Once Upon A Time

I was driving to work this morning and when I stopped at a stop sign, a butterfly flew into my car. In through my window and out the sunroof. It was cool. But it immediately caused my mind to flash on slightly LESS welcome visitors to my car and pretty soon I was chuckling at an old memory. I realized that this was before I blogged and I probably never told this story.

Back in 1999 I worked as an administrative assistant at Dayton’s Corporate Travel. Dayton’s is long gone now, but back then…

My aunt, who is a travel agent, got me the job. It was her office. I essentially filed invoices, answered the phones, printed airline tickets (e-tickets were an emerging technology), and hand delivered them to corporations all over Minneapolis. I loved that part. I got to walk around the city to different offices and I ended up knowing the city and the skyway system like the back of my hand.

Now, it is expensive to park in downtown Minneapolis, but as a manager, the company paid for a parking pass for my aunt. So, I would drive from my parent’s house to her house and then we’d go together to work. It was fine, I like my aunt, so it was enjoyable. The problem was that I was always running late. That surprises no one who knows me. It was an ongoing challenge for me, because my aunt was the boss, she couldn’t be late because of me, and I couldn’t afford to park on my own, so I had to make this work.

One morning, I was running exactly on time. Like I was planning to pull in to her driveway to the minute I was supposed to be there. Finally, on time!

Also, I would like to take a moment to reminisce about my car at the time. It was a 1982 Ford Mustang. It was orange. It was the first car I had with a sunroof. But it was not automatic. I had to unhook the latch and lift the large piece of glass and metal out of the top of the car and lay it into the hatchback in order to use it as a sunroof. Good times. But I really loved that car. It was awesome. I parked it in my parents driveway, outside year round.

Now, back to our story. On this morning, in what was a beautiful fall morning, the air was cool and crisp, but not yet cold. I did not have my sunroof open though.

I was just about to turn onto my aunt’s street. I was taking backroads because the freeway was backed up and I was trying to be on time. So I was waiting to turn left, there was a break in traffic and I started to go. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. I turned my head, just a little, and saw……

A mouse!

A friggin’ field mouse was IN MY CAR!

Now, I am not afraid of mice. Not at all. But this was a small car. And it was IN MY CAR. It was frantic, crazed even, running hither and yon, all over my floorboard on the passenger side. Suddenly, that little bugger zoomed up the partition and headed straight toward…..ME.

I freaked out. FREAKED.OUT.

I screamed. I jerked the wheel, this way, that way, I was flailing. I was jumping around (best as I could in the driver’s seat, under a seatbelt) and he just kept coming.

Thump.

All the sudden, a huge thump.

I had completely stopped looking at the road and driven up, over the curb, onto someone’s front lawn.

I slammed on the brakes, jammed the car in park, unbuckled, and flew out of the door. I was standing on a stranger’s lawn, panting, and my car, still running, was angled across the lawn, with tire tracks through their grass.

I was frantically scanning the car and trying to find the mouse. I couldn’t see it. He was right next to me and then he was just gone. I calmed myself and reminded myself, quite forcefully, that I was not afraid of mice, and crawled inside to find him. I looked under the seats, in the back, I couldn’t see him. He had just vanished.

After a few minutes I had no choice but to get back into the car and finish the drive. I was trembling with nerves. Even though mice don’t scare me, being trapped in a confined space with one is not exactly on my highlight reel.

So I carefully back out of this person’s front yard, wondering if I should leave a note to apologize for the tire tracks (I didn’t), and slowly drive to my aunt’s house, scanning my peripherals for the mouse.

Naturally, when I arrived, I was several minutes late. My aunt was not pleased. Until I told her the story. Turns out, she IS afraid of mice and refused to ride in my car. So I left my car at her house and we rode in her car to work.

All day long, I wondered what happened to that creature. When I got back to my car, I did another inspection and still couldn’t find him. I ended up just driving home. I never saw that mouse again, but let me tell you, for the longest time, I jumped at the slightest movement, thinking he was still there, stowing away in my orange Mustang.

