Not ten minutes after a call from the lovely AT (Hi, lovely AT!), I’m headed down the driveway to karate class when…Pop!
The dreaded flat tire. While I’ve had my fair share of flats since moving to the mountains (and working at a craft school that is constantly under construction), I am proud to say that I have not gotten a flat in my kickass 1989 Volvo station wagon on my asskickin’ driveway. Until today, that is.
I still had 1/4 mile to go and with snow falling and the steep grade of the driveway, so I wasn’t about to stop. Slowly, cautiously, I continued downhill keeping my senses in tune with the back right end of the car. There was a slight wobble and shake by the time I got to the bottom, but not metal on gravel.
Determined to change the flat on my own, as I always am, I got to work right away. But not five minutes later, the keep-to-themselves neighbors with the dogs-that-want-to-kill pulled up. Ever since I moved to Fork Mountain, it has bothered me that the locals in town know my house because I live near “those colored folk” or “the black people.” I mean, seriously? My dad says it’s old timey language, and I see his point to a degree. But the woman’s name is Daisy, for goodness sake. Couldn’t people say something like, “Oh, you live up there by that woman with the lovely name,” instead?
At any rate, in 9 months we’ve exchanged once sentence apiece. As she called her dogs off me one evening when I walked up the driveway, I said: “I’ve been walking up most of the winter.” She smiled, and nodded. “You done lost a few pounds, too,” she said.
Today, she sent her son along to help me change the flat tire and we had the job done in 20 minutes. How very interesting! Daisy and her husband whose name I don’t know and whom I have never seen, not once, have a son. A teenage son! I love teenagers. His name is Shawn and he has short, spikey braids that look like narrow dreads. He wears dark, stylish, excessively large clothing and has fine manners and a full smile. And he goes to the high school one county over.
I shook his hand and thanked him, then told him if he ever felt like hiking to come on up to the house anytime and I’d show him the place. He nodded, though I doubt he’ll come. It’s the offer that counts. This house has a certain measure of lore associated with it, as I’ve learned by the locals’ reactions, and it seemed only fair to invite a neighbor on over.
All’s well that ends well and Shawn waved me off as I put the car in reverse, then headed on down the rest of the mountain toward town.