Paula Got Run Over By a Reindeer…

So this is how my weekend started.

Got the car all packed up to head to my youngest sister’s house an hour away for my niece’s birthday party. Just me and the boys because Husband felt like, and I quote, “someone stuck an ice pick in each ear.” Yikes!

My other sister was about an hour ahead of me and called me as I was getting ready to head out of town. We chitted. We chatted. Then she said, “Oh, by the way, watch out for deer. I’ve seen a bunch in the fields.”

Wouldn’t you know it…

Not more than a half hour later, driving just south of Des Moines on the interstate, I caught Rudolph out of the corner of my eye. Running, full-speed, toward my van.

I swerved, I swore. And I plowed into Rudolph.

Pulling over into the median, I quick made sure the kids were okay. Physically, they were fine, but Boy #3 was just a little traumatized. “Why did you kill the deer?” And then “Mommy killed our friend.” (We have some deer by our house that I mistakenly called “our friends.”) “No, that deer was NOT our friend, honey,” I told Boy #3. That deer had a death-wish.

Jumping out of the van and trying not to get run over by the semis flying by at 75 mph, I checked out the front end. Headlight—gone. Did I mention that it was dark out? Determining that nothing was leaking and that I really didn’t have much of a choice, I limped the 40 miles to my sister’s with one headlight and a hole in the front bumper.

Arriving at my sister’s, I expected sympathy. I got it from everyone…except my dad. He means well, but he gets a little, well, stressed out about things and then proceeds to make you feel like an idiot for doing something that you couldn’t even help doing.

“Pam TOLD you to watch for deer!” I heard as I entered my sister’s house.

“Well, I DID watch for it, and I DID see it coming. I just couldn’t STOP.”

“The last time I came home from Des Moines I purposely followed a semi the whole way, for that exact reason,” I was told.

“Well, there wasn’t a semi in front of me. I guess I should’ve pulled over and waited for one and then tailgated it all the way to the exit,” I said, a bit grumpily.

Not that I didn’t already feel bad enough about 1)killing one of God’s creatures; 2) scaring my kids; and 3) tearing up the front of my van, right before Christmas!

I thought maybe that would be the end of it. Maybe he’d gotten it out of his system.

Silly me.

The next morning, Dad came home from getting his hair cut, and what was the first thing he said to me?

“Guess what Gene the barber told me?”

“What?” I asked not really giving a sh*t on the edge of my seat.

“He said he did the exact same thing last time HE came home from Des Moines. He followed a semi too!”

Well, what an idiot I must be. Even Gene the small-town barber knew that the best way to avoid hitting a deer is to tail a big-rig.

I wanted to ask what would’ve happened if the semi would’ve hit the deer and slammed on its brakes and then we slammed into the back of the semi…but I didn’t. It’s just easier to nod and agree.

Yeah, sympathy? Dad’s not so good at that. He loves us, I know and he’d do anything for us. But it would most likely be accompanied by a lecture, repeated over and over and over again, you know, for our own good. Because he’s trying to help us.

So now my to-do list not only includes everything ELSE I still haven’t gotten done to try to prepare my house and my life for Christmas, but now also includes getting estimates, working with our insurance company, and getting my van fixed.

NEVER a dull moment.


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