I put on a lot of miles of driving every year working and covering a five-state area, and I’ve had pretty good luck with avoiding accidents, speeding tickets and the dangers of the road (knock on wood). There seems to be one thing that I can’t avoid and that is flying rocks.

Last fall, I got a rock chip on the very edge of my windshield that I didn’t even know was there because it was so small and out of view. It didn’t take long for that chip to spider-crack my entire windshield once the weather got a little bit cold.

Unfortunately, insurance on our vehicle doesn’t cover windshield replacement, but had I caught that there was a chip, I would have been able to save a lot of money by having it filled with resin. After a few months of playing tic-tac-toe with the lines on my windshield while I drove, I had it replaced. A few hundred dollars later, I’ve got a nice shiny new windshield that I can actually see through. Both the chip and the spider crack are benefits of living in a rural area in cold weather climate.

Within about four days of this brand-new, shiny windshield being installed in my car, I’m driving down the highway only to have the truck in front of me replace what was missing from my life. And now I have another beautiful, sparkly chip right in the middle of my windshield.

I don’t swear very often. Maybe an occasional inappropriate word might slip out from my younger years, but now that I have kids, I don’t want their mother to yell at me for being a bad influence. Thankfully, they were not in the car with me at the time of this incident because I have to admit that I dropped the mother of all swear words at that moment. I was so mad. The poor unaware truck ahead of me was the victim of some serious name-calling. Keep in mind that I was following this truck at a safe distance (maybe four or five car lengths back), but at that moment I was ready to go “Super Mario Cart” on him. (Sorry if you are too old to get that reference.)

Now you also have to understand that my wife and I bought her a brand new F-150 truck recently. Within three days of getting that new truck, we had a rock so big hit our windshield that it left a golf ball-size chip right behind the rear view mirror on the windshield. We seem to have very bad luck with cracked windshields.

I suppose the lesson learned here is that life’s going to throw stuff at you, literally and figuratively. Some you can’t dodge or won’t see coming and some you can see coming a mile away. But hopefully you have what you need in your life to keep you protected.

So while both my wallet and my windshield seem to keep taking hits, my face appreciates the protection. The alternative of no windshield in that instance probably wouldn’t be all that great.

When life throws crud at you, keep it in perspective. Put good safeguards around you like a loving family that will look out for your safety, a solid roof over your head, a little savings in the bank for when things go wrong.... and learn to appreciate the little things in your life like an uncracked windshield.

Mike Wood is the publisher of Midwest Messenger, Midwest Messenger: Kansas, Tri-State Neighbor, and The Prairie Star. He can be reached at mike.wood@lee.net.