Monday, September 17, 2012


As a parent, one of my biggest fears was losing one of my kids. I imagine it's a fear that all we parents have, most of the time, we just hold that fear inside and hope and pray that our kids will be ok.  I know several parents who have lost a child and in being with them, I know there is no other pain to equal the loss of a child.

I've "almost" lost Andy 3 times now.  Once, at this birth when he coded, once when he had pneumonia and his temp was 105, and this last time, a month ago.

What do you do when your child calls you on the phone and the first words out of his mouth are, "Mom, I totaled my car." You say, "What?"  That's what you do.  Because you're caught off guard and it's not what you expected to hear and then you wonder what the heck is going on.  I finally asked Andy just what in the world he was talking about which, I guess calmed him down enough for him to tell me, "My car is totaled.  I was in a wreck, I hit a car and another car hit me." what do you say?  I asked if he was all right, all the while hoping that the car he hit was minor and that he didn't hurt anyone.  He said he was fine, that he was still in the car, that he had a cut above his eye and that he thought maybe his wrist was broken.  He also said he'd called 911.

As he kept talking to me, details came slowly.  He was driving to his girlfriends and it was windy.  He'd driven through a couple of dust clouds, but they were small.  He then saw a bigger one ahead, hit his brakes to slow down and went in.  Next thing he knew, he was stopped.  He then knew that he was going to get hit because he knew there was someone coming down the road behind him.  He remembered the bump of that vehicle hitting him.

I said, hang on, your Dad and I will be there as soon as we can get there.   (I imagined the ambulance would be taking him to the closest hospital, which was probably 10 miles away.)  Andy then said, "NO.  I don't want you on the road.  It's bad."

Every parent out there knows what was going through MY mind, I remember thinking, "the heck with you kid, I'm your mother and nothing is going to keep me away when my baby's hurt."

We hung up, and I called Kev, who said, "Get over here, we're going."  He still had a patient, but called someone to cover and he was ready to go when I arrived.  At which point, Andy called and said they were transporting him to Dodge, so we pulled back into the hospital parking lot and went inside ER.

One nice perk of having a spouse work at a hospital is that he knew who to talk to, and where to go to wait.

But it was a LONG wait.  The ER staff said it was a 6 vehicle accident, but they were pretty calm, so I guessed that no one was hurt badly.  And we waited.  And waited. And waited.  Finally, the ambulance people showed up. And boy were they dirty.

It must have been a bad dust storm, because these guys were all the same shade of light brown.They had dirt everywhere. It was that fine, silky, filmy dust that sticks to everything and gets into everything.  I've never seen people completely covered in dust like they were.

And then Andy came walking in.  Dirty, but alive, well, with a sprain and a cut and some bruises.

One of the firefighters showed Andy and us a photo of his car...sitting on it's nose.  Which we hadn't know about until then.  And more details came out, making me say yet another prayer of thanks.  We even managed to get annoyed at our baby boy, because he was more interested in what the Firefighters/EMT's where doing than he was in being treated.  (He's studying to be a firefighter/Rescue worker.)  I am grateful he was there to annoy us.

Andy told us what happened, or what he remembered.  With each detail, we felt...anxiety, and fear, and gratitude.  And then we saw pictures.  And then I saw the car.  And, I cried.  Because at that moment, I realized just how close my baby came to losing his life, and how very lucky he and everyone involved in that accident were.  No one was killed.  Seven vehicles were totaled, and no one was killed, or seriously hurt.  It was a miracle that the cars lined up like they did.  Andy's car did end up on it's nose, and it was resting against a semi.  Someone had to break him out of the car. If the semi hadn't been there, like it was, then my baby wouldn't be here.  Or he would have been seriously hurt.  I'm thankful that Kev and I harped about wearing seat belts, because if Andy hadn't had his on, he wouldn't be here.  That seat belt kept him in the car and alive.  I'm thankful for the air bag.  It might have cut him, but it kept him alive.

I'm thankful that I still have my baby.

Here's a few of the pictures...

 This is the first picture we saw.  The dust is still thick in the air.   Andy's car is in the center.  That tire up in the air is his.  What is up in the air is the rear of his car.

This one, and the bottom one were taken at the car lot.  Seeing the car was much worse than seeing the pictures of the car.
I wasn't sure about posting about the accident.  But I am very thankful and grateful that someone up there decided to let us keep our child.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Potato Soup

Sometimes, I wonder about myself...

Last night, while driving home, I asked Kev how Potato Soup sounded for supper.  We had a cold front come through, and the temperature was 59 when we pulled into town.  It just felt like a nice, crisp, fall day, perfect for warm Tater soup.  So, we stopped at the Market because I needed some cream.  Kev likes a rich Potato Soup, and I didn't have any cream.

We got home, and I started peeling potatoes (because I didn't have any canned potatoes) and started cooking the soup.  I decided to cook the potatoes in chicken broth, for some extra flavor.  So, I went to the pantry to get a jar of chicken broth I'd canned last winter.  Unfortunately, I saw only a quart jar of broth.  I didn't want to use that much, so I kept looking for a pint jar.  Not finding one, I looked in the other pantry for a store bought can of broth.  No luck.  So, I grabbed the quart jar and dumped it in with the potatoes and carrots and started them boiling.

As they cooked, I'd test the potatoes to see if they were cooked by pulling one out and taking a bite off it.  "Hum, I thought, this potato tastes a little sweet."  But, I let them continue cooking as I prepared the bacon bits and got the cheese sandwiches ready to grill.  When I tasted them again, they were still a little sweet tasting, and I decided it was the carrot, that, you know, maybe our home-grown carrots were just sweet enough to make everything taste sweet to me.  I then dumped in the cream and went to do some cleaning up while the soup finished up.

That's when I grabbed the jar to put it in the sink.  I picked it up, sniffed it, and thought, "Now, that doesn't smell like chicken broth."  I tasted the sediment in the bottom of the jar and suddenly remembered the jar of Rhubarb Juice I'd made in May.   That lonely quart jar of juice...

Crap!  That's what I used.   Not Chicken Broth, but Rhubarb Juice!  I'd cooked my soup in Juice!

So, I carried my beautiful looking soup over to the sink, got out a strainer, and dumped it all in the strainer.  I gave the potatoes a quick rinse, and put them back in the rinsed pot and back on the stove.  I added milk (no more cream) and added some butter and the bacon bits.  Then I had Kevin come eat.

It was edible.  Still sweet, but edible.  Sort of.

Kev did a better job of eating his soup than I did. It just simply didn't taste right!

 I felt so stupid!  I was mad at myself for wasting a cup of cream and for wasting my juice and for not checking anyway the contents of my jar before pouring it into the pot.  How long have I been cooking?  Apparently, not long enough.

So, this weekend, I hope to can more broth, or at least buy some so next time, I don't act like a bonehead in the kitchen and create a disaster.