Ah, the good old days. Twenty years old and my biggest concern was whether a mouse was hitchhiking in my car.

Nineteen

Degrees, that is. Not right now, it’s actually 27° at the moment, this was last night.

Here’s the story. Yesterday morning I left for work. I hadn’t even gotten to the stopsign at the end of my road when the low fuel light went on. Typically, the low fuel light comes on with 55 miles left on that tank. 55 miles is a lot…when you drive less than 10 miles round trip. Also, weirdly, the “service engine soon” light came on as well. This has never come on before in this car, so I thought it was weird. I wasn’t too worried because it all seemed fine, but it was worth noting.

Now the plan has become “get gas after work”. I’d like to take a moment to mention that I had no idea it was going to be so cold. Last week and into the weekend it was still hitting in the high 30s and low 40s during the day. But no, we’ve apparently hit a cold snap. Having no knowledge of that, I left the house in only a sweater. No coat, no hat, no gloves, not even a scarf.

When my workday ended, I treated myself to a movie, Thor: The Dark World, if you know me at all, you know my love of all things superhero, especially the Marvel World. I’ve been long waiting for this sequel. It opened this weekend but I had no free time. I decided Monday night after work was a great time, as it would likely be less crowded. The theater is on my way home from work, midway between my job and the gas station, actually.

So, movie, then gas, then home. That was the plan.

Her’s how it went down.

Movie: Great, I liked it a lot. It wasn’t quite as excellent as Thor 1, nor did it compete at all with Captain America, but I enjoyed it very much.

Left the movie, it’s about 8:40. It is freezing outside, actually well below, since it is only 19 degrees. I got in the car and started to drive, knowing it wouldn’t heat up before I hit the gas station. I hit the stop sign, turned left, and the gas station is about a quarter mile ahead.

BAM.

Car breaks down. AGAIN. 

It was just over two weeks ago that my car broke down, went through an intersection and it just stopped working. It was the fuel pump, which has been replaced. It did the exact same thing, again. I had no idea what to do. Last time I sat around waiting on others and ended up calling a tow truck. This time I wasn’t making that mistake. I was calling the tow truck right away. But I still needed someone to come get me…and soon, because it was cold as hell outside. First I googled the towing company. Then I figured I better call for a ride. My dad was asleep, so I called my mom. She didn’t answer. I called her again. No answer. I tried my younger brother who lives with them, no answer. Next up was my older brother. Before I could call him, my mom called me back. She said she’d wake my dad and ask his opinion and call me right back.

There I sat.

19 degrees.

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See?

Mom called back and said dad wanted me to leave the car on the road and he’d come look at it in the morning. Hmm. But okay. If I don’t have to drop $150 on my way home, that’s a good night. So mom said she’d come get me. I said, “hurry, it is 19 degrees, I’ve already been sitting here for 10 minutes and I am not wearing a coat.”

Then I called Kelly. I was hoping she was around because her stories usually make me laugh and that might help heat me up. Plus, she likes it when I call her every couple weeks and tell her I’m stranded. She didn’t answer.

Rough night for me. My mom got there 15 minutes later, making it only about 25 minutes I sat, shivering. Seriously, so freaking cold. I was shaking with cold, I tucked myself as small as I could, hiding my hands and trying not to think about it. Thinking about it only made it worse.

I decided to entertain myself with a photo of myself sitting in the broken down car, in the dark.

