Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Can You Spare a Dime?
The saying that 'life can change on a dime' is familiar to many of us. I searched the Internet to see where this expression came from. A dime is thin. A dime is not much money. A dime is the smallest in size of American coins. What does this expression mean? Does anyone know the origin?
My life almost changed on a dime a few days ago. After a casual running of errands and some successful plant purchases which I carefully wedged into the trunk of the car to keep them upright, I was heading down the county road toward the bridge that provides access to my side of the river. Traffic was steady but not crowded with everyone doing 45 and keeping the correct distance.
A nasty storm was building on the distant horizon so people were probably a little eager to get to their destination.
I was following a construction truck full of equipment with three large aluminum ladders tied to the top bars above the truck bed.
Suddenly and without warning the middle ladder flew into the air and tumbled toward my car. I hit the brakes (not too hard but steady) and pulled to the right side of the road toward the easement worrying about the cars behind me not being able to slow down and hitting my rear. The ladder hit the pavement on one leg and did a pirouette before falling to the ground. It then started sliding toward my front tires following me to the right even as I swerved. Luck was on my side as the ladder came to rest just beside my car as I continued to move by it and came to a stop several yards in front of the now stationary aluminum missile which I saw in my rear view mirror. It lay at an angle just inside the lane.
I quickly looked in my rear view and side mirrors. All of the cars behind me slowed suddenly and began to creep by. The truck driver in front pulled to the side of the road and then ran back to see me. He was a big black fellow with a heavy Southern accent. He was so excited that I had trouble understanding him at first. He was far more excited than I, clearly worried he might have seriously hurt me.
I reassured him that I was OK as he repeatedly apologized for not tying off the ladder more securely.
Oddly enough I was not frightened or even concerned, just relieved that it had all happened without great incident and it wasn't until I got home that I remembered my plants were still in the trunk. I hurried to open the trunk and was amazed to see they had remained tucked upright belying the near accident.
Yes, indeed, life can change on a dime.