How the days do fly!

It cannot be the last week of October already. It simply can’t.

And yet the rains have come, and heavy rains at that, as the first group of winter storms sweeps across the area. We’ve been blessed not to be driving in it — yesterday it seemed as if we hit the “lulls,” and when the worst of the rain was pounding down we were inside at various errands. We saw the results — the deep puddles, water on the parking lots and roads, but everywhere we drove, we drove in relative calm, even sunshine and rainbows.

Driving home from the orthodontist, for example, we saw no fewer than three accidents, one a car that had skidded off the freeway and spun out, ending in long grass and up against a couple of trees, surrounded by emergency vehicles. Whew.

Whenever it rains hard, or there’s a lot of water on the road, I think of a billboard along the German Autobahn (that’s like a freeway, only there’s no speed limit, or at least, there wasn’t when we were there, so people would be cruising along at 100 mph or so…). “Ab 80 kommen Sie ins schwimmen.” Loosely translated, it means, “At 50 mph, jump in the pool!”

The point was, cars on wet roads have a tendency to start hydroplaning (the wheels lose traction and you’re basically skimming on top of the water on the road) at 50 mph.

We hydroplaned once on the Autobahn. I don’t think we were going 100 mph, probably a more conservative 70. We were traveling in the direction we were supposed to be, and then without warning we were spinning wildly.

The car spun 180 degrees and for a paralyzing moment we were facing the wrong way, looking into the eyes of the drivers behind us (and remember that this was the Autobahn, so you can imagine how fast all those cars were coming at us). The car didn’t stop there, though, it kept going until we were facing the way we ought to have been facing… and then all of a sudden it came out of the spin and kept going the way it had been going, the way it was supposed to be going, at about the speed it was supposed to be going.

How do you explain that?

The Lord must have had His hand on our car. No cars were near enough to plow into us, and my husband (who was driving) didn’t have time to turn the wheels so they were still facing straight when we came out of the spin. (If the wheels had been turned, the car might have flipped or rolled.) We just went on our merry way, scared and shaken, but safe.

Ab 80 Kommen Sie ins Schwimmen.

Slow down if the road is wet. Keeps us all safer, you know?

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