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I really feel like I look COLD there. No doubt about it. What a great photo. It was too cold to smile, apparently.
Then, after looking at that photo, I apparently decided to express how I really felt about being broken down again.
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 Yep, super klassy. God, I was so aggravated. I might have possibly cussed, out loud, a few times. Dammit, it was cold and I am broke and I really didn’t need this again.
Okay, so eventually mom gets there,  and I had a plan to get my car of the road. I was, naturally, in the middle of the damn road again and if I was leaving it I wanted it out of the way. Mom pulled in front of me, facing me, so we were bumper to bumper. She pushed against Gus and I put it in neutral and let her push me off the road. My windows were fogged, it was dark and I had no lights, so this was an exercise in daredevilry. Eventually we got Gus squared away and mom drives me to Emmy’s house to get her car, and then I head home. I left a note on the car to please not tow it, and to call me if there was a problem. With my real cell number. No one called.
My dad went today and took a look. Guess what was wrong with it?
IT WAS OUT OF GAS.
Yep, out of gas. Turns, out, after talking to my dad today, that after he put the new fuel pump in, my sensors and gauges don’t really work now, because the pump they used is not factory standard. So, where the low fuel warning came on before…is not the same place it comes on now. How much gas I had before is not how much I have now. Essentially, things no longer line up and I can’t rely on the electronic gauges anymore.
Of course I shouldn’t be getting gas at the 11th hour every time, but it would have been nice to HAVE this information. Had I known, I certainly would not have waited to get gas, I would have gotten it this weekend in Anoka, where it was only $2.92. But I didn’t, I followed the habits born of three years of driving this car and being used to its idiosyncrasies. And that is how I ran out of gas and spent a half an hour conditioning myself for winter.
I wore a coat today. Just in case.

Sunday No Fun Day

Allow me to tell you a story.

I had previously told my mother that I was not stopping by to visit on Sunday because I had a busy weekend and needed to stay home and get things done. Well, that changed when a gift I ordered my sister showed up. I decided to pop over and deliver the gift and then visit for a bit and head home.

3:00pm

I get in my car and start driving home. I have low fuel, but the light just went on that morning, so I have quite a bit of time before I truly need gas.

3:10 pm

I exit onto Century and stop at the red light. While sitting at the light, my car shudders. I thought that was weird, it hasn’t been acting strange at all. But, still, I think nothing.

The light turns green, I press the gas, the car goes about 15 feet and then…..nothing. It just dies. I coast around the corner, swinging wide to be in the right lane, but I am stranded. I can’t get it started, and there is no shoulder or anything. I am stuck, IN THE ROAD, on a busy street. I am also under the overpass for I-94. Turns out, it is super loud under there…
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 It’s hard to tell where I am, but you can clearly see I am IN the road.

I call my dad.

I don’t know what is wrong, but I ask him if it could possibly be that I ran out of gas? I kept telling him it didn’t seem right because I only drove about 10 miles after the light came on, but I guess anything is possible. He said it was possible that the car would act that way if I ran out of gas. Just to be clear, I was about two miles from home when this happened. Dad suggested I call Chad and ask him to bring me some gas, because he lives just up the road and has a gas can for his lawn mower.

I did.

3:40 pm

Chad arrives. We both get out and stand by my car. As previously mentioned it is very loud, so we’re shouting to talk while standing in front of one another. He puts gas in my car and I tried to start it. My dad had warned me it could take a while. I tried and tried and tried and nothing would happen. Knowing something was wrong, I told Chad he could go. No sense in ruining both of our Sundays.

3:50pm

I call my dad back and he tells me he’ll call his friend Al, who also lives nearby and send him to check out the car.

During the wait for Al, I text Kelly who offered to come pick me up and take me to lunch, which was sweet, but Al lives so close there was no way she’d beat him there.

4:00pm

I’ve now been trying to get home for an hour. Al shows up. He drops off his son Ryan and then drives away to park his truck at a nearby car dealer. His son looks through my manual, trying to find a shut off valve for the fuel pump or some such thing. The son has to get in my car a couple times to look for things and, this may have been the worst part of the day, he had BO so bad that I was gagging and my eyes were watering. I was trying so hard not to let him know, because he was there to help me, but it was horrible.

4:10pm

The state patrol arrives.

He spoke to Al, who explained that I broke down. Then Al told me that I should just call a wrecker because there is nothing he can do. A wrecker is evidently slang for tow truck. I ask him where I can call. I had already tried the auto shop that I use and they were closed. Everything was closed. It was a Sunday afternoon. Al said he didn’t know and asked the statie. He said that he’d be happy to call it into dispatch for me and they’d send someone. Yes, PLEASE! At this point I just want it done. I don’t want this to be on me anymore.

