One bad experience can change you forever.
One helping of bad potato salad. One trip to a chicken farm. One scary clown experience. One great night of Purple Passion followed by one bad morning. I've had a few bad experiences but the worst, by about 1 million percent, was one bad road trip to L.A. (lower Arkansas). I think of it often and it changed my life ... at least my life behind the wheel.
A cool evening had turned into a cold night 10 or more years ago when two cars full of friends, loud music and walkie talkies were taking a road trip. Both cars were driving too fast. One car was trying to pass the other, lots of laughter and what seemed like a millisecond later...a deer in the middle of the road.
I'll spare you the details but the lives of eight friends were spared that evening. No wreck. No crash. No blood. Just a lot of breathless silence and awe of the experience.
It's rare that I drive after dark on a cool night without looking for deer. I still expect to see one jump in front of my car.
I think about that night more than any other single night of my life and I'm thankful my seven friends are still around to laugh about it. That night could've changed our lives forever in another way. Instead it was just a warning. And these days, I'm thankful for any warning I can get... and nights when the deer stay off the road.