Saturday, September 5, 2009

Peace of Mind is Worth the Price

Packed up the car and headed to Guthrie. Known as "The Bed and Breakfast Capital of Oklahoma" and I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Among other things. As the first capital of Oklahoma, the city is rich in history. I also thought I might even find the grave of one of the Doolin or Dalton gang that is buried there.

As usual, I never thought about having car insurance. I have the proof in the glove compartment and have never had an accident. It is just there - just in case. I'm not even sure if I have a good company or not. I've never used them. They are rated high on the insurance rating scale and that is good enough for me. Plus, the insurance rates are really cheap. I love saving money, especially on something I have to have and never have used.

I headed down 1-35 towards Guthrie. My radio played softly in the background. My thoughts were on what I would find in Guthrie and traffic. It is Labor Day week-end, after all. Traffic was much lighter than I thought I would be. I guessed folks were at the "big football game" in Stillwater - OSU was playing the Georgia Bulldogs or still having fun at the lake or something else equally interesting. I know the Sooners aren't in Norman; they will be beating some team later today somewhere south of the Red River.

I'm in the right lane, the slow lane. "The Driving Miss Daisy Lane" as my husband calls it. I'm always in that lane. Despite having driven this stretch of I-35 for years, I like to be able to take an exit should I see something interesting. I never when something will catch my attention and turn into a "photo op."

I can't even tell you what kind of a car it was. It was coming up fast behind me.
It was a little red one; that's all I know. Well, I also know it was in my lane, right up next to my driver's side door. Without time to remember what I learned years ago in driver's ed, I whipped the wheel to the left and slammed on the brakes. The little red car kept going, with the dotted line centered between the tires. I heard its peppy little horn blast as it almost sideswiped me.

I'm sitting on shoulder, heart racing. My feet (yes, both of them) were still planted on the brake and my hands were gripping the steering wheel so tightly my knuckles were white. They weren't shaking. The rest of my body was, but not my hands; there were clinging to the steering wheel for dear life.

Putting the car in park, I start to breathe again. I glance over at the glove compartment. Not sure why, I reached over and opened it. My proof of car insurance on top of the maps and other necessities. I pull it out and look at it. My car insurance expires at the end of the month.

Still shaken from my near miss, I take the next exit and head home. Guthrie will still be there. At that moment, I wanted to get home, get online and pay my car insurance premium. I know I have 25 days to pay it, but I do a lot of driving. As busy I am, I might forget. As usual, I will pay for the next six months. It is cheaper that way, in the long run, and peace of mind is well worth the price.

Happy Oklahoma traveling,

Emma Riley Sutton