Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Last Car In

~ Not counting the two cats and the two dogs, we are a family of three with three jobs, three vehicles, three different schedules, and but one long driveway. This is great in the winter time in New England. There is an average of a half dozen significant snowfalls that results in a city-wide parking ban. Tucked safely in our driveway are three cars that are rarely parked in the ideal sequence for the next morning. As I am usually the last one home, I am of course the last car in, and the first one that has to be moved the next day.
~ A part of the normal household routine, I am the last to get up in the mornings. That also nominates and elects me as the last one to the bathroom. Even the dogs have been let out to relieve themselves. The flow of events continues as the three of us move through the various stages of readiness. I maintain my position in the pecking order throughout.
~ Just about halfway through my first cup of coffee, my daughter informs me that she is ready to leave for work. Still in my slippers I must change into my shoes and throw on a hat and coat. Her car, already started from when she let the dogs out, is toasty warm. My pickup however, is stone cold and will still be cold when I pull back into the driveway.
~ Back inside and once again the last car in, I apply heat to the kettle for my second cup of coffee. Once again I find myself last in line for the bathroom, even with competition reduced by one. The rituals of getting ready continue to flow a familiar course, me bring up the rear. I am once again halfway through a cup of coffee, when I am informed by my wife she is ready to leave. Shoes already on, I again throw on a hat and coat. My wife's car is already running and is toasty warm. My pickup however, is still cold. It will still be cold when I return to the driveway.
~ This time I leave the truck running. I am the only vehicle in the driveway, and still the last car in. Finishing my coffee, I gather my pocket paraphenalia and make certain that all the televisions, radios, and lights are all off.
~ To no one there, I announce that I am ready to leave. The animals are indifferent. I settle behind the wheel of my toasty warm truck. Though I am the only car in, for this one fleeting moment, I am the last car out.
~No. 51

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