It’s All My Fault for Not Turning Off the Coffee Pot

Sometimes things happen and there is no reason why.  Other times the root cause can be traced and in this case it was all my fault.  I forgot to turn off the coffee pot.

We were headed out for the day to catch the ferry to take us to Bald Head Island.  My love of lighthouses was spurring us onward to take in this lighthouse that we had yet to see.  About 20 minutes into the drive I looked at my dear husband and said “I didn’t turn off the coffee pot”.   He knows me well enough to know that it was time to turn around or else I would worry all day about burning the condo down.

Of course this meant that we would miss that ferry and have to catch the next one but at least I would be able to enjoy the day and so that is what we did.

Coffee pot not only turned off but unplugged and on our way we went.

Two miles from the ferry we had a left hand turn at a light and then a quick right hand turn onto Jabbertown Road (love that name) and we were almost to the ferry.  EXCEPT…….a woman merging onto the same road we were on misjudged and crash, bang, slam —-we were hit.  Chris looked at me incredulously and said “Did we just get hit?”  Yes, yes we did.


Now I love the state of North Carolina.  I really do.  In my perfect world I would be living here on the beach but that time is not here yet so…..let me just say that sometimes it is a different pace here and on this day the pace was s   l   o   w.   The good thing was that all the occupants in both cars were not hurt and the car that hit us had very little damage although our car was pretty un-drivable unless we pulled the bumper off of the tire.

Sheriff came but it was not his jurisdiction. His main reason to stop was to make sure we were all getting along.  He told me I would be  surprised at how folks act in times like this.   He confirmed the state trooper was coming.

An hour and a half later…..yes….an hour and half later the trooper came. Very nice guy and personable but as I said things move s  l  o  w l y.  He had one clip board, apparently, so the lady filled out her report, handed him the clipboard and he took her report off, clipped a new page on and then he handed the clipboard to Chris for him to fill out his report.   Somehow I think NC should spring for 2 clipboards per car but hey—-maybe there was some strategy behind the one clipboard.

During our time on the side of Jabbertown Road we learned a lot about the occupants of the car that hit us.   We learned that the driver of the car that hit us had a mother who was in the hospital and she was on her way to pick her up.  We met her father and assorted other folks who stopped by the side of the road to see what was happening. learned a lot about the tow truck driver, Conrad, who was raised in Boston and his father was an educator at Harvard so that is why he had such great diction.  We learned much about the trooper and his family and how he loved to hunt in Adams County in Ohio and is going to buy property there, etc.   We learned that wood chip trucks barrel down Jabbertown Road and since we had a rental car and were not allowed to move it before the police came we feared it would get hit again.

Finally we finished up with the trooper and the rental car company hooked us up with a cab who would take us from Southport to Wilmington where we could get a new car.  We piled into the circa 1983 LaSabre complete with ceiling fabric falling down (you know what I am talking about!) and rode the 35ish miles in style to the Wilmington airport to get a new rental car.

Long story but suffice it to say it was a day that did not turn out as planned.  All because of a coffee pot.  If I had turned it off originally we would not have been at that spot at that precise moment to have that accident happen.

Before we headed back to the condo we stopped for a very, very late lunch at Hieronymus Seafood and the toll of the day melted away a bit with a wonderful meal.


Stuffed Mushrooms


New Year’s Eve Feast complete with Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens  and Citrus Basil Flounder


All the tables were these great glass topped deals filled with sand and seashells and fabulous.  I already have plans for one in my “some day” beach house.

All in all—a diversion for a day that was planned for a fun adventure at a lighthouse but you know what?  It is all good.  We met a lot of people, no one was hurt and we had a great meal.  The only downside was that the other driver got a ticket at a time when she already had a lot going on in her life and this was one more thing.  I gave her a hug before we parted and wished her family well and hopefully 2014 will be a better year for her.

Did you ever have a well planned out day that changed?  I know you have.  Everyone has.  The good thing is that we were able to not let it ruin our trip and at least this time we spoke the same language unlike the time when we got rear ended in Pisa, Italy. Count it all joy, folks, count it all joy.



  1. I love your outlook. 🙂 Sorry for the bad day – but I am so happy you were able to take it in stride. Albeit a slow stride.

    • Haha! Yes—slow was the answer here! It is all good and I know it REALLY wasn’t my fault. 🙂 Just one of those things that makes you think if you had just been a minute earlier would it have happened? Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Allison Spruill says:

    I learned a few years ago that the state troopers are not on the road as much during holidays. Are you planning to see the lighthouse later?

    • Going to try again tomorrow!!! 🙂 It’s all good. It was just a long time to wait for the lady who was going to pick up her mom and that made me sad because she was antsy to get there.

  3. Headliner. (proud to know the word for the fabric falling down on the ceiling of the car!–only because we’ve had a couple of cars like that!) Glad you are all OK and still had fun stuff to record at the end of the day.

