Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Driveway Accident by Sharon O'Donnell

Ahh. We finally have all four cars back. We were down to two for four people (hey, I've never written "to two" and "for four" in a row like that) the past two weeks due to what I call 'the driveway accident'. One car I drive, one is my husband's business car, one is my college son's, and one is my high school senior and soon-to-be-college son's. With my high school son's after school schedule with sports, he definitely needs to have his own transportation; for the past few years before the car, most of my life was spent taking and picking him up from basketball or baseball practices.

So back to the accident. Our driveways is, shall we say, slightly sloped. Okay, it is pretty much straight downhill into the garage. Great for sledding in the occasional central North Carolina snow storm but not great for driving. Particularly when backing up. Our driveway needs to be about 6 feet wider in order to sufficiently accommodate two cars parked side by side without having a near miss when one car backs past the other. You can see where this is going.

One night a few weeks ago, our college son Billy, came home for a quick visit, and when he was backing out of the driveway to return to campus, he hit the side view mirror off of our high school son's (David) car. He thought that was the extent of the damage, but the next morning in the daylight, we discovered that David's car had more damage to its side, and then Billy called to tell us that his car had some damage too.

Billy was apologetic about it, but we knew it was just one of those things. I'd had a fender bender once also -- right at the top of our driveway, hitting a car parked on the other side of the street. The damage estimate for one car was $1,500 and for the other it was $1,000 -- thank goodness we had insurance that would mean we would only have to pay a $500 deductible. That is when we discovered that North Carolina -- our state -- is the only state in the nation that requires the deductible to be paid on BOTH cars, not one deductible for both cars together. $1,000. There goes that spider vein surgery I keep putting off because someone needs braces or college funds or something. Damn.

So we've had to make do with two cars lately. And yes, we have become spoiled. It was tough having to take my high school son to school again at 7:00 and then to figure out what time his after school activities would be over so I could then go get him. My college son did without a car for a few days, but he has an internship off campus that he needed to get to, so I had to sometimes go without one. I hate when you get ready to run an errand and then go into the garage only to find it's empty!

Things are back to normal now. And I think my sanity is slowly coming back too.


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