Near Teen Death: The Story of How One Boy Successfully Pruned Our Neighbor’s Hedges

11:01pm last night…loud crash…it sounded like our glass storm door was being broken in to a million pieces.

11:01 and 2 seconds…Chris and I–who are downstairs still awake due to our upcoming garage sale (which as a side note–is a ton of work) JUMP to our feet and begin “mobilizing” around the house.   Certain that someone is trying to break in our home I go in to a crazy strong girl mode and tell Chris to check the garage door at which point he shares that he is convinced someone has tried to break in but hit (hilariously) a bunch of toys.   I express that I was not so certain, since our garage is always immaculate (feel free to snicker), because every light in the house was on downstairs…the person would have to be drunk to be that bold.  (Since stranger things have happened we continue the search.)   Instead I go running out of the front door only to find 4 neighborhood men gathered together around a very distraught teenager.  Coincidence…none.  

11:05  Thankful for awesome neighbors armed with flashlights I realize there is no need for a neighborhood watch I felt safer just walking toward the scene.  

11:08  We find out that this teen had fallen asleep at the wheel and had careened in to the front yard of our neighbor…the kid was now picking up branches from the “yard work” he did. 

11:10  We realize that the homeowner is not outside (was he searching his basement for an intruder?  No one could have slept through that train wreck!)  

11:12  Someone then calls the police at which point the high school kid moves to the middle of the street kneels down and begins to cry.

11:15  Our neighbor emerges shocked and politely upset.    

11:17  The kid was offered the phone, he calls his dad who he assures everything is okay and instructs him not to come.  (They live in the neighborhood.)  

11:20  The homeowner realizes that his bushes are not the only damage.  A 25 mile an hour street sign was taken out, then his azaleas, then his mailbox, THEN his bushes.  Our neighbor kindly explains that when the police comes he will insist on a breathalyzer.  

11:20..5 seconds   Instantly more wailing from the 18 year old who I will call Kevin.  An 18 year old sobbing is a very painful sight.  I go over and try to comfort him.  Then I motion Chris over for a more masculine response.  I guess at that point (drunk or not) you really need a mom and a dad.  Where was Kevin’s dad?

11:25  Neighbors begin to assess what happened…Kevin fell asleep at the wheel.  His car (going how fast?) crossed across the left side of the road, hit the curb, nailed the speed limit sign, azelas, and mailbox while avoiding by MAYBE a few feet  their daughters’ car parked on the side of the street.  (Pause here–seriously it could have been inches.)   He continued through the front yard, nailed the bushes that were hiding our neighbors’ electrical box.  Kevin managed to get down the street several hundred feet with only a few dents–no major damage.  No glass broken, no air bag deployed…and walked away without a scratch.  

11:26  Quickly connecting the dots…I realize the kid is a walking miracle.  He could have hit the car head on and…um…died.  He could have hit the electrical box and um…blown up the neighborhood.  (Drama is okay after 11pm…I am so tired!)  

11:30ish The police arrive and speak to Kevin and then go over to speak to the neighbors.  

11:40  Kevin now near his car begins wailing again.  Oh what a sad sound.  Chris and I go over.  I put my arm around him and Chris marvels at the fact that his car practically come out on scathed.  He mentions that during the day AWAKE he could not have navigated the terrain that Kevin navigated–asleep.  (I pause a moment to thank God for Chris.)  We explain how brave Kevin was to stick around and not run since–most high school kids that we used to know would have run.  (Sorry if you were a high school kid we used to know.)   I told Kevin that he was a miracle.  He sobbed and said his dad was going to be really ticked.  (Where was his dad again?)  He said he was 18 and he told his father that he would take care of “business.”  Noble.  But seriously–where was his dad?   Because Chris was there, Kevin would go in and out of fits of crying and laughter talking about where he was going to school in the fall, soccer, and where he worked…I mentioned he needed to ask for a raise.  (Okay–maybe I am a little funny.)  He seemed a little calmer when the police approached.  

Midnight-ish…One of the coolest officers I have ever met kindly approaches Kevin and asks him if he is okay.  He clarifies some of the details of what happened and then asks him to stand up.  He conducts a sobriety test–and Kevin passes.   (Yet another miracle of the evening since Kevin had recently gotten a speeding ticket and this kind of thing would have compounded on that offense.)

12:25 Kevin receives his paper work without a ticket and is very very relieved and begins shaking hands and thanking everyone profusely like a newly elected public official.  I insist on a hug.  (Not sure if I am normally a “hugger” to an random teenage boy while in my pjs–but it felt appropriate.)  

12:30  The officers and neighbors are back assessing the scene.  The words VERY LUCKY are being tossed around.  I keep mentioning…”miracle.”  

12:47 We are back in the house discussing the events of the evening when Chris asks, “is it really cool or really weird that I was out there without a shirt and in my jeans?”  I quickly answer… “I thought it was super hot…and a little redneck.”

5:20am   After sleeping 4 hours I wake up with a strong pull to find my laptop and record the story.  

5:32am  I finally get up after several futile attempts to go back to sleep and several heated arguments in my head about blogging later.  I just couldn’t shake that inner something that nudges me to write.  It is a little like field of dreams…only less baseball and other really cool stuff.  (Only 4 hours of sleep…stay with me.)  

Reflections from last night: 

Life is super short.

There are no coincidences.  There is no such thing as luck.

Dads should come to the scene of an accident.  

Kids should not be out past 10 on a school night.

Neighbors should be as cool as ours.

If one sees it necessary to participate in stunt driving tricks through our neighbors yard please keep this activity between the hours of 9am and 9pm eastern standard time.  

Jesus actually DOES take the wheel.  (Thank you Carrie.)  If you doubt this you should see my neighbors yard.  

I love doing “ministry” with my husband.    

I don’t deserve the “coincidences” that God drops in our laps…or in this case–in our neighbors’ front yard.  

I am soooo tired.  Need coffee.

May You Be a Blessing and May you Be Blessed–


2 thoughts on “Near Teen Death: The Story of How One Boy Successfully Pruned Our Neighbor’s Hedges

  1. Man! I can only imagine the adrenaline pumping through that kids veins…so glad you and Chris were there! You are funny!!! I laugh at you (I mean, WITH you) every time I’m graced with your presences!
    Great blog, once again. Love you guys lots!


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