4:15pm

Al and Ryan leave.

The state patrol crouched down to talk to me through the window of my car. He told me that fuel pumps break without warning and that is probably what it is, and I shouldn’t worry, it’s not a big deal. Then he told me that he didn’t think I was very safe where I was. I agreed. I didn’t feel safe. People had been going around me, but there was a lot of traffic and all it takes is one person not paying attention and I get creamed.

He said that he was going to sit in his cruiser, behind me, with his lights on, until the tow truck arrived, to keep me safe. He warned me that if he got a call, he might have to leave, but as long as he didn’t, he’d just sit there and protect me.

It was so nice I wanted to cry.

So there I sat, waiting on my tow truck, with my own personal protection.
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I called my dad back to let him know what was happening. He asked how I was going to get home. I said I’d just ride in the tow truck, right? He said no. When my mom and I broke my dad’s truck, that guy gave us a lift in his tow truck. When my Saturn broke down on the interstate, that guy gave me a lift. I honestly thought that is what happened. Now, when I tell people this story they all say that is crazy. Apparently, no one EVER gets a ride in the tow truck. Must be just me, then.
So, my dad decides to call my brother Nick to come and pick me up. Nick was driving right by. So Nick arrives, but my dad didn’t tell him that the State Patrol was my own personal guard. This made him nervous for reasons I won’t go into here. At any rate, the tow truck showed up moments later and wanted to follow us back. We had him bring the car to my dad’s house, because it was Sunday and nothing was open.
We got back and $150 later, my broken car was at my parents’ house. Now, I had cleaned out my car of all the things I might need. I set a pile of stuff on the table in the garage. I paid the tow truck driver and it took him FOREVER to process the payment. While waiting, it was growing steadily colder outside. I didn’t have a coat on or anything. When he finally left, I went in to put on my sweatshirt. I snatched it up off the table, but unbeknownst to me, half of it was tucked underneath my iPad. When I picked it up, my iPad flew threw the air, the cover came open and it landed, face down on the floor of the garage. I heard the sound. Before I even picked it up, I just knew. I knew beyond a doubt, that in addition to a broken car, I had a broken iPad.
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It actually looks way worse than that in person, but even that looks pretty bad. And you can see my silhouette reflected on the screen. Not the tear tracks on my face, though….
It was just too much. I borrowed a car from my parents and drove home, as soon as I got in the car, I started to cry. I just drove and drove while crying my way home. Eventually, I called Elena and she talked me down.
Once I got home, I called Kelly. Mark answered and I told him the story. He said, “think of it this way. Sunday starts the week. You’ve used up all your bad karma today, so you are in for an awesome week!” It was the perfect thing to say to me just then. I really needed to hear that.
I called my sister and told her the story and then Kelly called me back and I talked to her. After talking it out, I was feeling calmer. I ate dinner and watched some tv and did some laundry, trying my best not to think about it.
At 10:30 I went to bed. I unplugged my iPhone from its charger (because I use it as my alarm clock, so it needs to be in my room). And as I unplugged it, the cord caught on something and I pulled and it knocked over a decorative vase holding glass roses that I’ve had since I moved in.
Shatter.
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That’s just what was on the counter. The floor had broken bits of glass on BOTH SIDES of the counter. So, before I could sleep this horrible day away, I had to sweep my kitchen and vacuum my dining room. Just what I want to be doing at almost 11 at night. It was just too much.
I held on to Mark’s words as I went to sleep, believing this would be a terrific week.

Saturday’s Woes

I was going to write a long story about this, but let’s just brief it out instead.

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That enough? Ok, a bit more. My battery died. I couldn’t find it to jump it. Turns out, that’s because my battery is under the backseat of the car. Yep, sure is.

I even

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text my dad a photo of the engine to see if he could find it. I’m not a stupid girl. When I couldn’t find the battery, something had to be going on.

