Saturday, July 10, 2010


When our family was growing up I could get a welcome break from sticky kids and demanding teens when I was working in the vegetable garden.  Children knew if they came around they would be enlisted in the job.

Washing and waxing a car is a similar task.  It’s a justifiable reason to spend time in the outdoors with results to make one proud and no interruptions while working.

I parked my Subaru on a shady part of the lawn late in the afternoon and proceeded to “wax on, wax off.” The air was comfortable, birds sang, there were no biting insects and I enjoyed some thinking time.
I worked over the hood which has been freckled by the pea gravel which our department of highways spreads on icy roads as a poor excuse for sand.

The doors bear scars from the times my car was left alone in the grocery store parking lot. 

The back fender has a dent from the time DH parked behind me in a driveway and I put my vehicle into reverse without looking. 

The front bumper has a big scrape from being backed into while Subaru was waiting for me in front of the beauty shop. 

And there is a big dimple on the right rear door from the time I parked near a golf course.  I still have that dang golf ball in my glove box.

An unfamiliar ding on the roof had me puzzled.  Then I remembered.  There was that time when I stopped at a railroad crossing.  A train was slowly approaching. I could have made it over the tracks and been on my way, but I decided to just wait.  A pickup truck pulled up behind.  In my rear view mirror I could see the driver was troubled. “Too bad,” I thought. “I’m not taking chances on your account.”

The approaching train sounded its horn.  Then I heard honking from the pickup behind me.  “What does he think—I’m a complete dufus?  I’m not pulling forward in front of an oncoming train!”

I heard the DING! DING! DING! from the signal.  Then the long flashing crossing arm came down—right on the top of my car.  I had no choice but to sit there with the pickup truck behind me, the train rushing by in front and the striped pole lying across my roof.  When the train passed and the arm rose I pulled forward across the tracks and drove on—feeling like a complete dufus.

So there in the cool of the evening I finished the shine job on my little auto and rubbed an extra layer of wax in the rusty ding on the roof.


Anairam said...

Oh, that cringing dufus-feeling - I am well-acquainted with it - several episodes too embarrassing to recount.
PS I hope you got my two emails - your beautiful paintings arrived yesterday! Thank you very, very much, Leenie!

Butternut Squash said...

Yikes, What a situation! Every ding comes with a story. I think that's a selling point.

Sarah said...

That is so funny! I hat that feeling too but sadly it happens! I am surprised the van driver didn't get out and tell you. I think cars become more lovable when you look at their blemishes. I have never waxed mine-perhaps I will try it!

dawn said...

ah 10 yr old beetle is peppered with dings....each one with special dufus moments too! gives it a special "character", no?

Jill said...

I'm getting that dufus moment just reading about it!!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Lol))I can't believe that about the train crossing!! Hilarious..the golf ball too- that's one reason I don't drive expensive cars, ha ha! I don't feel so bad.. I've got stories from an assortment of dings and those I'd be ashamed to tell! Hmm, wait..your giving me ideas!!

CeeCee said...

Ohmy, no wonder the guy in the truck was dismayed!
Sorry for the dent, but it could have been waaaayyyy worse.
PS> Could you come do my car now? I h.a.t.e washing it, let alone waxing it.

Mama Zen said...

Oh, that is funny! I can just picture it!

Anonymous said...

My car is only 8 weeks old, so no dings yet (I hope I haven't tempted fate by saying that!!) At the moment it is covered in bird poo, as we have sparrows and swallows nesting all around the house!!

kendalee said...

This made me smile. I can so relate to the dufus-feeling although not the specific incident, times that even years afterwards make me blush when I think of them. Dings in me. But it all adds character, doesn't it? :)

I like the idea of washing and waxing being an opportunity to have some uninterrupted time to yourself... very zen.

BUSH BABE said...

Oh NO Leenie! Did you maintain eye contact in the rear view mirror after it happened?? I admit to smiling just a little at your recount of the drama.

Can I bring the Prado for some attention - I can tell the stories of it'd dings and dents and pour you a chardy as you work!

DayPhoto said...

I'm glad your car wasn't hurt too much. I also surprised the gent didn't get out and tell you. Hummm

I guess Gent is the right word.