Magnolia crash


One fall day while Sol was doing some errands and I was washing clothes, I heard a loud boom that I thought had to be a gas explosion in our villa neighborhood. I ran to the door, all the while thinking to myself, we don’t even have any gas at Magnolia Manor! When I opened the door and went outside on my patio, I looked up toward the apartments and there was a grey Lexus sitting in my next-door neighbor’s yard. At least the rear end of it was. I immediately thought, call 911, but I better access the situation before I did that. I ran over to the car and inside sat my sweet friend and rose gardener, looking pretty bewildered but, as she always was, smiling. I said are you alright Ann? She nodded and immediately started trying to get out of the car. Her door was blocked because she was up on the patio, but the other door was working. I yelled for her to let me help her get out on the passenger side! I looked her over, and didn’t see any blood, so here I am, trying carefully and graciously to lift her over the console of her car, praying I wasn’t going to see a huge gaping wound or a broken arm. Ann slid herself over that seat just like she had done it before! I told her to sit tight. By this time, some utility workers across the street saw what had happened and meandered over. I was the only one freaking out!

I asked Ann for her telephone so I could get her daughters phone number and she said, “well, it’s in my purse.” I said “well, give me your purse and I’ll find it.” There was no purse in the car. Great! “Well, is your house locked? Yes. Do you have your keys? No.” Now, all this time, the utility guys are walking around the Lexus surveying the damage. I knew my 95-year-old neighbor, Esther was inside her villa, but she couldn’t open her door because the car was blocking it. She was like a caged animal wanting to get out to the scene!

Finally, one of the men had the presence of mind enough to say, maybe we should call the office. Duh? He did. By this time, I was convinced Ann didn’t need an ambulance although I swear to you, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why she didn’t die on impact. Thank God she didn’t. After a few minutes, a few of the staff members descend on the scene and take over the problem of notifying the next of kin to come see about Ann. I relaxed a little, took a few deep breaths, and looked around to survey the damage. By now, Esther has figured out a way to get over various boxes and furniture in her sun porch, opened one of the sliding doors, which I was never able to do the whole time we lived there, and she comes “rollating” around the corner of her house and approached the scene.

That Lexus had come across the street from Ann’s garage, knocked over two mailboxes in concrete, a 20-foot streetlight, uprooted two boxwoods, then hit the brick wall of the villa and crashed into the glass storm door. I kid you not! Thankfully Ann did not have a scratch or a bruise. I’m not sure I could have handled that. She was my precious “rose lady.” The Lexus was totaled. We later discovered our neighborhood feral black cat had suffered fatal injuries in the boxwoods outside Esther’s bedroom window, leaving as survivors, several cute little black kittens who apparently escaped the scene unscathed. And life goes on at the “home.”