Lines of cones - Click image to download. Lines of cones - Click image to download.

by Robert Judd

The day started like most others at the time, up in the mornings, school, and then home, but that is where my typical day came to a sudden stop, literally like a car hitting a brick wall. I was some where around the age of fourteen when my mom let my nine-year old sister drive up our driveway, but that was only a start to what would become the worst memory of my younger days.

Like all days before, “the day of the van,” my mom picked me up from school. Just like always, we went down the same streets and stopped at the bottom of our driveway so I could get the mail. However, this day changed when I turned around to see my sister in the driver’s seat. At that point I pleaded with my mom not to let Ashley drive, but as all mothers do, she assured me everything would be fine, and after having my request to simply walk up the hill turned down, I entered the van and began one wild ride.

Going on my mother’s assurance and thinking our twelve-grade-steep driveway would mean a slow approach, I did not bother to buckle up. As I sat there between the driver and passenger seat, my sister pressed the gas pedal a bit too much. Although in a V6-powered minivan, I was thrown into the back of the seat, and thru the blur of time and space, all I can recall is the sound of squealing tires and my mother yelling.

In less than about seventy-feet, I was thrown from the back of my seat, between the front seats and head long into the center dash. After coming to a crashing halt, in what used to be my bedroom wall, my mother panicked; climbing over me and moving my sister, she threw the van into reverse, and before any of us could react, had managed to end up in our front yard. After out final stop, we all exited the van, my mom fumbling for the house keys, my sister scared and crying, and myself rubbing the sore spot on my forehead. More interested in the damage to my room, I walked where my wall once stood. Touring the disaster zone I still managed to make it to the front door in time to open it for my mom, who looked at me oddly and asked “How did you get inside?”

Fighting through her tears, I heard my mom’s brief phone conversation with my dad, “Come Home NOW!” After a time of about twenty minutes, my dad arrived in a panic. As he pulled up to where he could see what had happened, he parked his truck, calmly got out and shook his head and laughed. My sister, who still had not stopped crying, ran into the house to hide; as if cued by some unseen director, my mom started her own waterworks. After assuring everyone that everything was alright, my dad went into my former room, just to see the devastation that rarely results from the worst wars. Not only had my wall been ripped away and the front of the van damaged; but my bed was broken in several places due to a bookshelf falling on it; my couch had been shoved under one end of my pool table, breaking off two of its legs, and my ten fish were now causalities.

Apart from the mess and destruction and having to sleep on a couch for nearly three weeks, the day was fairly typical. The only real positives to come out of that day were my sister’s realization that she was too young to drive and her new nickname “Crashly Ashley,” that is without a doubt my most remembered day ever.

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Lines of cones - Click image to download.

Lines of cones - Click image to download.