It Takes A Village To Get My Children To Piano Lessons

24 10 2007

My old car, as some of you know, was the Minty Squirrel.

There has been a man who has been actually knocking on my door to get me to sell it to him for the last few months. I just have to get the paperwork together and the deed will be done.

I’m dragging my feet a bit….

I don’t drive much. We live close enough to things in the downtown area of our small town that we walk most of the places we go. I take the train to work. We even take the bus on the weekends most places.

But we always drive to piano lessons.

I have taken the bus a few times. But piano lessons are on Monday at 6 pm. The girls are tired. I am tired. The last thing we really feel like doing is hoofing it to the bus and waiting, going through lessons, hoofing it back to the stop – waiting, then walking home. And it rains here. Sometimes pretty hard. Sometimes all winter.

Our “newer” car (actually a pretty old and very high-mileage Honda Accord) has a few, shall we say, issues. It does not like to start on sunny days. Or exceptionally hot days. Or relatively humid, cloudy days.

Or piano-lesson Mondays.

I have tried everything. For awhile, it seemed if I backed it into the driveway, there was a higher probability that it would start. If not, I opened the hood and turned on the AC or heater fan for a few minutes and it would start. Sometimes jiggling the battery cable connections would seem to get it to go. And, if the battery was corroded, a little Diet Coke dribbled on them would occasionally help start the engine.

I admit it, in my mind, I have even begun to “sneak up” on the car pretending to only need to get a CD out of the stereo, then quickly and much to its surprise (I’m sure) turn the key in the ignition and smash down spastically on the gas pedal.

Amazingly, all of these techniques have worked at some time or another. I must admit now that the myriad of techniques and the sporadic nature of their efficacy really just means that the damn car starts only when it wants to.

Natalie is used to my angry 5:30 pm on Monday calls requesting an hour’s use of her car. She has never failed to be there when it is at all possible. This Monday she was gone, but offered the use of her old Mercedes.

The old Mercedes did not start.

I was about to give up when my other fantastic across-the-street neighbor, Adam, walked up to me and tossed me the keys to his truck. AND THEN, he carried three huge pumpkins across the street and began arranging them on my front step as we drove hurriedly away yelling, “Thank you! I’ll make you cookies!”

I made cookies the next day, all the while thinking that I came incredibly close to not living on this street….to not living next to the car-lending neighbors….to not having the chance of speeding away in a strange vehicle watching someone decorate my front step with huge gourds.

Wow. That was a close one.

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3 responses

24 10 2007
Janie

i’m oh-so-glad you still live there. great neighbours are a treasure indeed.
and i love your sneakiness– too funny!

25 10 2007
Ant

I live in a top-floor flat. I have only ever properly spoken to two of my neighbours usually with a tetchy tone in my voice about common repair issues or late-night noise…

The thought of me lending my car, or them lending a car to me is absolutely incomprehensible.

Cherish your neighbours and your street. It sounds like a fabulous place.

(Oh, and I also love the thought of you sneaking up on your car – I’ve got Tom & Jerry incidental music running through my head as you do it…)

25 10 2007
rennratt

I love your neighbors.

I wish they were mine.

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