This was supposed to be a blog entry about Robert Todd Lincoln and the Hildene estate and lunch at Gringo Jacks and tasting Mother Myrick’s Lemon Lulu Cakes for the first time. Instead, a day in Manchester ends with an accident stealing everyone’s thunder.
Yes, a bushel of sweet corn at the Equinox Valley Nursery is the best but I wouldn’t suggest being rear-ended to get there faster. However, should you suffer whiplash in the rush, rest assured that not only will yellow kernel goodness be offered but a plate of plump donuts, several cups of thirst-quenching cider and a couple ice-packs to go.
The Preuss family, owners of Equinox Valley Nursery, went from playing landscapers and farmers to angels on Wednesday afternoon.
We knew when we first saw the ‘sweet corn’ sign coming into Manchester in the morning that we’d be leaving Manchester in the afternoon again on historic Route 7A and needing dinner accoutrements. The seasonal favorite would do the trick.
Approaching from the southbound lane, I came to a stop while waiting for on-coming traffic in the northbound lane to pass. In my rear view window I noticed a blue sedan approaching quicker than it should be.
For whatever reason, as my car was stopped and waiting to turn, my mom twisted around in the passenger side seat, peered through the back window and said “That car better slow down soon!”
I looked into my rear view window and mentally agreed.
Having worked in television all my life I’m clearly no mathematician but an estimated guess at the visual speed of the car said I had less than 5 seconds to react.
The two others vehicles in the northbound lane, I can only guess, may have started to slow down because they too knew what was inevitably about to happen.
I punched the accelerator taking my chances at crossing the road to get to the other side but the crushing blow came at the exact same time and there was no stopping the consequences.
The impact launched us over the northbound lane and into an adorable picket fence decorated with baskets of perennial flowering plants.
The Preuss family must have heard the crash, abandon their posts at the business and came flying out to attend to the needs of both vehicles.
Penny Preuss, like a vision from above, applied ice to my concussion and held my hand securely. Roger Preuss, Marine veteran, managed to pry open my Mom’s door, assist my Stepfather, who, incidentally, absorbed the brunt of the crash with several compressed vertebrae and drive us to the hospital. Stepdad wisely agreed to ride with the ambulance.
The Preuss daughter did the same as her parents, comforting the culprit driver with water and ice for she too needed medical attention.
An ill-fated Manchester sojourn that will forever cast an impenetrable dark shadow over southern Vermont? On the contrary, this freaky collision is cause to celebrate survival and recognize a tiny town with incredibly benevolent and compassionate folks, humans with hearts the size of pumpkins and kindness as hearty as the mums they sell.