Jul 012010

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about a couple of bad experiences I had here in Morgan Hill, California. But those were petty little inconveniences in the overall scheme of things. Just remember that old saying  “I complained I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”

Compared to what fellow Escapees Mel and Charlene Schwartz just went through, getting a bad meal or being hassled by an overzealous cop is nothing!

Mel wrote me that about 3 p.m. on June 29, they were driving east on U.S. Highway 50 just outside of Delta, Utah, doing about 55 miles per hour, just enjoying the scenery on the two lane highway, when this limb broke off a tree beside the highway, crashed into the hood of their Ford truck, and then through the windshield, showering them with glass.

Truck tree limb

Truck tree limb 4

Their guardian angel must have been riding with them that afternoon, because unbelievably, Mel and Charlene were not injured. It’s a wonder they weren’t killed! Look how the limb slammed through the driver’s side of the cab and out the window! Mel said that aside from being scared and shook up, they were unharmed.

Truck tree limb 2

Mel said their Excel fifth wheel was not damaged, but the truck is going to need extensive repairs. They are currently in an RV park in Delta, and the truck is in a local body shop, waiting for the insurance adjuster to show up. Mel said that once they were set up in the RV park, they spent an hour vacuuming bits of glass out of each other’s hair.

Truck tree limb 3

As a side note, Mel told me that the sheriff’s deputy that investigated the accident said that he had been notified of a tree limb that was about to fall, but hadn’t been able to get to it yet. As Mel said, timing is everything.

This is a perfect example of why I believe that while we can take every reasonable precaution in the book, sometimes things just happen, and when they do, all we can do is roll with the punches.

We never know when the car or truck coming toward us down the highway may cross the centerline and hit us head on; or when a tire on the eighteen wheeler passing us may blow and wipe out the side of our RV; or when some tiny speck of plaque in an artery will break loose and block the blood flow; or a million other things that probably will not happen, but can at any instant.

What quirk of fate determines who will dodge the bullet, and who won’t? Why did I have friends who survived Vietnam, only to come home and die in traffic accidents? What keeps that semi tire from blowing when the truck passes me and makes it blow when passing some other poor guy? As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, life is a crapshoot. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.

We can’t live our lives in fear of everything, so all we can do is cherish every moment we have, and thank whatever higher being we believe in when we have a close call and survive.

Thought For The Day – When life sends storms, remember to dance in the rain!

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  10 Responses to “Life Is A Crapshoot”

  1. Thank you for putting things into perspective.

  2. I got a friend that when ever anybody tells him about something like this (Once in a lifetime event) happening to them, he hangs his head and sez “Great just one more thing I have to worry about”

  3. Wow! They sure did have an angel riding with them. All we can do is take reasonable precautions and keep or fingers crossed.

  4. Similar situation the other day, also a freak accident. A limb fell in a public park (I think NY Central Park) injuring a woman and killing her young child.

    Glad your friends were ok. We never know do we — a reason to enjoy life now, and to be ready for what comes next after this life.

  5. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Mel and Charlene. After looking at those pictures, we are just relieved that you guys are OK. Wow, what a close call! You surely have a guardian angel watching over you. Knowing you guys from the Gypsy Journal rally, this won’t hold you back from enjoying the RV lifestyle. If there is anything we can do for assistance, please let us know. Take care, Dave & Kathy Bossert.

  6. When our son was 3, he pointed to the sun and asked me if it could fall. When I told him no, he asked how I knew and why I was so sure. At that time, it became poignantly clear to me that every day we live, that everything we do, is an act of faith, faith that all will be well in “our world.”

    I believe that the best way to travel through the trials and tribulations of life, is to carry faith and a daily appreciation of the world around you.

    To Mel and Charlene, I am so glad that you both are safe and wish you good (and fast) dealings with your insurance company.

  7. Sometimes it is hard to remember to be thankful for every little thing we have, to be thankful that the awful thing didn’t happen to US this time, to enjoy every minute, even though it may not be the ideal minute we’ve dreamed of. Thank you for the reminder.

    Also, it’s important to keep a clean pair of undershorts on hand in case of something bad happening!

  8. As humans, we are mostly preoccupied with fairness and equality. Maybe some of the lesser species are, too. But there are no guarantees of anything, anywhere or at anytime. Life is, by definition, a risk… of what? Everything!

    We do what we have learned that works. Our dedications to our faith and upbringing may help avoid risk but the bottom line is that we are pretty exposed to our environment and others as well.

    The environment just does what it does so pay attention.

    The other people just do what they want to do … or can’t help themselves.. so pay attention.

    Individually, we are mostly prone to expecting the best out of all conditions, situations and people but the challenger accident shows the fallacy in making decisions based on just expectations. There are signs all around us of what is about to happen.. so pay attention, please. The unexpected is ALWAYS, unexpected.

  9. To Mel and Charlene I am so glad you are OK. I am sure your hearts were racing just after this incredible experience. It’s just unreal.
    And as you say Nick, for every problem we may have, others have problems which are worse. One of my mottoes is to enjoy each moment, to enjoy each day. There is always something positive in my/your life. Concentrate on all those things in your life which have been positive and a joy to you. Be ready for what is the next great adventure after we leave this physical life. Each day we get up we don’t know if it is our last. This is not hedonist or fearful living, it is simply being grateful for today and this moment and being happy and enjoying as much as possible in life.
    I always make sure I say to Peter, “I love you” when he or I part or the last thought at night before going to sleep. If anything is going to happen, I want to be sure the last words we spoke to each other were in love. And I am prepared by my beliefs for the phase of being after this physical life. Something like Mel and Charlene experienced hopefully makes us all think about what if it had happened to me and what if it had been fatal? Am I prepared, am I ready? Each day is a blessing and I am enjoying each one. Love to all of you, Connie B.

  10. I am really glad Mel and Charlene came through that accident unhurt. You can replace a truck! Wow! Thanks for reporting about that Nick. I like your attitude about rolling with what we get served and remembering that every moment on this earth is truly a gift.

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