The flight of the Snowbirds called me to visit family in Florida. El Dorado falls far short of having a true winter, so I called it a vacation and packed suitcases and the GPS. Hubby prefers the assistance of the GPS over my map reading. Plus, I think he has a crush on the GPS girl. She definitely anticipates and responds to him faster than I do.
As we wear away the miles, he casually asked me, “how far is it until we turn?”
I started to reach for the GPS to check and she blurted out, “In 600 feet turn right at Exit 45.”
We laughed at the coincidence.
Twenty minutes later he puzzled, “I wonder where that place is?” I shrugged he would figure it out when we get there.
“Turn left and your destination will be on the left,” she insisted on telling him.
All very helpful until GPS girl told us to turn off our route to a store in a new community.
“I thought we were almost there,” I said.
“She said turn here,” hubby swung the car around several turns before I said, “this looks exactly where we just were.”
“It is,” he pointed at stores we had just passed before five minutes of unnecessary detour.
A minute later GPS girl announced, “Your destination is on the right.”
A time or two, I yanked her monitor off the dash, found recent addresses, chose and set our destination again. She straightened up and gave us accurate instructions for a while.
A few flukes we could excuse. Then as we left my cousin’s house, GPS girl said, “Turn right.”
“I thought we would be going left here.” hubby said. Like a child running away from home, that girl took us up and down some back roads left and right until she giggled and brought us back to the same highway dictating, “Turn left.”
“I thought that was where we should go in the first place,” one frustrated, tired driver said.
He looked at the traffic flowing back and forth on the divided four lane highway with a knoll to his left where cars appeared from nowhere. We needed to turn left across it. As he started across the four lane highwy a car on the other side stopped in the turning lane in front of us.
Two vehicles can not occupy the same space. “You can’t turn.” I gasped. He started to turn away. A black sporty car came over the knoll, saw our white van, hit the brakes and slammed our front side. We felt the impact of that car’s passenger side hitting our van’s driver’s side. Our van moved to the right, his car bounced to the left. A curtain of air bags exploded on the driver side of the van.
Silence and shock followed.
I unlatched my safety belt and tried to open the door. It barely moved. The front end had warped up and sideways. The flat tire with crushed rim sagged beneath the ruined grill exposing the car guts hanging out and dripping.
“Are you okay? Do you need an ambulance?” someone asked us.
We did a quick review. Just a couple bruises on my shins. We walked away from the wreck as did the other driver. The GPS girl went silent. She did not recalculate, let alone apologize for her frustrating instructions.
She offered no directions, reminders, or suggestions as folks called 911 and we answered first responders’ questions, canceled reservations and contacted the insurance. GPS girl silently waited until we bought a vehicle and headed off to visit my cousin before she said another word.