Cattle outnumber people in the state of Nebraska by a ratio of just under 4:1. We share our great Cornhusker State with a healthy population of deer who reside amidst the 1800 miles of river ground within our boarders.
Life on a farm leads to many miles traveled on gravel roads. Learning to drive where the pavement ends initially provided a bit of a learning curve for me, and I remember my favorite farmer giving me driving advice as I adjusted to life on the prairie. After two decades and hundreds of thousands of miles, I recently got to put his what to do when a deer jumps out on the road in front of your vehicle advice to good use…
- Slow down as much as possible without losing control of the vehicle.
- Stay in the middle of the gravel road where the traction is the most consistent.
- Hold the steering wheel with two hands and drive STRAIGHT. Do NOT SWERVE.
Natural human intuition often leads to swerving to avoid the collision. Swerving results in losing tire traction on the uneven gravel and crashing the vehicle into the ditch. It is preferable to take the deer head on which allows you to better remain in control with a solid driving surface.
It was pitch black dark the morning that a doe mule deer decided to cross the road in front of my vehicle. The look she gave me reflected her lack of foresight and thought, but I am glad to report that I had enough to cover both of us. I followed my favorite farmer’s advice to a T, and all ended well.
As I recounted the experience of saving both myself and the deer to my girls, I took the opportunity to turn it into a teaching moment.
- PAY ATTENTION to the world around you.
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for both your actions and the situation at large.
- DON’T BE AFRAID to face things head on.
Of course, the girls expressed great excitement toward their spontaneous life lesson opportunity with Mama. Now, if I can just get them to consistently wear socks and coats during the winter weather; they might be ready to go off to college in a year or two 😉
Like many of you, we reconnected with family and friends over the holiday season. In my case, many of these awesome people lead unique lives in places vastly different than my farm on the prairie. While I deal with deer before dawn on gravel roads dressed in blue jeans and boots, they deal with rush hour traffic while dressed in business suits.
Taking the time to appreciate the diversity in others allows our own lives to take on a new depth of meaning. In doing this, we are able to shed that deer in the headlights look and actively embrace the similarities that exist in our hearts.
**P.S. I am open to any and all advice as to how to convince my teenage daughters that physical care and comfort should come ahead of fashion. Please leave thoughts in the comment section 🙂 —Thank you, Anne