We’re only back in Ontario for 7 weeks before heading back to Europe, and the intent was to do “maintenance” on ourselves (doctor, dentist, optometrist, prescription renewals), on our car (annual maintenance and transmission fluid before putting it into storage for 10 months), and on our relationships (visiting friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in person since pre-Covid) … and of course re-pack for our next set of travels.
It was all going smoothly until this past Monday (day 25 of 49), when a distracted driver crossed the centre lane on a straight stretch of Highway 26 near Minesing, going 80 kph (50mph) and hit us, spinning us around with the force of the collision, shearing off one of our rear wheels, and totalling our car.
Thankfully, we escaped without a scratch, but we most definitely did not make it to our friends’ house for dinner. Nor will we be getting in the rest of our planned visits, since the world’s post-pandemic supply chain issues have created a shortage of rental cars, and while we’ve been approved to have one for the next 15 days, there is not a single one available in our county. It’s a good thing our current rental condo is within walking distance of life’s necessities, and we can – if need be – book a shuttle to get us to the airport on July 2nd.
Folks have been asking us why we don’t seem more shaken. A big reason, of course, is that we escaped unhurt, but in talking about it, Ted and I also think it’s partly due to this nomadic lifestyle we’ve adopted. We plan ahead, but we have to be prepared for the unexpected, whether that is something minor like airport delays or missing hotel reservations or something huge like a pandemic that cancels our travel plans. Losing our car is just one more unexpected glitch to work around.
Plus, we got to meet a really great OPP officer, who efficiently got all the reporting done and then stayed standing in the rain with us until our tow truck arrived, keeping us calm and grounded by chatting about travel in Scotland and sharing his fatherly pride in his 12-year-old golf prodigy daughter.
We’re very aware that this entire episode could have been so much worse if I hadn’t been able to manoeuvre away from a head-on impact. The whole thing has also reminded me of why I don’t really miss driving all that much, although this was by far my favourite car ever, and I did really enjoy driving it. I’ll be quite happy to be on subways, trams, trains, boats, and even planes for the next 10 months. Once we get our final insurance settlement, we’ll have to give some serious thought to how quickly we replace our car.
The license plate may be in storage, but “GEHEN” (going) remains our motto.