Monday, November 25, 2013

Like a Deer in the Headlights

Tell us about a bullet you’re glad you dodged — when something awful almost happened, but didn’t.

Living in Western Pennsylvania during fall and winter can be breathtakingly beautiful.  Driving Western Pennsylvania road during fall and winter can be an altogether different experience.  Because of the heavy tree coverage and abundance of county roads and state routes (as opposed to major highways) in our neck of the woods, one must always be on the lookout for deer along the roadside.  These critters stand there, waiting to jump in front of your car.  In a 20 mile drive of State Route 28, it is not at all uncommon to see at least 5 deer carcasses littering the side of the road.  I am telling you, we live in deer alley.  Just ask Hubby, in 10 years, he has hit 5 deer.  As a result, we tend to be extra cautious when driving during the height of deer season, particularly when driving at night.  The deer can basically appear from nowhere.


Toward the end of October, I was driving home from an adventure.  I had already been driving for hours that day, and all I wanted was to get home and go to sleep.  It was about midnight, I was on State Route 28 just north of Pittsburgh, not even to the portions that were super wooded.  I was just past an exit that lead to a pretty densely populated neighborhood when a deer appeared out of nowhere.  Even though I was not going that fast, it seemed inevitable that I was going to hit this huge deer.  I used my brakes, closed my eyes, and braced for the impact, praying it would be minor.

Imagine my shock when the impact never came.  I do not know how in the world I did not hit this deer.  It was literally so close to my car, I could have rolled down the window and touched it.  The only thing I can think is that it successfully jumped over my hood.  I never so much as tapped a hoof or rustled its fur.  I was so certain that I was going to hit that deer, it made no sense that I came out unscathed.

I quickly realized how lucky I was.  I continued to maintain an extra slow speed and use extreme caution for the remainder of my drive.  When I pulled up to my house, I said a prayer of thanks that I had been spared from the ordeal of hitting that deer.  I imagine the deer did as well.

NaBloPoMo November