Unfortunately, I was quite a ways away from my house. It was a long jaunt for my dad to come and get me. He jumped the car, after I figured out where the battery was located – using the manual, thank God for print resources, and it has been fine ever since. FINE. Nothing is wrong with it. The battery tests perfectly. So, here’s to hoping it was a fluke. And furthermore, here’s to hoping if it does break down again, it’s at my day job, instead of one of my far off weekend jobs…

American Steel

Yesterday, it snowed. Not “snowed” but SNOWED. Major snowfall.

The news is saying 10.5″ in my area, I’ll buy that. It snowed all day long, just lazy, blowy, blustery snow, on a fairly warm winter day. I love it when it snows, the world softens, the sounds are muffled and there’s a gentle hush over the world. So it seems to me. I stood at the windows and watched it snow for a while; then I went outside and felt it snow for a while. It’s simply beautiful.

Now, I, like everyone else, does not like what comes with a beautiful snowfall; bitter colds, crappy roads, terrible drivers, shoveling, snowblowing, messy entrances, squeaky shoes, giant snowbanks filling parking lots and street corners, making it harder to see, but heck, we live in Minnesota, time to just deal.

What’s interesting for me is that Gus has new tires. Gus was in need of tires when he first came to me, in August of 2010. More than two years passed with me driving on smooth, bald as a newborn baby, tires. It was actually a little dangerous. If not for last years incredibly bland and mild winter, I wouldn’t have made it this long. My dad finally made me promise that I’d have new tires before this winter. Just last month, I fulfilled my end of the bargain. This was the truly first time I got to see if there was  difference. I ran one errand, yesterday morning, just to get out of the house and test out those new tires.

Gus tore up the streets, slinging snow in every direction. He churned through slush and grit and sludge, daring to create his own path. It was fun and kind of awesome.

This morning, instead of worrying about getting to work, I knew, after the plows had come through, we’d be fine. We charged through the morning traffic and cautious drivers with free-spirited joy, knowing nothing could stop us. Just before we got new tires, there was a dusting of weather that turned to ice on the streets. There’s a minuscule hill that I simply could not summit, not with those smooth and shiny old tires. Today, this morning, Gus and I crested that hill as though it were a dry, parched, hot-July pavement and not loose with the dustings of almost a foot of snowfall.

While driving up that hill and bigger ones beyond, I thought to myself tires make a huge difference, and now I know I’d have never survived without the two tons of American steel I’m driving, but the combination is heady and liberating. Heady and liberating, a strong, heavy, powerful car and tires that do their job? Driving is fun again.

Then, turning onto the last street before work, my mind went, “American steel?”

Something buzzed the recesses of my brain. When I had a spare moment, I went to my search box (love having a search box on my blog) and typed in “American steel” sure enough, I used that phrase once before when describing the last time Gus and I drove together in the snow. February 22, 2011 was the last time we had any major snowfall. That’s darn close to two years ago, how incredible and completely unlike Minnesota.

While I know this is kind of an offbeat post, it stems from the fact that I’m in a good mood, my car went through snow like a hot knife through butter and, Mom, I was more than safe driving to work today.

“And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.”

A Beautiful Day

Last week I was driving from one job to another. The Interstate was under construction (naturally) but I didn’t know it, so I got on and was immediately stopped.

I sat, in sweltering heat, in my car for 25 minutes to go about 3 miles. While I was sitting there, I couldn’t help but notice how untamed, wild, and…beautiful the median was.

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See?

Yes, I took a picture of the side of the Interstate. Deal with it. And yes, I felt stupid doing it. What is remarkable to me, is that while I was sitting in gridlocked traffic, NOT MOVING, there was not a single car headed the other way. It was just at the beginning of rush hour, but it’s the Interstate. When is there no traffic?

Later that night, as I drove home, via the surface streets, avoiding the road construction, I saw the most amazing clouds in the sky, lit up by the sunset.
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It was so pretty I pulled over to take a picture and then sat there for a minute, breathing in the warm, fresh air, the smells of summertime. It was the nicest part of my day.

