Sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and sometimes that formula fails miserably.
I think I’ve mentioned before that one of my volunteer endeavors (the only one these days) is with an organization called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). A CASA (as we are known) acts as an advocate for a child in the foster care system. It’s sort of a Big Sister/Big Brother on steroids deal where you spend time with the child and make sure he or she is getting all appropriate services. It’s a great thing to do.
The child I advocate for lives about 20 miles from me and the best way to get there is by traveling a road that has a lot of watershed land on one side and a couple of reservoirs on the other. It is very dark and windy – as in it has a lot of curves although it can be windy, too.
As I was driving home tonight I thought to myself, “I should really watch for deer” and I did. I scanned the land to the left and to the right searching for the glint of eyeballs. I watched my speed but it is a fairly fast road and the limit is 50 so I was doing 50. I had an SUV somewhat on my tail (do they ever drive any other way?). And then, just like that, as I am scanning for deer, a large, dark body pops out on my left and tears across the road as though all of my good thoughts and precautions conjured it out of the woods. I slammed on the breaks and heard the screech of rubber sticking to the asphalt. I knew enough not to crank the wheel to the left although I really wanted to. I thought everything was okay and the deer was moving fast enough to clear the car and then BAM! Ugh. But the deer kept right on moving.
I turned on my signal and pulled over to the right and the SUV sped past. Could the driver really have missed that? Or did the person just not care? After turning on the emergency flashers and pulling on the brake I got out of the car and looked behind me and saw nothing. I checked out the car and it is okay except for some broken lights. You might think all was well but the car is a tank and has honest to goodness bumpers made of rubber and steel. That poor animal must surely have suffered a broken leg.
I had no idea what to do so I drove off. I feel small and mean and horrible and somewhat filled with dread because I will be driving this road every week for the foreseeable future. Is hitting a deer like being hit by lightening? Does it only happen once? If I did conjure the thing up out of the woods can I protect myself by refusing to think about deer when I drive? If you hit a deer do they reserve a special chair for you in hell? I hope not.
Morning update –
I was thinking about this after swimming today and I realized that if I hadn’t been on deer alert I would probably have nailed that animal broadside and been rear ended and it would have been very, very ugly. So I will always think about deer on that road and I may just slow down a bit at night. If that makes SUV drivers unhappy then so be it.
And on another note – It’s a great day to be a Democrat. And we finally have a woman as Speaker of the House. Yes!!!