Blessing Counting

The young man from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office


would tell us the deer were running, since the New Year signaled the first day of the special extended rifle season for hunting.

Connecting the dots later, we recalled seeing some hunters that morning, on our way north.

Homeward bound after spending New Years’ Day with Jackie’s bff from college and her family in Lincoln.


He’s a Husker, she’s a Wildcat. Their oldest was born the night we were wed. We’re godparents to their youngest. The one in between calls me “Bob.” I call her, “Alice.”


Greeted at the door by a 9-year old fellow middle child:

“Yo Bob. ‘Sup?”

Sadness at the end of the day. The kids don’t want us to leave. When human beings, regardless of their age, get misty at the prospect of Matson’s imminent departure, it strikes me that maybe something’s changing.


In the full-on darkness, we’d just crossed the border back into God’s Country and were ascending a Flint Hill heading south on U.S. 77, paralleling the heavily-wooded Blue River.


Eyes on the road, ears on the Dallas Mavericks-Minnesota Timberwolves play-by-play.

[14 (satellite radio!)]

(D-Wade and I worry about Michael Beasley

fulfilling his potential


I saw the deer and felt the impact. Because she was deep into her Droid, ciphering NFL playoff seedings, Jackie just felt the impact.  

Because she is the way she is


, my wife blamed herself.

“I should have been helping you watch…”

Accidents happen.

Accidents can be life-disrupting. Or not.

We smack a deer in the middle of nowhere, disabling our vehicle. We call Triple-A.


Within two hours, our wrecked car is parked at the MHK body shop where we know and trust the owners.


We’re safe and warm in our jammies in our living room, with our other car parked in the garage.


Our dog, Rovie, is happy to see us.


Atop the Flint Hill, beside the highway, in a span of 45 minutes, no fewer than three motorists stop to inquire about our well-being.


Had the roles been reversed, would I have done the same? You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.

I mean, get real. What’s the end game here? Jackie will drive a brand new rental car for a week or two.


Woe is us.  

We squeezed into the wrecker cab and small-talked our way home to MHK. After 36 years wheeling tow trucks and ambulances in Marshall County, this ol’ boy’s seen his share of carnage.

He was kind enough to deliver us to our front door. He didn’t have to do that.


I had to insist he take 20 bucks for his trouble. 

Accidents can be chaotic, life-disrupting.

Or not.

It’s how we interpret and react to the circumstances surrounding them that matters. I can get all self-centered and wound up about the inconvenience.

Or I can count my blessings.