I was able from the road, to track down our friends car and the owner of the place where it had been towed.  He could not have been nicer, nor more accommodating.  He answered the phone with a high school football game going on in the background and apologized for how loud it was.  I apologized for bothering him ‘after hours.’

“Not a problem,” he said.  “How is the couple?  And do you know how the other driver is? I’m pretty sure I know her.”

The crash happened just outside a small town where everyone knows everyone.

Turns out this woman, a lovely woman in her 80’s, had pulled over on the side of that 2-highway road for some reason, let traffic in her lane go by and when it looked like the last car had passed going in her same direction, she pulled back onto the road and went to turn left.  Left, into the path of our dear friends.  She never saw them coming.

Thank goodness everyone walked away relatively unscathed.  Sore.  Bruised.  A few stitches.  Both parties in need of new vehicles.  But alive.


The Cowboy stopped and picked up their luggage from the mangled car, went by the hospital, gently helped get them into the truck and took them to their hotel room.  They were going to be okay.  We would see them in the morning.

That night though, there was a house full of people gathered for us.

We arrived that night back at his folks house at almost the same time.


The love and joy and coming together of family and friends for a weekend we weren’t even planning to have this fall .. was wonderful, so appreciated, enjoyed and a bit overwhelming.

We stepped into a houseful of people simply waiting for us to get there safely too.  There were kids and hugs and stories being told and laughter and one incredible cake .. the Cowboy’s parents hosting a welcome party for everyone who came to town that Friday night.

Thank you to everyone who made that trip, you have no idea how much the time with you means to us.  Thanks especially to the Cowboy’s parents, for being so gracious to all that weekend .. and for sharing your home and hearts with new family and friends from Wisconsin.

Drive Safely ..

Believe I have written about this before.  My default.  I tell everyone I know who’s hitting the road typically, to drive safely.

It drives some people nuts (my dad), because of course, ‘they always do’.  ‘They’ve never been in an accident.’  So why would I tell them that unless I thought they were a bad driver?

It doesn’t necessarily have to be them/you/us causing the problem ..

Not far into our drive to South Dakota last Friday afternoon, my phone rings.  It’s a number I don’t recognize.  I pick up.

“Hey .. ”

“Hey,” I reply.  “Who is this?”

“It’s R.  How’s the drive going?  Where are you guys?”, a dear friends daughter asks.  (This is a daughter of one of my closest girlfriends and the woman who is somewhat responsible for the party going on even though it had been un-planned.  She and her significant other simply wanted to come out and spend time with us if we were up for it despite the party being postponed.)

I tell her.  And then I start to realize something has to be wrong for her to be calling me.

“What’s up,” I say.

“There’s been in an accident.”

“What do you mean there’s been in an accident?  What happened?”

“They were in a head-on crash from what I’ve been told.”

My mind raced as I wondered how bad the accident could be, and how a head-on was possible if they were still on the interstate as I had recommended.  How is that possible, I keep saying to myself.

My daughter, sitting next to me, says, ‘Mom, what’s wrong?’ …

“They’re in the ambulance.  We’re on our way,” says R.

As others are arriving to set up camp at the ranch, I know they need help.  I call the Cowboy.  He drops everything, sends family and friends to his parents where we are all to meet that night anyway, and heads out to do what he can to help.

My daughter and I are still 3 hours away from the scene – a two-lane highway GPS steered them off on only about 40 miles from the ranch.

I ask to please let us know what we can do to help even from the car.  Say a prayer for them all and think, ‘this can’t be happening.’  They have to be okay.