A True Tale of Tragedy & Triumph


It was a dark, but not stormy night… (Monday night to be specific!)

I was driving down the interstate, hauling a bunch of my stuff from our apartment to the house in South Heart when a rabbit darted out in front of my car. I could either brake firmly and risk having my shoes clock me in the back of the head, or keep on rolling. In that split-second moment I hoped against hope that I would end up straddling him with the tires. No such luck. I made my choice and hit the rabbit with my passenger-side tire.

As I continued rolling down the interstate, I wondered how killing a rabbit affects one’s karma (obviously, it can’t be good…rabbits are so darn cute!). I continued on my journey to South Heart and took a look at the tire and it appeared fine. We unpacked the car without another thought.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized that the front end of my car on the passenger side was falling off. The passenger-side bumper was droopy and disconnected, but the car was still driveable.

I started wondering how much that’s going to cost to have fixed and how it was probably payback for killing the rabbit.


Last summer, Dustin and I were hanging out in Treefoil park in north Fargo. It had been a lovely, sunny day with a light, cool breeze. We had walked the paths along the river and were ready to go get something to eat. We hopped into my car. I started it up, cranked the wheel and began backing out of my spot when I heard a hideous “crunch”. I had been parked much closer to the large landscaping rocks than I anticipated and one of them was now lodged under my front passenger-side bumper.

We got out to look at it and determined I should slowly move my car off of the rock. After doing so, we looked at it again and saw the front passenger-side bumper was now loose. The entire bumper was secure enough to drive, but it definitely needed to be fixed.

The day continued without further incident and I dropped Dustin at his car to return to Grand Forks and I began the trek back to Wahpeton.

The entire drive back, I was thinking about how much the repair would cost. Then I thought of my good friend, Tyler, who studied auto body at NDSCS. I decided to at least talk to him about it so I would know approximately how much I would be shelling out for it.

I stopped by his place. He took a look at it and he volunteered to fix it himself. My heart was filled with gratitude and I gladly sat by his side as he did his handy work. Little did I know how valuable watching would be…


I got down and took a look at the front bumper and realized all that really needed to be done was to replace the two nuts that had fallen off. It was the same repair that Tyler had done before. And I had watched him do it. That was when I decided that I could do it myself.

I went to the ACE hardware store in Dickinson and a couple of the guys there came out to look at my car to determine what size nuts and washers I needed. The total bill came to 28 cents!

After work, I drove back to South Heart. I borrowed some tools. I took off the wheel flap to get to the bumper bolts and put it all back together again! Ironically enough, Brian was in the house cooking supper. Robert, (Brian’s dad), couldn’t help but comment “So you’re the mechanic and he’s the cook?”

I felt so empowered!…marching in and (kind of) conquering the unfamiliar world of auto body. I still feel badly for killing the rabbit, but maybe he had to teach me something about how of observational skills can help us succeed in the game of life…or something like that.

Originally published in “The Dickinson Press”

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