Wednesday, August 17, 2016
A Quick Break From the Pawlympics - Driving Miss Brigid
We live in 100 year old Village in Chicagoland. The streets are small, and most houses have tiny garages that exit to the alley. With a lot that has side yards with lots of space between we and neighbors plus a long driveway exiting to the street, we are a bit unusual (we think the original owner bought two lots for the space, then added the garage in the 50's or 60's).
The problem is, people don't consider that we have to get OUT of that driveway to a narrow street. After the giant four door 4 x 4 truck and I moved in after getting transferred to our office here, there were many mornings I had to wait until the neighbors that park on the street left to get out. That meant using precious annual leave to arrive late (with a 96 year old Dad living a thousand miles away, all my time off is dedicated to him).
The house across and one down had been a multi unit rental - basement, first floor and second floor) with several parties living there with multiple vehicles. There's plenty of open space further down, but that entails driving further, even if it's not any further away from their door. After the incidents where I couldn't get out, I made sure everyone got homemade baked goods, an introduction to the bat truck and an explanation as to how much space I need to get out without whacking their vehicles. Other than having to sometimes put out cones when someone had family member visiting on a weekend, everyone has been awesome.
Yesterday, rather than consider the thought of going through THAT learning curve again and having to use leave because I am late to work - when I came home and the new owner and what looked like (from the resemblance) either adult sons or little brothers were standing outside waiting for a contractor (since it's been a rental, I'm sure there's a bit of work before it's move in ready) - I HAD A PLAN!
I normally back in - in one fluid movement, as it makes it easier to get out in the a.m. Having flown for both the US Government and an airline as a Captain, I can usually back that truck in very quickly and very efficiently, in one try (unlike the Reno airport in the winter when there is an ice storm where you just use differential power to SLIDE into the gate and hope you get it right). Even my husband, always the first to poke fun at my driving (all in good sport), looking at me do that said "I'm impressed".
Yesterday, while the new neighbors and family all looked on, I deliberately, and less than gracefully, took about 4 wide tries at it. I was less than gentle, stomping on the brakes, and on the last one deliberately took the truck THROUGH the lawn (that will buff out) and intentionally almost hit one of the spruce trees, before finally, getting the truck backed in with a screech of brakes.
Today, all the new neighbor's vehicles and those of their family were parked WELL down the street, away from my driveway.
My work here is done.