Only about 8 minutes later, as I was just a few blocks from home, the sun was nearly sunk, and I captured this:

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The very last minutes of the sunset. I grabbed that one out my sunroof while driving.

As I pulled into my garage, it occurred to me that those three pictures show that it was actually a very good day, despite the annoyances of work, the debating over this and that, and the extra time stuck in traffic. It was a beautiful day.

Thirty Days Hath September

I’m a girl on a budget. The budget is tight, very tight. I’ve learned to manage, but there’s not a lot of room for error. Last week I ended up driving a bit more than expected. Run out to Richfield to pick up a library book (where were you, Lisa?), drive to Maplewood (North) to pick up Kelly, drive to Minneapolis to the Cabooze, drive to Eagan to pick up Simon. It was a lot of driving that I don’t do normally and my Gus is a huge gas hog.

On Saturday morning, after Simon and I left Christian’s birthday party, he said to me, “Auntie Livia, you’re almost out of gas.” This, from his carseat in the back. I asked him how he knew that and he said, “the needle is pointing at E”. I hadn’t realized he could see the needle from where he was, much less know what it meant.

I said, “well, I sure hope we don’t run out of gas, what would we do?”

“Well, we would pull onto the side of the road and you would call a tow truck. The tow truck would come and it would use the chain to hook up to your car and then they would tow us to Grandma Kaye’s”, was his exact reply.

The kid cracks me up.

I told him that what I would actually do is call Pa (my dad) and have him come get us because he has a tow chain on his truck and if we needed a tow, that would be a lot cheaper. Of course, he’d probably just run get us some gas…but that’s a less exciting conclusion.

We had this conversation the rest of the way to my parent’s house.

I stayed there on Saturday and drove home, then stayed in all day Sunday. Yesterday morning, I was leaving for work and remembered that I needed gas. Monday mornings are NEVER good for me, so I checked the remaining miles on the tank and it said “LOW RANGE”. Wow, I’ve never seen that before. It usually gives the remaining miles left before I run out, 42 miles, 67 miles, etc. I was a little nervous because I was headed straight to work and then would get gas on my way home. Overall, about 6-7 miles to drive before filling up.

At some point, I’ll have to check the manual and see at what point it gives that warning. (God bless the internet, I just googled it and my manual is posted online. I read it and it hits LOW RANGE once it dips below 40 miles. So, I still had a ways to go).

Now, you’re probably wondering why it came to this? Why didn’t I just stop, say Saturday, when it was low? Because, I needed to get paid to get gas. In addition to guzzling, Gus has a huge tank and it is usually about $75 a fill up. I had it in my head that I was getting paid on Monday, therefore, Monday=gas.

Once I got to the gas station, before getting out, something, some internal sensor, made me pull out my phone and check my bank balance. No change. Shit! I didn’t get paid. I was frantically trying to figure out what went wrong. Suddenly, it hit me.

Thirty Days hath September,
April, June and November,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Save February, with twenty-eight days clear,
And twenty-nine each leap year. 

I actually said that to myself, realizing that January has thirty-ONE days and I was not, in fact, getting paid until today. Which is how I paid for my gas with a credit card. Awesome.

Bop, Bop, Bop

When I drive to work in the morning, I take surface streets. I’m used to commuting via the interstate, so it gets tedious, at times, to sit through stoplights. Of course, I’m pretty much always running late, so that factors in as well.

Given the number of stoplights on my route (six) you’d think I’d be used to it, but I am always paying attention. It’s a seven minute drive if I make all the lights. Close to 12 if I don’t. It adds over four minutes! That’s  a lot. Then, of course, there are the varietals of what if I make this light and miss this one? But, mostly, I’ve noticed one thing. The entire drive hinges upon one single stoplight. It doesn’t matter if I make or miss the ones before, it only matters if I make that one. If I do, then I make the lights after. If I don’t…then I don’t.

