Christmas Tree Skirts and Witnessing Witnesses

Just in case you weren’t aware, it’s Christmas. For me, at least. Working in retail, like I do, Christmas starts creeping in as soon as the trick-or-treaters get tucked into bed and their parents eat all their candy!

(Side Note: my favorite kids in the video above is the girl who says, “You’re ugly Dad!” and the two kids at the end who reason with their mom that she shouldn’t have eaten two bags of candy and that if she gets a tummy-ache that it’s her own fault. Smart kids. :))

I typically don’t like to decorate for Christmas until at least the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but this year, the holiday season is overtaking me full force. Santa arrives at the mall this week (on Thursday night at West Town and Saturday morning at Knoxville Center) and so the decor started going up on November 1st to give us time to get everything into place.

Trying to get myself into the holiday spirit in a way that lasts throughout the rest of this year, I decided to head up to the Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge on my day off this week to pick up a new Christmas tree skirt and stockings for myself and the hubs. I was having a pretty enjoyable day (as I slept in and then meandered around and drove into Pigeon Forge by noon) and I found just the tree skirt and stockings I was looking for (and a couple of new Christmas ornaments).

New tree skirt with matching stockings. I plan, at some point, to put our names on them where it says, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" and "Noel" so that they're personalized.

I even stopped by the Tanger Outlets and found a spot directly in front of Banana Republic (even though it was soooooooo crowded). I bought my first Christmas present of the year for Bubba and was pretty proud of it. Happy and fulfilled by my trip, I headed back home. I wanted to get home to Clinton in time to go visit Nana with mom and then go get our hair done at Dana’s. Traffic was getting pretty thick heading into PF and Gatlinburg, so I was glad to be heading out even though the construction and the traffic going out weren’t much better than headed the other direction.

I called my bestie while I was driving because I missed her and wanted to try to get on her super busy schedule when she got into town next week and while I was on the phone with her, the worst happened.

I was approaching a traffic light and I could see a ton of break lights, so I began to break. The distance wasn’t very far, but it was far enough that I got stopped and none of my stuff went flying into the floor of my car (I say this to say that I didn’t SLAM on my breaks). Still chatting with the bestie, I was in mid-sentence when WHAM! SLAM! WHAM! I dropped the phone and was a bit bewildered. When I finally realized what had happened (about 2.5 seconds after the first WHAM!) I noticed I had dropped the phone and all the traffic in front of my had cleared out. The traffic behind, not so much. I picked up the phone where a very nervous bestie was very worried. I assured her I was fine and got out to assess the damage. Yep, I had been rearended on the parkway…in a three car wreck. A Four Runner in the back had hit a BMW in the middle who had hit me in the front. I didn’t hit anybody, thank God. Also stopped was a white car off to the right side of the road in the construction lane.

Fortunately, as I stepped out of my car, the police were already on scene. Apparently, one was on the other side of the parkway headed into town and was able to do a U-Turn and get around to take care of us. The officer that helped me out was so nice, I fully intend to send a nice letter to his commander if I don’t get screwed in any way in this accident/insurance situation.

Before I go any further, I am fine. I did hit my head on the wheel of my car, and I do have a bit of a bump, but no bruising, and a teeny bit of whiplash…all of which will heal quickly I’m sure.

I called Bubba and my mom and was instructed to take pictures and let the police and paramedics check me out. I was fine, just totally shaken up and thoroughly pissed off. The damage to the guy in the back (the Four Runner) was MINIMAL, though the guy in the middle in the BMW had to have his car taken away on a tow truck. Luckily, the damage to my car, though significant in my eye, could have been way worse. My car was totally drivable (despite the trunk not closing properly)…I had to secure it with bungee cords. I may update though after my appraisal tomorrow morning. BLEH!

The nicest part of the whole ordeal was that this elderly couple stopped when the wreck occurred to offer their statements to the police since they had seen what happened. They echoed the fact that nothing was my fault and the policeman agreed as he had watched me stop, get hit and then slam my face on my wheel. Everyone was really concerned about the bump on my head and deciding whether or not I should go to the hospital. I told them no a dozen times, but didn’t have the heart to tell them the worst part of the bump on my head was a zit. 🙂 Gotta love holiday stress.

Anyway, the witness couple were very sweet. Typically, I like to be left alone by people I don’t know, but I was by myself in my car and freaked out. They could tell I was upset and made every effort to comfort me without seeming creepy. At one point, the man (a biker-type Santa look-alike) notice the cross necklace I wear (the one Pop gave me many birthdays ago) and assured me that someone was watching over me and that we were all very lucky things weren’t worse than they were–all the damage that occurred was purely cosmetic on the cars, no injuries–and they were right. As they were saying all this, I kindly burst into tears. The woman (apparently a nurse) gave me a hug, which I gladly accepted. Then she handed me a little red marble and said, “This is cheesy, but remember, one drop of blood from the Savior was meant to remind us that someone is always watching out for us. Keep this trinket in your purse to remind you of that.”

I also, typically, find being witnessed to very annoying…as if I look like a heathen who is in desperate need to find Christ in my life, but I found this oddly comforting and felt lucky that a nice couple had stopped, taken time to check on me, offer some comforting words and leave me with a token and reminder of how lucky I was that nothing worse happened. The woman hugged me again, and after I got my license, registration and insurance card I was sent on my way.

Needless to say, that put a huge damper on finding the tree skirt and cute Christmas ornaments, but again, and I can’t say it enough, I am so relieved that things weren’t worse than they were. Material damage I can handle, even if it is a pain in the rear (no pun intended) and I don’t really have time to deal with it right now. My appraisal appointment is at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. Hopefully, I can get this all taken care of before my mom needs her car back. She, thankfully, won’t need her car the next couple of weeks and we still have Nana’s so I won’t have to get a rental. Stay tuned for updates on this situation.

For now, here is a photo of the damage. It’s the same on the other side.

You can see in this picture that the trunk is smashed in and won’t close and you can kind of see the cosmetic damage to the back bumper with denting and paint marks. Also, note the gash in where the back bumper and side panel connect, as they don’t line up properly…se la vie!


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Filed under Family, Friends, Home Repairs

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