Yesterday gave me a scare that I’ve been having trouble shaking.

Driving to York, I was turning left when a red pickup truck came barreling up out of nowhere and through the yellow-red light. I slammed my foot onto the gas to make it through the intersection, as I was already too far to back up. Whizzing through the turn, I think he only missed me by a few feet. Other cars honked at him in anger as he sped along, but I was too stunned to even react.

As I drove on down the street, my heart was pounding so loud I could barely hear the radio and I felt light headed. A couple times afterwards I felt my stomach lurch and I wondered if I should pull over the car so I could throw up. A good twenty minutes later my hands were shaking. I have no idea why this particular close call felt so intense and it’s still on my mind.

We go about our lives, not often knowing that things can change on the turn of a dime. One day you’re kicking ass and the next you’re blind sided by a pick up truck and holed up in a hospital or worse.

Is that deep and meaningful? I don’t think so… it doesn’t mean that suddenly my life is wholly different and I’m going to live each moment like it’s the last. It’ll fade and I’ll take things for granted, just as we all do… and should. Just as you shouldn’t take it all for granted, you can’t get so paranoid as to let it get to you all the time.

But it did make me think. It made me think about what I want and who I care about. About what I’m striving for and the things I have worth appreciating. I guess it’s a weird internal Thanksgiving a couple weeks after the actual holiday meal.

I went to visit my parents on Friday and power down after a brutally stressful day working. At breakfast the next morning Dad and I were talking about the next vacation they’re planning. These past couple of years since Dad retired, they’ve been traveling all over the place. They’d never even been on an airplane until long after Joe and I were moved out of the house and now they’re flying and taking cruises all over the map.

I asked him when their traveling would slow down. I look at him and his hair’s almost all gray instead of the salt and pepper I remember as a kid. He looks content, spending time on little things around the house instead of teaching and raising two kids.

He smiled and said “Your Mother and I have to do these things while we’re still able to. After all, we’re not getting any younger.”

Simple, but true.

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