Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bad Car Wreck -- A Christmas travel story with a great ending

With the Christmas travel season in the rear view mirror here are a few captured special moments to pass along from a family holiday trip to Washington DC. If you happen to know anyone, or any family, dealing with a bad car wreck and questions of survival right now please pass this along to them -- read on and you will understand.

The Story
 Christmas travel can be such a nightmare but we had a perfect trip to DC and managed to avoid the bad weather that came at the very end of the seasonal travel window. My younger sister, her son and I ran out East for a quick visit between Christmas and New Years to be at our older sister's place in DC to celebrate the holidays and Mom's 90th birthday; Mom came up from Florida for the occasion.

 It's not hard to spend some time in an airport waiting for a flight these days. Reading, people watching, getting work done on the laptop, playing games on the phone. This is at Mitchell Field in Milwaukee waiting for the flight out on Friday morning.


On to Reagan DCA for the weekend with family, and Air Tran did a good job of getting   us there and back.

From the title you might think this post is about a recent Christmas car wreck but it is not. It is about a car wreck my younger sister was in two years ago near her home in Wisconsin that she amazingly survived. She was hit hard, broadsided on her driver's side,  by a speeding driver who intentionally ran a residential 4-way stop sign for stupid reasons. 

She was passing through the middle of that intersection on her way home from a normal Saturday morning  town run when the speeding idiot couldn't stop and slammed into her. 

She never saw it coming.

           Mom, at age 88, rushed up from Florida to be by her daughter's side in the ICU

'Flight For Life' to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and long story short, the amazing medical professionals there saved my sister's life and today, two years later, she is doing just fine after a long slog through the wreck and resulting recovery afterwards.

Our local first responders and Lakeland/Elkhorn hospital staff also deserve our many thanks for cutting her out of the car and getting her ready for the 18-minute helicopter flight to the trauma center. It was an amazing, albeit traumatizing, thing to witness.

The offending driver tested positive for THC/pot in his system so penalties were amplified and he is currently serving a 6.5 year sentence in a Wisconsin state prison for nearly killing my sister.

Here's the payoff
 In one of the airport pics above, repeated below, you see a mother and her son playing some game on their phones or something. 

How do I know that they're mother and son? Because that's my sister Carol who survived the car wreck with her son Jeremy as they pass the time waiting for our flight.

I was sitting across the distance from them watching, and thinking, and being so glad that she is still here with us. We almost lost her. Gone forever. 

But, she's not gone. We got lucky and are forever thankful for that. 

And that's what I want to pass along to people.  

If anyone has a similar situation to fight through right now, know that there are good and happy stories of survival like my sister Carol's to witness and hold on to.

Watching the medical professionals at Froedtert function in the process of saving her life  was simply amazing and you can't help but have a lot of respect for what they do. They, and other hospital staffers around the country, are truly miracle workers.   

And once you get through it, it adds a perspective to your life that you could never have imagined and it's amazing, life changing and all good. Except for the pain and suffering endured along the way, of course.

Here's wishing anyone the best in their own struggles. 

Keep on, and believe that it will all be OK and have faith in our modern medical system.

I hope our family story of survival helps you in your own hard times -- good luck.

Art the Farmer is having some severe challenges from the ongoing sub-zero cold right now. I talked to him a few nights ago and he was in desperate straights. After a bit on the phone he had to hang up because one foot was hurting so bad from being cold that he had to do something about it.

He wears traditional barn boots and they do little against the cold.

I called again yesterday and got nuthin' so I'll try him again later and hope for the best.  I'm worried about him more than usual with this extreme cold.

Believe it or not, his old farmhouse was built in 1855 and lacks any modern touches other than plumbing and electricity, so these conditions are are especially brutal for him. He heats with a couple of 220v space heaters. Propane is currently no longer an option.

 Sum up
And the icing on the holiday cake?

After getting back from the Milwaukee airport on Monday, Trusty Rusty started right up  after sitting outside for four Winter days down at my sister's place, which she is not used to doing.

Excellent -- almost 250,000 miles on her and still going forward. Although thoughts about what's next are percolating. 


More sum up
And the Master tape for the newest American Barn Stories episode is currently being ingested for air in Austin, Texas which is a very happening market and a very good thing to have happen.

After the past 12 months of calling individual stations and pitching the show, this newest episode is currently available for air in 45 PBS national markets. 

And the latest greatest news is an air date in Colorado of Sunday, February 9th at 1:30pm on Rocky Mountain PBS. 

Their signal comes out of Denver and spreads out across the entire state on the five stations that comprise their network of Denver, Grand Junction, Pueblo/Colorado Springs, Durango and Steamboat Springs.

And that follows the recent good news of the show making it onto the Prairie Public PBS system that covers the states of North and South Dakota as well as some western Minnesota market penetration.

 Yep, all good. I think my Dad would be proud, and I'll keep pushing on it. 

                                            Stay tuned,