The best laid plans of mice and men…

I had written this journal entry several days ahead of schedule because I was planning to be in Minnesota right now. I made all the appropriate plans, but fate took a hand and forced me to cancel my vacation.

At about 3:35 last Friday, I clocked out of work and left the building fully expecting not to see it again for 9 days or so. I spent most of Saturday morning mowing my lawn and packing and running errands and doing everything necessary to leave my humble abode for 5 or 6 days.

I pulled out of my driveway at about 3:15 and headed north to Oakdale, hoping to knock on Jill’s apartment door* at about 6:30.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Oakdale. My wheel flew off my car. That’s right. It flew the heck off.

It was a surreal experience and one that words will fail to describe adequately. I’m cruising along at about 75 MPH when suddenly the front passenger side of my car is clearly on the ground. My first thought was that I had very badly blown out the tire. I have done that before and this is kind of what it felt like. So I took a gander out the passenger side window and I saw my wheel flying through the air.

I immediately thought, “that is my tire flying through the air.. it isn’t supposed to be doing that… it is amazing I haven’t lost control of this car… I’m not going to be eating chicken wings tonight… this is garbage.”

About 10 miles north of Mason City my car came to a stop on the I-35 shoulder. There I sat for four hours roughly… pondering the questions of life.

As much as this incident has sucked (and continues to suck as my car has yet to be repaired and the towing bill from north of Mason City to Boone, well folks, it isn’t cheap!) I should be thankful for having such wonderful friends and family.

I had a pretty sweet vacation planned. Among other things, I was going to go to a chicken wing place that serves over 60 different types of wings. I was going to go to the Uptown Art Fair. I was going to watch the Minnesota Vikings practice. I was going to get to hang out with Jill, Bethany, Becca, Nate, Dae Hee, Faust, and Jackson.

Instead, I hung out with mile mark number 200.40.

But this isn’t about spilled milk, or in my case, uneaten chicken wings, this is about amazing friends and family, after all I will still be able to eat those chicken wings in about 3 weeks or so. Teresa and Ernie offered to come get me. As did Lowell, Jesse, and Sara. Faust and Jay called to make sure I was okay. Derrick even took my call while he was at a wedding reception. Becca and Bethany offered whatever assistance they could provide. After towing arrangements and picking me up arrangements were made (Thanks Mom and Jason!) and I was able to find my wheel after combing the ditch for an hour, Jill kept me company on the phone for the last 90 minutes while I sat in a ditch.

Before we get into this week’s RWPE, here are a few pictures from my time in the ditch:

You may notice from looking at the pictures, the bolts were sheered off clean. Jason has been working on cars for his entire life. He has never seen anything like this before.

Also, because of my cancelled vacation, I did get to go to the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Reception. So now I know if I won an award besides the Superintendent’s Merit Award. Hint: I did!

Here are the submissions for LEADING LINES:

Christopher D. Bennett

Mike Vest

Next week’s theme:


That is a new theme for this year, so there is no looking back. Only looking forward. Good luck!

*This is hyperbole. Jill lives in a secured building.

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