I received one of “those” calls last night. Nothing major but it gets the heart beating a little faster. Seems Tim over corrected as someone turned into his block and hit his neighbor’s car. Since Tim and Eddie moved into this house on August 1, this is not a good way to meet neighbors. Still, it was minor, and no one was hurt. I like to think these little things make it less likely that something big will happen.
I cannot get mad at him; I did something worse to one of my neighbors a few years back. (Some of you will remember this story.)
Now that there is a two hour time limit it is better, but parking on my street used to be impossible day and night. Our street was the closest unrestricted parking to USF and the hospital up the hill and getting a spot on the street was a nightmare. I had to use the driveway between errands. That should not be a big deal, but our driveway, like everything else about our house is narrow and there is not enough room to get the wheelchair ramp down and load Maggie into the car. Generally, what I did was bring Maggie downstairs, “park” her where I could see her and back the car into the street, put the ramp down and load her up.
One day I did just that. Maggie was sitting in her chair just under the door. As I got into the car, Eddie arrived home from school. He said hello to Maggie and me. I got into the car to move it and he proceeded upstairs. The button to close the garage door is at the bottom of the stairs. As Eddie walked by it, he instinctively pushed the button. As the car slowly backed up I saw the door coming down and it was going to hit Maggie. I JUMPED out of the car and screamed for him to stop the door. EDDIE EDDIE EDDIE EDDIE HIT THE BUTTON! (Why didn’t I push the button in the car? I dunno. Why didn’t I just hit the door, which would have stopped it? I dunno.) He hit the button immediately and the door stopped. Maggie was unharmed.
Or so I thought.
I turned around and the car was still in reverse and backing itself out of the driveway. I screamed again and ran to get to it before it hit the car across the street. I tried to jump in but it was moving. Of course, the door was open and in my head I was doing some sort of mathematical analysis to figure out how I could get around the door and into the car and hit the brakes before it smashed into the parked car. I was yelling through the whole thing – which was no more than 10 seconds. About ¾ of the way across the street, I knew it was impossible. I just threw my hands up and watched it crash into a car across the street.
Immediately some random passerby started yelling, “I saw that! You have to leave a note or it’s a hit and run.” I just looked at him dumfounded – “Buddy, I live RIGHT THERE (pointing at my house 10 yards away) where do you think I’m going to go.”
I moved the car back into the driveway and got out to find Eddie standing next to Maggie looking shocked. We were both silent for a moment and then Eddie said, “I’m sorry mom, but that was HILARIOUS!” He started imitating me screaming and waving my arms and then just throwing them up as it was clear I could not prevent what was going to happen. I looked at him for a ling minute but he was right and we both started laughing.
From that day forward, Maggie has parked either in front of or behind the track of the garage door never directly underneath it. On the upside, I did get to meet a new neighbor that day and she turned out to be very nice and understanding. And yes, I paid for the damage to her car.