Monday, October 7, 2013

The Perils of Gawking at Plants

ANYONE THAT KNOWS ME is aware of my penchant for plants. I call myself a die-hard gardener evidenced by my many weekends spent puttering in the garden from sun up to sun down. When I'm not in the garden, I'm still thinking about plants, gazing out the window as I drive to and from work, musing about how to better design my borders.  

In August, a farmer planted several rows of artichoke plants in a field next to the road on a stretch of my commute. If you've never seen an artichoke plant, they're quite stunning with silvery-white, pointy leaves and a tall, central leader that eventually supports a lavender flower. My first thought after witnessing row upon row of small artichoke plants was, "interesting." My second was, "those plants are spaced awfully close together" as I drove past them. 

Daily, I've been taking in brief snippets of progress, glancing ever so quickly to my right while making my way towards the signal light ahead. This particular area is notorious for sudden stops. 

One evening last week, driving home, I did the quick scan, noting how healthy and how strangely un-crowded those plants were growing. Aware of the curse of sudden stops, I kept my distance from the car in front of me. Glancing over again at the 'chokes, then back at the green light ahead, I judged that another quick glance would be okay since things were moving right along. 

NOT. Despite the fact that the light was green, the car in front of me had braked suddenly and me, at say 30 mph, was forging straight ahead. 

I hit the brakes and veered towards the right, hoping I wouldn't smash the SUV in front of me but certain that I was going to anyway. BAM! 

I quickly pulled over and mortified, grabbed my insurance stuff and ignored the smug (I'm sure) glances of passing cars. The damage to Steve's SUV--a very nice gentleman, I might add--was minimal, just a two-inch ouch on the very end of his black, rubber bumper. He didn't even want my insurance information, confident that with a little manipulation the sore would heal. 

Steve called me yesterday to assure me that the wound had healed. My car, on the other hand will require a bit of surgery, I'm afraid. The headlight shell broke and there's a minor dent in the hood right above it. I'm thinking it will run me about five or ten thousand, given how expensive things are.  

You can choose your moral to this story. There's a lot of them. But stubborn ole gal that I am, my love of plants hasn't diminished in the slightest. 

Can you relate? 


  1. You are so lucky ...did you see the Seinfeld episode? : )
    No gawking, even at beautiful plants. : )

  2. Oh, I'm so sorry! I hope YOU weren't hurt. And I hope the car is less expensive to fix than expected.

    Moral of the story? Well, I would say stop looking at the plants, but you enjoyed them so much. And you were being careful. I guess I would say, pull over and enjoy and take photos. :-)

  3. Oh, lord. I'm glad everyone is okay. I can't say my plant lust has ever caused an accident, but with that being said, if I added up the total of how much I've spent on new babies since the age of 19, I'm pretty sure an accident would be cheaper.

  4. Oh my! That certainly could have been me, I am so glad your 'victim' was a nice guy!

  5. Grace...I suppose the moral of your story is, "The price we might have to pay for doing the things we love can be expensive."

    So happy no one was hurt but the car. I can't recall ever seeing artichokes growing so I'm sure I would have been looking also.

  6. I think the lesson here is for the roads department. Obviously the intersection needs to be moved. The farmer might acknowledge his contributing factor and send you a little note explaining his growing methods. A few artichokes would be nice too.

  7. oh no!!!! I'm glad no one was hurt. Sucks to have an accident though. I must admit, i chuckled a bit when thinking back to the train of thought going on just before the accident. I was totally along for the ride with you - was really curious about why they were strangly uncrowded... ha ha ha!

  8. Ouch Grace. I can relate as I oogle the wildlife and wildflowers on my commute...


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