You never know what’s around the corner

The day after the rains came in Rancho Santa Fe, my world stood still. I’m the girl in love with the rains, but the next day, I came to a screeching halt on La Granada adjacent to the golf course. Yes, I was the person in the car accident by the golf course in the black Ford Escape. I was the girl with the air bag in her face and the front of her car smashed in, while police officers directed traffic around the accident. I figured I should share openly about this because it did happen “around town,” and since I write about everything else in the paper, I might as well share the truth about the big car wreck over by the school. Yes, it was me.
Have you ever been in a car accident? I haven’t since I was a teenager. I must say, it wounded me more emotionally than physically. Everything that happens in those moments just freezes. Then you re-enact the incident over and over in your mind. What could I have done differently? How did this happen? The funny thing was I had just spent all day Sunday detailing the inside of my Ford Escape. Two days later, I stood in front of a man named Bruce discussing the details of the slick pavement and the foggy windshield at a paint and body shop in Oceanside. He just looked at me with his head tilted sideways while thinking about statistics. A long time ago I learned one of my favorite quotes, “never complain, never explain” is true. Yet, for the life of me, I never follow these rules.
While the sun continued to shine bright all day, my mind kept going over what I have learned from this accident. I’m one those people that believes almost all things happen for a reason. At any cost, I am determined to learn my lesson. Have you ever noticed how in the most peculiar circumstances you think of the oddest things? After my car crashed and the airbag cradled my face, the thought, “Glad I’m not in a Smart car,” actually crossed my mind. You know those cars. You’ve seen them at the Stumps Village Market. Those tiny European cars that make us Americans look like gas guzzling idiots. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to share this story or not, but on my way home tonight I passed a Smart car right by the scene of my accident. That was my sign.
 My curiosity got the best of me regarding the safety of those tiny vehicles. I’ve been researching these cars for two days, while dealing with insurance adjusters. What have I learned about Smart cars? They’re not so smart. They may have received some decent crash score tests, but this staggering fact alone should make you think twice before looking economically savvy: “For vehicles 1-3 years old during 2006, mini-cars experienced 106 driver deaths per million registered vehicles compared with 69 driver deaths in large cars,” according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Also check out YouTube. Type in “Smart car crash test” for further educational purposes on why not to purchase one. Until larger SUVs are no longer on the road, I would rather run naked through the Ranch than drive one of those death traps. It’s important to remember safety first over soaring gas prices. We may need to tighten the wallet; however, don’t forget the value of your own life while trying to appease the politically correct by “going green.” Try to remember that even though you think you’re dropping your children off at school or headed to work, an accident could be waiting around the next corner. Ask me, I know. Be safe and buy smart (no pun intended).

Around town
On Feb. 6, I met some of my good friends out at Morgan Run for a Friday night. Denny Fallon, Bianca Kam Smith and Melissa Williams were out that evening, too. We ran into local resident Shannon Biszantz, and I must say our introduction was a bit off color. However, as the night progressed, Shannon introduced us to some wonderful friends of hers and other Morgan Run members. She has lived in the Ranch for many years and has quite a following with her local newsletter she writes on her Web page. It was an honor to make her acquaintance. Shannon is also one of the most sought-after Realtors in town. Check out her exciting Web page, www.shannonbiszantz.com, to see current happenings in Rancho Santa Fe or to see some of the hottest listings in town.
Later that evening, resident Robin Shull received a pleasant phone call from his uncle Charlie McCrink, informing him that his Fallbrook nursery will be featured on “Clean House” on the Style Network mid-April, airing on their 200th episode. Originally from Rancho Santa Fe, Charlie McCrink is well-known in the community for his business, The Madd Potter. However, what residents may not know is he also owns Emerald M Growers, a wonderful nursery in Fallbrook. They specialize in all varieties of palms. If you are looking to spruce up your curb appeal and keep up with your neighbors, check out www.emeraldgrowers.com for a variety of choices in plant life.
 On Feb. 13, heavy rains came to the community. I happened to snap a shot of one of the homes being reconstructed on Zumaque Street, the hardest neighborhood hit in the Ranch during the Witch Creek Fire of 2007. Finally, there are signs of this neighborhood being reconstructed for all of the families that lost their homes. Life is beginning to get back to normal for these hard hit residents. Since my son’s father lives on this street, I am so happy to share with you the good news of rebirth on one of the secret beautiful streets inside the Covenant. After a year of watching nothing happen, it is uplifting to see these homes resurrected. Let’s just wish the best for these families that are still trying to piece together what they lost back in 2007.  I also snapped a quick shot of some lovely hillside flowers that were in full bloom after the rains. Sometimes hope comes in the smallest of sizes.
On Feb. 17, school resumed after the long holiday for students at Roger Rowe Elementary. After passing out their valentines the week before, children looked excited to resume back to class that Tuesday morning. After leaving the school, I managed to have my car accident just a moment later. I don’t know if that’s called bad luck, bad timing, or just “lucky I wear my seat-belt because I am a mother.”  However, at the end of the day, I ran into Alexi and Nicole Stein, who had that look of innocence and beauty like Anne of Green Gables (a classic fictional character). The two sisters were sitting arm and arm looking incredibly picturesque for the first day back after a long holiday weekend. Thanks for being the highlight of my day girls. Your gaiety inspired me on a rather unfortunate day.
On Feb. 18, the “Shangri Paw” committee met at The Helen Woodward Center to discuss the upcoming big event, Spring Fling, which is June 6. These women are all dedicating their time and effort to save the lives of many precious animals that would otherwise be destroyed. Please mark the dates on your calendars: The annual Spring Fling gala titled Shangri Paw (an eternal paradise) is Helen Woodward Animal Center’s black-tie extravaganza featuring 20 of San Diego’s best restaurants, live entertainment, unique libations, amazing auction items for you and your best friend and dancing till midnight! Check out their Web site, www.animalcenter.org, for more information on how you can contribute of sign up for tickets for this amazing evening.

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