Relativity (And a car crash)

relativity-and-a-car-crashThis post was written two days ago on 1/6. I’m now all caught up and a more regular posting schedule will resume.

Up in my hometown in Wisconsin tonight a Wind Chill Warning is in effect, with values as low as -45 to -55 Fahrenheit expected. Thousands of miles to the south, in Melrose, FL where I am spending my first night at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station (OSBS from now on, because I really don’t want to keep typing that out), the same red angry Wind Chill Warning banner parades across the weather screen. The expected lowest wind chill value here? 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Northerners would look at a wind chill factor of 5 to 10 and scoff and call that child’s play. Florida’s hard freeze has nothing on the cold winters of Wisconsin.

I feel for Florida residents though, even though I myself (and Cas) can handle below freezing temps for 12 hours with a low of 22 just fine, because in my mind it’s not just the absolute numbers that matter but the relativity. True, Wisconsin Rapids doesn’t see -20 often, it’s been several years since they’ve had a night this cold.

But for this part of Florida, it’s been more like 20. The houses down here don’t have much insulation. Their pipes aren’t protected, and their vegetation is much more sensitive to cold. I wonder if people down here even own winter jackets, I kind of doubt it. While the absolute value is much warmer in Florida vs. Wisconsin, Florida is less prepared for the kind of weather they’re experiencing tonight, relatively speaking.

I got into a traffic accident this morning on my way down here. No one was hurt.

I hesitated to even mention it here until the whole thing is over, because I’m now expecting to receive a flood of questions, opinions, information, and personal experiences regarding all things traffic accident related and I’m not sure I want that.

It’s too early to give all the details but let me assure everyone that it was minor, just a fender bender. I rear ended a car at low speed while coming to a stop at a traffic light. You’d have to look twice at Bertha to see any damage at all. Cas is fine. The other car is going to need a new bumper, but otherwise looked fine.

The driver and sole occupant of the car was very calm and understanding, almost friendly even. It’s a shame we couldn’t have met under better circumstances, I hope the rest of her trip to Savannah went better. Likewise the officer who handled it was fair and personable enough. The ticket I got for “driving too fast for conditions” is small, less than the one I got for speeding last year, less than the cumulative cost to fix the things that broke on the trip form Texas to South Carolina to put it in perspective.

It’s going to be a hassle, dealing with the insurance company about costs and damages, knowing that my rate will probably go up next time it’s up for renewal and I might be better served shopping around for new insurance. I was a good two hours late showing up at OSBS and didn’t get to do everything I’d wanted to. Today wasn’t my best day. But on the scale for possible accidents, this rates as easy, relatively speaking. I count myself as fortunate as it could have been much worse.

See? This does tie in with the first half of the post. It’s all relative.

Image courtesy of William Warby

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20 Responses to Relativity (And a car crash)

  1. George January 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Glad to hear the accident was minor. I think you will find yourself keeping more distance between you and the car you are following. Accidents are always scary, but in the end, it does give you a perspective of how much damage could have been done, had the speed been greater.

    I pull a 14,000 lb 5th wheel and have no problem leaving space in front of me. I also drove tractor trailer for 15 years and have seen my share of accidents on the road, some minor, some major.

    Let us know a bit about your new job and what it entails. Can’t wait for the next posting. Have fun, be safe.

    BTW it was 10 night before last and 13 last night in Macon, GA……relatively speaking. πŸ˜‰

    • Becky January 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      Next post is going to be a little more about the new job, I think it’s actually more physically challenging than Amazon. It warmed up some today, got to 64 or so I think, but it rained on and off all day.

  2. Old Fat Man January 8, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    It might be wise to check to see if you had some trailer braking failure or partial failure that caused a longer than normal stopping distance. Years ago my trailer had a wire to one tire break and my stopping was not much effected but was longer. On your Casita one wheel out of order is 50% loss in trailer braking. You might also have hit the brake controller adjustment and moved it a little. Keep warm and have fun.

    • Becky January 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      I would have stopped on time if I hadn’t skidded, the roads were wet and I didn’t take that into account enough.

  3. Pleinguy January 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Good to hear you made it to the OSBS. Hope the experience is rewarding, and you enjoy the work. When the cold snap passes, I think you will like the winter weather there. Sorry to hear about the bumper kiss. At least you are OK, and it was minor. Take care.
    Pleinguy recently posted..RiversideMy Profile

    • Becky January 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

      Thanks Plein. I enjoy the work but find it more physically demanding than Amazon truth be told.

  4. Donald N Wright January 8, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    glad everyone ok.

    • Becky January 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

      Yes, that’s the most important thing.

  5. Richard Myers January 9, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    Hi Becky,

    As long as everyone is ok, all is well. A bumper is just stuff.

    Good luck at the new job and the forecast is for warm days ahead (well, where you al least πŸ™‚ ).

    Rick (in freezing Massachusetts)

    • Becky January 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      Warmed up some today, would have been nicer without the all day rain. Hope MA warms up a little for you!

  6. Mick January 9, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    Sorry you had a fender bender; however, having read for blog for a while now, I know you’ll turn the experience into a useful post of what to do when you are involved in a minor traffic accident on the road. I’m glad you and Cas are safe! Cheers

    • Becky January 9, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

      Thanks Mick. Least I can say Bertha “won”. πŸ˜‰

  7. Carl January 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Hang in there Becky. Fender benders are no big deal and I am sure you will make the best out of a stressful situation. Your blog is always informative and interesting. Keep up the good work and then go RVing. The very best to you and Cas. Be safe.

    • Becky January 9, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

      Thank you Carl, glad you’re enjoying it.

  8. Marsha January 10, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    I have family in northern Wisconsin (Wisconsin is where I’m originally from) and they’ve had several below zero temperature days this past week. Like in the 20’s below not taking into account wind chill. I currently live on the other side of Lake Michigan and that moderates our temps quite a bit, although not as warm as where you are now.

    Looking forward to hearing about your latest adventure at OSBS.

    Stay warm.

    • Becky January 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

      Thanks Marsha. Yeah my parents say it’s been a very cold winter overall so far.

  9. Bill and Kris Osborne January 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    I think you are just a master at coping! And it’s going to take you far.
    Bill and Kris Osborne recently posted..Maxwell AFB TourMy Profile

    • Becky January 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      The key to getting better at just about anything is practice. Making the conscious decision to see the silver lining among the rain clouds isn’t always easy, especially on days like this one, but it comes more naturally with time. Not that I I think it should ever become so easy that you fail to learn from your mistakes, like slowing down sooner when you’re pulling a trailer and it’s raining for instance.

  10. jonthebru January 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    I am glad you were not injured in the accident. I gotta say your choice of vehicle and small trailer is a tremendous way to move about. The logic and efficiency is impressive. Need to repair or upgrade the truck, no problem. Want a new trailer for some reason, no problem. Try doing that with a motorhome.

  11. Becky January 15, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    I have to say I love my small truck/trailer combo, but I admit to being a bit biased. πŸ˜‰ To be honest motorhomes have some really good points too, I always say there is no one best kind of RV, just the kind that works best for your unique circumstances. For the way I’m traveling right now, this is definitely what works best for me.

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