Avoid the driveway danger on Christmas Eve

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2005

In the middle of my Christmas tree hangs a forlorn looking ceramic moose. In his mouth is a sheet of paper bearing the words &uot;Oops!&uot; and underneath, &uot;2004.&uot;

He holds a place of honor on the Gore family Christmas tree, right next to the ornament that says &uot;Our First Christmas.&uot;

That’s a happy ornament, and I smiled this year as I hung it on the tree. I wasn’t smiling when I hung the moose, however. Let me explain:

I was getting ready to go on a last-minute shopping spree Christmas Eve, just as Greg was getting ready to go to the hospital to see patients. I had gotten ready first and went in to tell him goodbye and let him know I would be back soon.

As soon as I got the words out of my mouth, his beeper went off and he waved goodbye to me as I bounded out the door.

I hopped in the car, put on my seatbelt, turned up the heater and the radio and backed up and then … bam.

I heard the sound of metal hitting metal and the crunching sound that can only mean you’ve hit something.

&uot;Please tell me I hit the garbage can,&uot; I thought to myself.

I jumped out of the car, only to realize what I had hit was Greg’s car. He was parked behind me and for some reason, I just backed right into him.

My heart sank. This was the second time in three Christmas Eve’s I’d had some mishap involving a car accident.

Two years ago, my car was hit in a parking lot. Now, I had hit my husband’s car in our own driveway.

At this point, I was faced with a dilemma. I could go to the store, not telling him about his car, and then tell him that mine had gotten hit at the mall and his had obviously been hit at the hospital and wasn’t that a strange coincidence? Or, I could go in and tell him the truth.

I opted for the latter.

I walked in the house and he was still on the phone. I stood there as long as I could before I blurted out amidst the tears, &uot;I hit your car!&uot;

&uot;Um, I better go,&uot; I heard him say to the person on the other end of the line. Greg threw on a jacket and walked outside to survey the damage. His car has a dent and a scrape; mine a dent, a scrape and a cracked bumper.

&uot;Won’t this make for a great story,&uot; he said, and proceeded to call me &uot;Crash&uot; the remainder of the holiday weekend. He also said I was no longer allowed to drive on Christmas Eve – ever.

And that’s when the moose ornament comes in. I went on to the mall (a cracked bumper won’t slow down a true shopper) where I found the little ornament and had it emblazoned with the word that seemed to best sum up our first Christmas Eve as a married couple: &uot;Oops.&uot;

Leada Gore is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter