A New Year with New Possibilities & New Adventures

The end of 2022 was a bit of a rough one for me.

This past Thursday, December 29, 2022, God was with us and helped me stay calm and clear headed when my youngest son, Christopher, my older son’s friend, Alex, and I were in the terrible accident that afternoon.

Thank God we’re okay. But I can’t get over the erratic driver in front of me that drifted off the road from the right lane as if asleep or on his phone. The car slammed into the concrete side of the overpass and jumped back on the road only about 20 feet in front of me, swerving and slamming on his brakes.

I slammed on my brakes but realized he was too close and I’d hit the back of his car head on, so I turned the steering wheel to the left to get away from his crazy swerving.

And BAM!

I was hit from the side or rather I must have hit someone in the lane next to me but couldn’t see because my door was hit, the window shattered into small pieces, and the airbags took up the whole window space. I kept saying, “Oh my God!”

I’d taken Alex with me after getting off work (we work at the same place) and Christopher from his workplace and headed home. It happened close to the exit for my workplace on I-25.

I was so so shocked after I moved to the side of the road and stopped, I kept rambling about the crazy driver and couldn’t believe it had happened. Small pieces of glass from the window were on the door and inside the the front driver seat area and apparently on the seat.

I was a little sore where the seatbelt was against my chest but so thankful that and the airbags kept me safe.

And I‘m most thankful to God that we’re all okay and to my guardian angel as well that I’m okay. If I hadn’t banged into the pick up truck next to me (found out after I stopped and saw their car), if I’d been T-boned, I’d have been seriously injured or dead.

Alex called 911, which apparently they were overwhelmed with calls and he had to wait a couple of minutes for someone to answer. Anyway, they called the police so they’d come to where we were.

The dangerous driver apparently left the scene. How awful.

I’m also thankful that the guy in the pick up truck saw it all and confirmed my report and experience.

My car was towed to a repair shop and I’ve requested a rental car. The policeman was kind enough to drive us home and said I did the best I could in that situation.

Thank you, God.

Now, I must wait 2-3 weeks for an estimate on my car, but from what the woman told me at the repair place this past Friday, it’s likely my lovely 2021 Mazda CX-3 is totaled because the airbags alone are between $8,000 and $10,000 and take months to obtain and be replaced.

I’ll be driving a rental for the next couple of weeks or so (hoping it’s less), preparing to hear from my insurance company and whatever they need to do to send me a check or whatever to go out and get another vehicle hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m the sole driver for Christopher and Alex for their work, as well as my own. I also do delivery as part of my job, and having a car is crucial to my livelihood.

My oldest son, Nicholas, told me to take a picture of my wrecked car.

But today is a New Year, and I’m planning to enjoy it with these traditional treats:

My St. Basil’s New Year bread is ready to be sliced up for Christ, His Mother, the Poor, St. Basil, and my family members. There is a coin hidden inside. Whoever gets the coin in their slice has blessings for the year!

My Greek honey cookies (melamakarona), a tradition in my family. I make them every year for New Year’s Eve and the New Year. They are my favorite Greek sweet. 🙂

After nearly facing serious injury or possible death, my perspective on life is much more precious and vivid. I’m even more grateful each day for everything in my life than before. God is good. He makes something good out of something bad. I look forward to this year’s journey.

I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed 2023!


A Weekend in the Rockies

Last Saturday, my sons, a friend of my oldest son, and I drove to Estes Park for the day, stayed the night, and returned Sunday afternoon.

One has to reserve a slot in the allotted times available to enter Rocky Mountain National Park for the morning and afternoon hours. This was a new protocol for the park since 2020. Before that, you just entered at one of their entrances by paying for a day pass or week pass. I assume this change was done post-covid/2020 when in 2021, everyone seemed to have flocked to the national parks to enjoy nature and breathe in the fresh air.

Well, I didn’t think to reserve our slot before arriving to Estes Park, so we couldn’t get into the park Saturday afternoon. Thankfully, the hotel clerk where we were booked for the night told me that you can get in free after 6 p.m. At first, when we got there around 1 p.m., I didn’t understand going out that late in the day/into the evening to visit the park. We certainly weren’t going to do the hiking we’d come to do at that slotted time.

So, I googled hiking trails available in Estes Park. There were plenty listed, and we found one to go to that turned out to be free! My son, Christopher, and I went on the shorter hiking trail to the left, while my son, Nicholas, and his friend took the longer, tougher route.

Since I hadn’t hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park since the summer of 2019, and since I’ve been on blood pressure medication since January 2020, I decided to take the easier path and see how I would do.

Well, I did have to acclimate a bit. My heart was beating like a beat box–too fast–and I was a bit lightheaded and out of breath at the beginning of the walk. It took until midway on the path and constant sips of my bottled water to acclimate, the dizziness to be gone, and my heartbeat to be more regular.

In any case, my son and I had a great adventure on the trail. Took lots of pictures, and embraced the nature around us. Here are some of our pictures. The last few with the precious baby chipmunks and Gem Lake are taken by my son, Nicholas, on their trail.

Inviting hiking trail we embarked on!
Longs Peak hidden by the clouds
Cool passageway!
My son actually petted these little critters!
Gem Lake

After our hiking adventures, we waited until 6 p.m. and entered Rocky Mountain National Park for free. The good thing about being there in the evening around that time is that we were likely to see some animals because they usually come out around dawn and dusk to eat.

The first animal we saw was a moose! But he was too far off to get a good picture of him. It was the first moose I’d seen outside the zoo!

The moose!
Elk pretty close up!
Some flowers we saw on LRT and RMNP

Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are where I go for my little bit of peace in this world. We had a blessed and beautiful short trip. We will go back soon!