  4. So glad everyone was OK. I love how you added the personal stuff in your story. It is all about people isn’t it. Somehow you were meant to meet all those people instead of going to the lighthouse. (two clipboards would be nice)

  5. Oh, my, I am so sorry this happened to you and Chris. And all because of that coffee pot. Mostly thankful that no one was injured.

    My goodness, it took a l o n g time for law enforcement to arrive. I imagine you learned a lot about everyone because you are so friendly and you figured you may as well make the best of the situation. I’m like that, too. If I have to wait with folks, you can bet I’ll start a conversation. Had one with an older gentleman and his wife while hanging out in the Kohls’ dressing room last week for more than an hour while the son tried on clothes. Now THAT tested my patience.

    BTW, we’ve owned a few vehicles with the headliner falling down.

    • I am so glad I know now what that headliner is called!! I should have just asked my friend Mr. Google. It’s all good but at the time it was a bit frustrating to say the least. 🙂

  6. I’m so glad you are all ok. I am so bad about jumping to be angry in a situation like that, but I like how you reminded me to stop and try to have more empathy for everyone involved. Whenever we leave for a trip, I’m always afraid we left something on. We check about three times. One thing I learned from this summer is that you should always go back to take out the trash if you are going to be gone for a month! That was a nightmare.

    • Oh my. Trash sitting for a month would be horrible. Ugh. I can’t imagine. 🙂 It could have been worse and to know that it was not “our fault” was a good thing. Otherwise if I had been driving and it was my fault I would still be beating myself up about it!!!

  7. So happy no one was injured. You made the most out of the situation and were able to look at it from a positive perspective. The folks you met and the meal you shared with Chris sounds (and looks) like a day worth spending. Happy New Year, Friend.

  8. Well, all’s well that ends well, Beth Ann. Still, you’re probably a better person than I am — I don’t particularly like having my well-laid-out plans “smashed” to smithereens, ha! Glad all were protected from bodily harm, and glad y’all were able to salvage a good lunch out of the confusion!

    • I don’t know about being a better person than you. I was VERY disappointed and I know Chris was just shaking his head at my “forgetfulness” but hey—I didn’t want to be responsible for burning down a vacation rental. 🙂

  9. I’m so glad things turned out okay and no one was hurt. And those stuffed mushrooms look delish. A good meal usually has a habit of turning the day around for us if things weren’t going quite as planned! 🙂

  10. What a story! Maybe this all was meant to happen to help all the others you met in result of the accident. Maybe they all just needed someone to talk to that day! Happy New Year and enjoy the rest of your time in North Carolina!

  11. I am filing this under the category “Other Reasons I Love My Keurig” — because I never have to worry if the coffee pot is off. But SO GLAD you guys are okay! And the poor lady who already had so much to deal with. Proof of my old mantra: never hurry, never worry. But all seems to be well that ends well, and dining at that awesome table is a good end!!
    Although, I do love lighthouses too. Hopefully you will get to it another time.

    • Yep–I have a Keurig at home along with a Cuisinart Grind and Brew and there is never a worry with them but this one is a cheap one that I know would not turn off. All’s well that ends well and we hope to make the trip tomorrow…..we shall see!

  12. Glad you all are ok! My Mom always said never go back after leaving the house. I have automatic shut off on everything that is possible… 😀

    • Yea–you can buy these outlet things that you can control with an app on your phone and that might be a good investment for me…….but I don’t usually have this problem at home so I am grateful about the fact that I own coffee pots that turn off automatically. 🙂

  13. It turned into a great story though, but isn’t that everyday just life, taken to another level? The incidents and timing of everything we do, results in an occurrence of some type or a change of direction of some type for someone. I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember the name of the law, but it goes like this: “For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction..”

  14. So glad you both are OK as well as the others in the accident. I imagine her mind was on her mother and was in a hurry so was not as careful as usual. I always feel better when I know you are home and OK. Go and enjoy the lighthouse ,

    • I am sure she had more on her mind than we knew plus her husband who was with her had pneumonia so she had had a tough holiday. Add an accident and ticket to that and it got worse.

  15. The best laid plans of mice and men, make plans and watch God laugh….are just a few of the sayings that describe the experience of things not going as planned. Not forgetting to mention good old Murphy’s law. On the other hand, it could have been a “sliding door” experience. ..Of-course the best news is no one was hurt and there is the resulting blog post–that I know you would have passed on but you told a great story.

  16. I totally understand the “coffee pot thing”!!!!! When we bought the last coffee maker it has an auto shut-off feature!!!!!! Yay! I’m so thankful all turned out ok for everyone concerned. Plans can be changed/modified but lives require so much more consideration!!! Hugs…………….

  17. The best thing is, no one got hurt. Look at all the wonderful people you met because of an accident, too. You would never have known so much about them if you hadn’t had to spend so much time with everyone either because it was so s l o w. There is always a bright lining if you look for it.

  18. Aha, so this is how you ended up in Wilmington. I’m trying to catch up, guess it would help if I read in order!


  1. […] weather on our recent trip was less than spectacular, we had a little fender bender that took out a whole day of fun in the sun and yet—-it was the perfect trip in many ways. […]

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