It’s the stoplight at Upper Afton. It annoys me to no end mostly because it is the most unnecessary stoplight I’ve ever encountered. It’s at a T-stop intersection. Only three ways to go. The majority of the traffic (though it could hardly be called heavy traffic) is on the through street, Upper Afton meets it. Why there can’t just be a stop sign at UA and those people pull into traffic, I’ll never know.

Somehow, I’ve started judging my days by that light. Anyone else do things like that? I used to do it when I’d drive to Richfield or Edina for work. There was always a slow down on the interstate where I-35E  joins I-494. When I’d come to the slow down, I’d look at my clock and think if I get through this and to the MN river in less than ten minutes, it’s going to be a good day. Is that crazy? I don’t know, but it seems like if traffic patterns go my way, the rest of the day does as well. Of course, if traffic sucks…well, you can follow the rest.

I’ve now begun thinking, as I approach my least favorite stoplight, if I make this light, it’s gonna be a good day. And, for the most part, I’m right. Since that light is very hit-or-miss, there’s no pattern to it and I’m actually able to judge my day off of it. Okay, that sounds a bit wonky. Whatever, it’s my crazy ritual.

Flash to this morning, I’m cruising up toward the light and-BAM!-it turns yellow on me. I have to stop. Crap. That was my first thought. Today can’t be a bad day, I am going to a concert tonight! Today is a FUN day! I’m leaving work early. This day is supposed to be good!

I was practically hyperventilating as I argued with my superstition. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something weird. There was a car in the oncoming lane, also stopped for the light. I glanced in that direction and saw the driver was an elderly woman. I couldn’t make out her face, but she had a white pouf of hair and glasses. Elderly.

As I watched, her little white pouf started bopping along to a beat. Without fail, she was clearly jamming to some song. I’m assuming that she had her radio on and was not recently escaped, but it was so.darn.cute!

Think about this: when is the last time you saw an elderly person jamming to music? Jamming to anything? Listening to music?

This little lady was in her own world, bopping along and all I could see was her old lady hair, swerving in time to some mystical beat. I grinned out loud.

As the light turned green and I started to go, I looked over as I passed her. She had her head turned, so I still couldn’t see her face, but I waved at her, because she made me happy, even though I knew she wouldn’t see it.

When I approached the next stoplight and it, inevitably, turned yellow, I smiled and thought, “it’s going to be a great day!”

Like You Own The Joint

My parents have an unusual driveway, long and narrow, up a steep hill. The top opens wide into an area that can fit many, many vehicles, which is good, because there are always many vehicles parked there. My parents own four and my brother lives there, so five in the drive at any given point.
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Yes, I know you can’t really see the driveway in this photo, but you get an idea because of how far away the house is. I just really love this photo and wanted to post it. I took it two years ago and gave it to my parents as a gift, so it was never blogged. It is also unedited, that is the flash catching the falling snow.

At any rate, for some reason, when people visit the house, they drive up and stop in the middle. No one knows why, but they just stop. They don’t pull to the garage, they park, awkwardly, in the middle. If you’re a regular visitor, and you do this, you’ve probably heard my dad say (hence the title) “Pull up like you own the joint”. He thinks you should drive up and park with authority. Not timidly stop halfway.

Well, there are certain people who, no matter how many times he tells them, never pull up.

Then, on Saturday, my mother and I were sitting in the kitchen when the mailman drove up. Normally, he doesn’t come up, as the mailbox is at the bottom of the drive, but when there are packages, he delivers them to the door. Mailmen/deliver people in general, either usually pull up in a wimpy manner or try to angle their trucks so that they can turn around and not have to back out. (Backing down this driveway is treacherous).

The mailman pulled up….and up…and parked like he lived there. I laughed out loud. He must come there a lot!

It tickled me so much, I whipped out my phone to capture a photo.
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There’s my mom’s car, mine, the mail truck, and on his other side, my brother’s car. Like he lives there!

It was so funny to see. Either he has met my dad or else this guy just gets it. Park like you own the joint.