I had a bad start to my day today, as this photo clearly shows.
Untreated roads were covered with an icy mix of rain and snow, and I headed out with an extra measure of care. My mistake, however, was wanting a second cup of morning coffee, taking Old Reading Pike to Dunkin' Donuts instead of staying on the more heavily traveled business Route 422.
Snow was falling pretty steadily; the KYW traffic report was noting minor crashes in those ever-popular northern and western suburbs.
I was coasting along about 30 miles per hour on a straight level stretch of road when the car started skidding -- sideways, then the other way, then sideways again.
The car was on its own, me helpless as I experienced in slow motion my red convertible making its way off the road.
Into a tree.
The front right corner hit the tree before the car slid sideways into a large bush. The air bags didn't go off; I wasn't jolted or hurt in any way.
We are firm believers in our household in the coincidence of threes, and indeed, this was our third car mishap in five days.
The first of those three bears retelling:
Four of the five members of our family were driving home together Thursday evening after a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at our son and his girlfriend's apartment in New York.
Our younger son was driving, his twin sister the front passenger, my husband and I in the back seat.
Traffic was light, and we were two-thirds of the way home on I-78 approaching Allentown.
As we passed the Hellertown exit, the unthinkable happened. My son saw it first - a car coming the wrong way up the ramp onto the interstate, crossing lanes, and speeding toward us in the passing lane.
The car was barreling full-on at us, both vehicles going at high speeds in the passing lane.
Scott swerved the car slightly to the right but couldn't get completely out of the way because of cars alongside us.
The approaching car also swerved and went partly onto the grass median, narrowly avoiding the head-on collision that would have killed us all.
We were shaken, to say the least, thankful for the blessings of quick reflexes and angels watching over us.
We later learned the driver was arrested for DUI after going five miles in the wrong direction on I-78. The news report said nothing of crashes or near-misses, so we can assume he avoided hitting anything.
Those who know me well know incidents with cars are my plague and probably my greatest annoyance.
But today I am thankful for the near-misses and skids that end slowly. They remind me of how close we come to tragedy and how remarkable the forces of fate are in sparing us.
Be careful out there. Always.