What a Week…


My wife endured a devastating car wreck on Wednesday that totaled our Corolla, the man who was one of the reasons my wife and I are at our church died unexpectedly, my son is home yet again with vomiting, and today—Friday, of all days—I am just now beginning to get back to work.

In what can only be deemed God’s intervention, my wife walked away with little more than a small bump above her right eye after being in a high-speed rollover. We suspect she hydroplaned after encountering a downpour on a slick road, tried to correct the slide, the wheels eventually bit, and the direction when they bit was off the road—speed did the rest (although the investigation showed she was driving the recommended speed for the conditions). County roads around here are raised in open areas to prevent snowdrifts, so when she left the road, the car was naturally put into a position of flipping when it went down the steep embankment.

The veteran police officer at the scene noted that the reason she wasn’t hurt at all was because she was driving a Japanese car. He said that a wreck in a similar American car would have severely injured or killed the driver. And you expect to hear mom, apple pie, and Chevrolet out of cops, don’t you? I put more faith in God than the Japanese, but still, there’s a reason I’ve only owned Hondas, Toyotas, and Mazdas.

So we’re looking for a high-MPG, low-mileage, used car from one of those manufacturers. Being the green types that we are (and were before it became trendy), we’d love to get a gently used, late-model Prius, but then so does everyone else on the planet, if my searches so far are accurate. The average used Prius stays on the market about 5 nanoseconds, I think. If you have a line on a car and would like to pass it along, please drop me a note at the email address listed in the top of the right sidebar.


One accident has a miraculous outcome, while another does not. In what was a highly preventable situation that created a cascade of events that ended badly, the pastor emeritus of our church fainted while speaking on Sunday. We all thought he would recover, and it sure looked as if he would. But the fall he sustained created some hidden damage that spiraled out of medical control as the days progressed. The night of my wife’s accident, he passed away.

He and his wife were so kind to us when we first came that it made an immediate impression. Carl was like a father to many in the church, and such men are not easily replaced as they are so rare to begin with. Though he was pushing 80, he should have been with us for more years. Sometimes, events are what they are, though. And God is always in control. Still, this is a sad, sad loss.

My son has missed a number of days of school in the last month with morning vomiting that comes out of nowhere. No fever, no other signs of problems, but then BARF! I’ve talked to other parents whose kids are having the same problem. No idea what this is, especially as he’ll go several days with no problems, only to have the vomiting return. So it’s off to the doc today.

It just seems crazy around here lately, so I’ve been working nutty hours, and the toll of staying up late to get work done in the quiet of the evening has taken it out of me. Obviously, searching for a new car and taking on debt that we don’t want to assume doesn’t help, either. (It makes me wonder how anyone can afford to buy a decent car, what with payments closing in on $500/month for even a used late model.) I’m depressed already thinking about the inevitable size of the insurance check. Trade-in value on a car that is in good condition and is paid for seems like far less than the vehicle is worth, especially since you can never replace it for that price.

But again, God is in control. I believe that with all my heart. Especially after seeing the wrecked hulk that was our car and my wife with barely a bump on her.

Prayers are requested. I’m trusting that the Lord will come through with a great car for us, and He’ll make things right concerning our other challenges. It’s been a year of living by faith, for sure.

Sorry if it’s been dull here this week, but too much is going on. I don’t know what next week holds, either. It may be slim till life and work settle down. Thanks for being a reader.

31 thoughts on “What a Week…

  1. Jeff H

    Hey Dan,

    I am praying for you right after I finish typing this comment!

    I have had a crazy couple months (including a totaled car – walked away without a scratch, praise God!)

  2. Wow…so much. I’m sorry for your pain, and rejoice with you for your wife’s safe return to you.

    I don’t know about where you live, but around here, No. Califorian, they’re practically giving cars away on the used car lots. Not so many hybrids, but plenty of Hondas, etc.

    As for your son’s vomiting, I don’t know how old he is, but I experienced something similar when I was in high school. In retrospect I can see it was stress. High school was frightening on a lot of levels. I was able to look to everyone around me like I had it all together, but before the first bell would ring, almost every morning of my senior year I would become nauseous, sometimes almost to the point of vomiting. Of course, this may not be your son’s situation at all, but if he is under stress, it could manifest itself this way.

    All that aside, my prayers are with you and your family and church. May our Lord grant you peace, comfort, and wisdom for all you are facing.

  3. You’d do just as well buying a late model Honda Civic (non-hybrid). The gas mileage isn’t that much greater in the Prius and it would take several years of driving to make up the difference in sticker price with the meager mileage savings.

