Thursday, February 14, 2008

Unhappy Raccoon

This is a picture that was pasted on my husband's office window recently.

"Why?" You ask. Well, my husband has a reputation for being a practical jokester in the office, but this is one that was turned around on him. In fact, the whole story is one that is destined to go down in family lore.

Let's go back to the beginning.

My husband, since January, has been in a position that requires a lot of traveling around the state. Oftentimes he is coming home after dark. Last Thursday night my sweet man called to check in and tell me he was about an hour away from home. About 15 minutes later he called again and I had a sudden sense of dread.

He started out by reminding me of a conversation we had recently about how the Lord always provides what we need financially even when it ends up diverting money away from something we had planned. My first thought was "Thank goodness he didn't say he was in an accident" and the very next thought and question was "Did you get a ticket?".

"No," he said very slowly, "I just hit a raccoon and it took half my bumper off".

"Are you serious!?"


"Are you ok?"


A let out a huge sigh of relief and when he got home we both marveled at the kind of damage an animal can do to your car. We both praised God that he didn't lose control of his car, that it didn't cause any worse damage or any other accidents on busy Interstate 75.

The next morning we called his company who informed us that it is our responsibility to cover the cost of repairs since they do encourage people to rent cars for long trips (which, of course, he will definitely be doing from now on!).

The next call was to our auto insurance agent. This is where it gets interesting so bear with me....

After my husband explained what happened the agent said "Is there fur on the bumper?"


"Is there fur on the bumper. There is a lot of fraud from people claiming to have hit an animal when they actually ran into something. Comprehensive deductibles are cheaper than Collision so they lie to get the lower deductible."

Unfortunately neither we, nor the repair shop found any fur. Or blood. Too bad there aren't kits sold to find occult blood of raccoon on bumpers and CSI is probably not interested in helping us out with this.

So, to cover our bases, we drove back down to the Scene of the Crime to take pictures and hopefully find some proof that it was, indeed, an animal that caused the damage.

As my husband was standing along I75 with cars whizzing by so fast that the van was rocking, Emily and I were sitting inside the van, watching as he picked up the strewn pieces of his bumper and took pictures of the dead offending animal. We were completely amazed that it was still there, right on the side of the road 17 hours after the accident. It must have looked like a peaceful and sweet critter to Emily who asked "Mommy, can I get out and pet the Kitty". I smiled and explained that it wasn't a kitty, it was the raccoon that hurt Daddy's car. She then said "OH! It is dead then. Yucky!" It truly looked as if it had just stopped to take a nap on the side of the road.

To top the whole scenario off, just as Mike had loaded the last piece of his bumper into the back of the van he found a piece of the jaw just laying there right by the passenger door of the van. He grabbed a plastic baggy and, turning it inside out like a glove over his hand, grabbed it and enclosed it in the bag as further proof for the insurance company. You can imagine the reaction that got from our 7 year old daughter! "EWWW!!!!" and then immediately "Can I see it?!!!!".

When the insurance adjuster finally made it over to the body shop he didn't even make an issue about whether it was really an animal that was hit. I had to ask him if he needed proof and he calmly said, "No, I've hit 2 deer and 2 racoons in my lifetime, I can tell that's what this is."

OK. "Are you sure you don't want to see the proof we drove 2 hours round trip to get?"


Moral of the story -
When you hit an animal on the highway going 75 MPH stop long enough to take pictures and throw the critter in the trunk. You might need it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily!

Happy Birthday sweet girl! I am really not ready for you to be three years old yet. You are my baby. Yet you keep marching on toward becoming the big girl you talk so much about. Your birthday party theme of Princess fits you in so many ways. You love fashion, you love people, you have a tender heart toward those who are hurting, and best of all, you already know that the best kind of Princess is to be a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, God's little Princess. I am so very proud to be your Mommy.