A December Not to Remember


December not to Remember

A few good things happened in December but I’ll mention most of them at the end.
December began well. I attended training for my job in L.A. The training was not boring, mostly due to the trainer, Patty Walton. About fifteen hundred of us were housed in Marriotts near LA Live. It’s in the center of the city and was gussied up for the holidays. There was even a skating rink and a huge tree.

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There were plenty of luscious restaurants and most had Happy Hour so we could eat and drink inexpensively and walk back to the hotel. The buffet breakfast at the Courtyard Marriott was the best I’ve eaten. The choices were stellar. The only drawback was that the room faced east and the sun streamed in and blinded me wherever I sat.
After I returned to Scottsdale, I arranged to see Grace, my former mother-in-law and spend the day with her. I drove out to my ex-husband’s home in Mesa in the Subaru Cross Trek I’d bought in July. I picked her up and headed for lunch with my youngest son Max and his family. We were on highway 60, just east of the Gilbert Road exit, when the car in front of me slowed and stopped. I slowed and stopped. The SUV behind me didn’t. He hit me in the rear and rammed my car into another lane of traffic that wasn’t stopped. We were hit again on the front fender of the driver’s side. It happened fast and I couldn’t believe it.
My Starlink activated and said, “You’ve been in an accident. Do you want me to call 9-1-1? I have your location.”
“Yes,” was all I could manage. I tried to start the car but it didn’t go anywhere. Then I noticed I wasn’t in “Park.” I put the gear into park and it started. I drove over to the side of the road, where I finally noticed two other cars.
“Are you hurt?” I asked Grace.
“Yes, I’m bleeding on my arms.”
I got out of the car and opened her door. We gingerly took of her sweater to reveal lots of blood where skin used to be.
I didn’t have any towels in the car, but I did have a pack of tissues in my purse.
The paramedics arrived and I let them take over. After they examined Grace, they said it was her choice as to whether to go to the hospital. She declined the invitation.
By this time the Department of Public Safety had arrived and taken her driver’s license, my license, car registration and insurance card. We were parked away from the others two cars involved in the accident.
I called my ex-husband to come get his mother. He was furious that she wouldn’t go to the hospital and I let them hash it out.
A tow truck came and boxed us in. I watched with sadness in my heart as my crumpled Subaru was loaded onto the flat bed. The tow truck driver gave me a card with the company’s name. I stayed with Grace until her son arrived.
We were parked very close to the wall so I had to deftly maneuver my way to the DPS officer’s SUV, passing the other people and their cars.
I asked for Grace’s license so she could leave. The officer gave it to me but said he wasn’t finished with the report and I’d have to stay until he was. I inched my way back to Grace, gave her the license and they left. I found out later that she went to the hospital to get the massive abrasions treated, a CT scan and some x-rays.
How was I going to get home? I texted my son to let him know that lunch was canceled. He doesn’t have a car, so he couldn’t solve my transportation problem. I called my friend Elissa, who lives in downtown Phoenix. Bless her heart, she agreed to pick me up. I told her to go to a fast food place near the exit as I didn’t want her to have to stop on the highway. The DPS officer agreed to drive me there.
I’m usually a convivial person, but I made no effort to talk to the two groups of people by their cars. I inched my way back to the officer. It was hot in the sun and I’d already drunk the bottle of water I’d taken from the car. The officer allowed me to sit in the back seat of his air-conditioned SUV while he finished the report.
He got out to give the reports to the other drivers. I think the guy who hit me got a ticket because he got more papers than me.
I called my insurance company and arranged for a rental car the next day. I told them I didn’t have a preference for a body shop. When I told that to a friend, she said to call the Subaru dealership and get a recommendation from them.

I was a bit sore the next day, but didn’t even need Tylenol. I called Grace and she was hurting. She took the painkillers they gave her at the hospital.
After I picked up my rental car, a Jeep Patriot that I didn’t care for, I called the Subaru dealership. They recommended ABC Collision, who had fixed my Honda when a driver had rear-ended my Honda five years ago.
I spent time on the phone with the claims people. That day and many days thereafter. And talking with the collision analyst. I was instructed to call the insurance companies of the other drivers to start claims. One of the numbers was not correct, but I used my librarian skills to look up the driver’s phone number. I called and left a message. Her husband called back with the policy number so I could call State Farm’s 800 number. Of course, the fellow who caused the accident had minimal insurance that wouldn’t cover all the damage to the vehicles.
I was out to Happy Hour with the usual group from my condo complex when the claims person called and said my car was a total loss. I hoped that would happen since the repair was up to $18,000 the last I’d heard, and with Car Fax it would be near impossible to ever sell the car if it was fixed.
So now I got to deal with the car loan and the GAP insurance. My car loan had recently been sold and was now being serviced by a different company, so I had two entities to deal with.
GAP insurance covers the difference between what is owed and what your insurance company pays for the totaled car. From my point of view, this is a good deal if you’re financing most of the car. (I got it on a new car I’d bought for my youngest son. He totaled it four months later and the loan was paid off.) GAP insurance can last as long as the loan, but you can also cancel and get a refund when the value of the car is more than the loan.
So, I had many companies wanting documents, claims numbers, police reports, etc. It was a part time job, in addition to the part time job I’d just started. And then I got I got pink eye and bronchitis that lasted two weeks.
Camelback Subaru helped expedite things and I was able to get a new car December 23. I got another Subaru Cross Trek, but a 2017 and cranberry red. I named her “Cranny.” So it’s Granny Annie’s Cranny.”

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On December 28, my neighbor Joan was standing outside her garage and a truck backed into her. She fell forward on her face. She didn’t want to call 9-1-1. I took her to the emergency room. After four hours, they decided she needed to be in the ICU due to a subdermal hematoma. She also broke her pinky and her nose. She hurt.
She stayed in the hospital two days, but was only allowed to go home if she had someone stay with her 24/7. Donna stayed overnight and I did the daytime duty. On New Year’s Day, Joan’s daughter came over to stay for four days. She brought many meals already prepared. “Mails on wheels” she proclaimed. Joan is hurting and looks like a raccoon with two black eyes, but she’ll fully recover.
So I’d rather not remember December except for the following: my new granddaughter Madison came home from the hospital after being in neonatal ICU for four weeks; making holiday gifts with my granddaughters Abby, Savy and Charlotte;

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Santa greeting Charlotte by name (because we’d just made her a Santa hat with her name glittered on it;)

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celebrating Hanukkah with Nick’s family;

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celebrating the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve with Charlotte (and Max and Liz;)

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and getting my new queen-sized bed.
2017 is going be a lot better than 2016.

 

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