    • Ragamuffin,

      There is a greater difference between the Civic and Prius, though. The Prius is a bigger car on the inside and adds that room in the best possible places. Most people don’t realize that. The Prius does not look that big on the outside because of its design, but the interior and cargo space is 7-8 percent bigger than a Civic or Corolla. So the difference in sticker price gives you a roomier car with four more inches of rear legroom, which we may need if my son turns out to grow at the rate I did, and significantly better gas mileage than a larger Accord or Camry.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      I’ve been driving a ’91 Civic for the past 14 years. It’s pushing 300,000 on the odometer. Hondas LAST!

      • Headless,

        Ironically, the Corolla replaced a Civic that died at 160,000 miles because of valve issues. That was a real disappointment, especially since that’s not normally a problem with the CVCC engine. I thought that car would last at least another two or three years.

  4. tc


    I’m moving your family to the top of my prayer list. Even in this God is enough – the fullness of God is not a cliche.

    I’m very fond of (and recommend) a Honda; not only do they retain their value, they are also safe and reliable.

    • tc,

      I was a longtime Honda man—until the last time we had to buy a car. I compared the 2000 Civic against the 2000 Corolla, and the Corolla was so much better for the money, I was shocked. Larger engine, finer quality interior, more options—it was like buying one model up. And did I say it was less expensive too?!

      Now my understanding is that Honda has rectified that gap, so we’ll have to see.

  5. John Burns


    Gentle reminder (you already know this): Your wife needs you. Your son needs you. Your church needs you. I like your Blog – but I don’t need you. Take time to minister to your wife, son, and church family. We all will be here when you return. You’re in my prayers.


    • BD,

      Thanks for the prayers. We just need to find a good car that will last and be low maintenance. Low cost would be great too. I will be facing some medical procedures this summer, so trying to find a way to pay for everything is keeping me awake at night. We just keep getting hit with big ticket expenditures at the most inopportune times.

  6. Normandie

    We join those praying, Dan. We just received an email letter from our former pastor — it seems as if attacks are coming to that precious man of God and his church also. So glad the Lord’s angels took care of your wife, but it’s hard to lose a mentor.

    We’re with you in the Toyota fan club. Just before we left Ensenada for points south we sold our Camry — 270,000 miles and going strong.

    Of course, you could always rent the farm out, buy a boat (for about what a new car would cost), and come to the land of sunshine where the living is very cheap and you don’t need a car. It might even cure your son’s allergies.

    • Normandy,

      Just the thought of being on a boat has me in a state of equal parts anxiety and nausea. As someone who suffers from Ménière’s Disease, the worst experience I can think of is to be subject to large amounts of time bobbing like a cork. Add in the fact that my natural buoyancy lies somewhere between “slab of granite” and “anvil,” and you’ll find my picture in the dictionary next to the term “landlubber.”

      • Normandie

        I have just enlarged my vocabulary. Had to look up Meniere’s Disease. Interesting information on the subject. I’m sorry you suffer from it, but I promise I won’t invite you to visit on board or mention the idea again!

        My cousin, an avid sailor, also cannot float. I couldn’t believe it, as I thought all people could if they just “did it right.” The world is full of surprises.

        So we’ll pray for your Ohio farm, your car, your health, you finances, your wife and children, your work….and leave out the trip to Mexico.

  7. E G

    Wow–you’ve had a busy week. Thank God that your wife is doing well. Sorry to hear about the death of your pastor; no matter the age of the person who passes, it’s still hard.

    I’m of the Toyota club myself. Please consider a Corolla from 2003 or later–they’re a bit roomier than the models from previous years. I’ve had a couple of friends notice that it seems a bit bigger than their Civics, and theirs are late model ones.

    • EG,

      My son is growing. The newer Corollas have almost insane amounts of rear leg room compared with comparable makes and models. I got a line on several dealer rental Corollas with under 8,000 miles in 2008 and 2009 models for under $17,000, but even that’s too much money for us now. If they were $15,000, I’d be pulling the trigger, I think.

  8. One other thing to consider: The new Honda Insight looks like a Prius clone now and starts new at around $19,000. Might be able to get one brand new for the same price as a used Prius.

    • Ragamuffin,

      We looked at the new Insights. I was surprised at how dull looking they were. Getting one at $19,000 from a dealer seems to be fantasy too. The cheapest one we saw on the Honda lot was $22,000 before tax (and the million other piddly things that end up running the cost up to $25,000 by the time it is all said and done). The limit on my budget was $15,000.

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