in the carpet.  There was standing water of unknown origin.  I went out and bought a shop vac and sucked up the mess, which would have also been handy to drain the excess water out the washer and out of the window well.  The standing water had wicked up into the work bench overnight and had already started to mildew.  Rob treated the area with bleach after the water had been sucked up.  We thought that was the end of it.

The next day I realized that it wasn’t.  The stench of mold and mildew had climbed had permeated the basement and was crawling up the stairs.  I reapplied bleach and hoped that I got all the areas Rob may have missed.  By the time Rob got back home at the end of the week it was clear that the entire workbench had to be removed.

As Rob deconstructed the workbench he discovered two boxes had been built into the cabinets of the workbench.  One has a partial set of china, which doesn’t seem to be headed for Antiques Roadshow.  The other has a prom dress, envelopes from graduation announcements and other high school senior year related items from 1989.  It all stinks of mildew and I am not sure if I should take it to Goodwill or the police station.  Anyway, all our weekend free time was sucked up with basement clean up.  The hard work did pay off and the basement is odor free.

Last weekend I was finally looking forward to something fun.  The PMQG Open Sew was at Modern Domestic last Saturday evening.  I continued to work on a quilt I started at the August PMQG Open Sew for Henrik’s birthday.  I hadn’t spent any time on it at home between the two events so I picked up right where I left off in August.  I wasn’t completely satisfied with the two blocks I had completed last time.  I liked each of them, but not together.  I was so happy to have had the opportunity to glean from the wisdom of the more experienced quilters around me.  I clarified my vision for the quilt and I started cutting and sewing.

I sewed up until the last possible minute and I was one of the last ones to pack up.  It took me a few minutes to get checked out and I had considered chatting for a few more minutes, but I decided to head home instead.  I thought about driving home the way I came, which was a new route I had recently discovered, or to drive home my usual way.  I picked the new way and headed south.  I called Rob on speakerphone to let him know I was on the way.  I hung up with him, shut my phone off and turned the radio back on.  MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This was on the radio and I reminisced about how he could move in ways unimaginable to me.

I was headed southbound on NE 15th and I crossed Broadway with a green, but there was a red at Weidler.  There was a car in front of me with the left turn signal on and I debated about moving into the right lane so that I would not have to wait for the turner.  I felt so content at that moment and I did not feel hurried enough to change lanes.  I was looking across the street at Grand Central and thinking about fresh bread and pastries, considering changing the radio channel and laughing to myself about MC Hammer and his huge pants.

The light turned green and the car in front of me waited for the oncoming traffic to clear.  I got hit right as the car in front of me pulled away.  I am not sure if I was looking at Grand Central or the radio at the time of impact, but I was looking slightly to the right.  My left foot had the clutch completely pressed to the floor, my left hand was on the steering wheel, my right foot was resting on the gas pedal and my right hand was on the gear shift knob.  I was pushed about 5-10 feet forward before I hit the brake.

The only thing I remember about the actual impact is that I was suddenly moving and then I hit my head on the headrest.  I had been leaning slightly forward with my right arm outstretched ready to shift and my head had not been in contact with the headrest.  Upon impact, my head tilted back and then hit the headrest.  I had taken my camera to Modern Domestic to take pictures of my quilt work.  It was pretty crowded and I was moving back and forth between the cutting table and the sewing machine.  I never took any photos at Modern Domestic, but the camera came in handy after the accident.

I took pictures of the back of my car the front of her car and of her insurance card.  The driver was not listed as the insured, it was her parents’ policy and her car was not listed as one of the insured vehicles.  Since we did not call the police, I thought that a picture of the insurance card would be my best proof of insurance.

It turned out that when my insurance company called the driver’s insurance company, they did not have the driver listed under that policy.  I was able to provide additional information that had not been collected when I reported the accident to my insurance company and then the claim was process through the driver’s insurance.  I was also unable to read my writing of the car’s license plate when I filed the claim with my insurance company and I was glad that I had a photo of the license plate so that I could read the numbers clearly.

It had now been one week since the accident.  It has been up and down.  It is mostly up when I am not moving.  It has been mostly down when I am.  I know enough from my years as a massage therapist and all the continuing education hours I have completed and all the people I have worked with who had been in accidents to watch my body mechanics with everything I do.  I was also very aggressive with icing for the first 48 hours.  But sometimes I do have to move my neck.

The hours of sewing I had enjoyed at Modern Domestic just before the accident will be something inaccessible to me for a while.  I am unable to flex my neck forward for more than 20-30 minutes at a time.  I have to ice my neck afterward.  I started sewing Henrik’s Halloween costume this weekend.  Yesterday I sewed for 30 minutes yesterday and then took a 90 minutes break.  When I came back, I was only able to sew for 15 minutes and then it was back to the ice pack.

I am glad I got started earlier this year than last year and I have enough time left before Halloween to work in 15-30 minutes blocks of time.  I am very concerned about the t-shirt and fabric inventory waiting for me in my sewing space and when I will be able to get my new business off the ground.  I thought getting Henrik off to preschool a having a few mornings a week on my own was going to be my last hurdle to bringing the business I have been envisioning for the past two years to life….

I even had to ice my neck after 15 minutes of bending over my soup bowl at lunch today.  I had an ice pack on through dinner after chopping 2 zucchinis and stir frying them with some salmon and noodles and the teriyaki sauce from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which was my first time using this sauce recipe and it was delicious!

I started writing this post on Friday because I also cannot comfortably spend that much time at the computer.  So, much of lives have been severely impacted recently.  But, the washer works, the basement hasn’t leaked again and the accident could have been so much worse.  The driver apologized for hitting me, but did not offer any excuse.  I have no idea what made her unable to stop in time.  But, the ground was dry, my car moved freely upon impact because I had the clutch in, the car in front of me vacated the space just as I was pushed into it and the car that hit me was smaller than mine.

All of the factors outside of the actions of the other driver decreased the damage inflicted upon my body.  But, I am facing a recovery of unknown duration.  I do know that Henrik burst into hysterical sobs when Rob asked, “What happened?” when I called him after the accident.  Henrik had no idea what had happened, but he knew that something had happened.  That was an awful feeling to experience.  I hope there will be a long intermission before the next time Henrik has to truly worry about my safety.  Love your family and be safe.