I was at home, and more than a little nervous. Beautiful wife Sandy, son Lee, and Lee's fiancé Karen were in Europe to visit family in Germany, tour favorite places in Austria, and attend a special birthday party for Karen's mother, Ilse. Fortunately, nothing on their agenda took them to Paris. Nevertheless, as reports continued to appear of threats and discoveries of new terrorist plots my concerns deepened.
As things turned out, I had nothing to worry about. All the travelers said they had a great time renewing acquaintances with favorite people and places while fueled by liberal doses of schnapps and pretzels. Sandy had an unusual fall on an escalator in the Munich airport, but she somewhat miraculously emerged with only bruises and no pains. The only other problems were minor frustrations with needs to modify parts of the travel plan to avoid delays at borders caused by refugees.
Some of the hosts expressed worry about how I was faring as a solo act back home in Michigan. They should have known all was well. One of my responsibilities was caring for Pearl, who emerged
|Pearl resting from guard dog duties.|
An event in the latter part of the travel scenario caught my attention. Shortly before the travelers started their journey home the U.S. State Department declared a world-wide travel alert. I was relieved when Lee phoned to tell me their 10,000 mile trip was going to end at our front door in about an hour.
Our reunion didn't quite happen on schedule.When the travelers arrived an hour and a half after his call, Lee appeared somewhat shaken. "What happened?'
"I hit a deer out on the highway," he said. The site of the collision was less than a mile from our home.
Years ago, I was a passenger in a sedan that hit a deer. The front end of the car was seriously damaged. A wrecker hauled it away for major repairs. A conservation officer hauled the deer carcass away the next day. There is nothing unusual about seeing dead deer on the sides our highways in southwestern Michigan, especially this time of year when the hunting season is under way and the animals are moving around during the rut.
I expected really bad news. However, Lee took some evasive actions and the collision was a glancing blow. The deer limped away. The car showed no signs of significant damage.
Although some horrific things have happened in other places, our little family has much to be thankful for this year. We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. . . right on schedule. Best holiday wishes to you and yours.