Startling Stupidity … or Lemmings in SUV’s!

20 10 2007

I’m always amazed at people.  Today was to have been my long walk day, but I had things to get done with my folks and, as unlikely as people might think it with me these days, there are things that do take precidence over my walking … like trying to get myself on an even keel before I get back to Denver.  Anyway – Today was dealing with a bunch of errands with Mom … including a new programmable phone and speakers for her office.  I also had to re-watch The Searchers … and I’m not a huge Western or John Wayne fan.

Whenever I come home, I really should know better than to have things I need to get done before I get back to Denver … because there really isn’t a snowball’s chance that it is going to happen while I’m in the house. There are tons of things that have to get done and I’m kind of Suzi-Fix-It of sorts. I think I was here a handful of hours when I was declaring my Dad’s floor lamp to be dead — when the lamp housing is cracking off, it’s about time — and trying to resurrect the ancient flipper-changer for their bedroom tv — which required a trip up to Novato for a replacement the next day.  

Mom’s list usually ranges from helping out with filing, generating press kits or massive photocopying to dealing with the attic or somesort of computer woe.  This go around, some massive re-writes really took a lot of time and I really relished my getting out in the pouring rain to try to give myself pnemonia walking.  Today, however, it was errands and replacing her business phone and speakers.

For the most part, my folks are pretty scary intelligent, but there are lapses … and I think that’s where I fit in.  It’s very lucky I’ve got a couple of Tibetan Monks living/learning in a monastery in India that I write … because they’re learning about the West and how it confuses me … and my footraces … and I’m learning a lot about patience … and how really insignificant most of the petty complaints are when I’m trying to write each separatly what is going on knowing they’ve had limited contact with the West … and both walked out of Tibet after pretty horrible situations with their families.  They’ve both picked up that I’m a lot more affected by things than many people.

How am I going to write this little ditty …

My home town of Tiburon wasn’t always the money land it is now.  Ok – so it probably has been expensive and such, but when I was a kid there were railroad tracks where the bike-path is now; hills, rocks and eagle perches where precariously placed palaces are located; and I used to pick blackberries and make forts in all sorts of weeds.  I would go hunting for rusty railroad spikes or ‘Indian Soap’.  The Bay reeked at certain points and there was usually a questionable rope swing on the side of the Old Goat Lady’s Hill.  Now — ok, it’s growing up. A lot of money is here and a lot of things have changed (‘cept I was able to treat myself to the last of the blackberries on my longer walks) … and along with that comes insane stupidity.

The street my folks live on is one way up, plant and telephone poll laden divider, one way down.  Parking, like in most cities is on the right side – out front of the houses going up or the School and houses going down.  It’s been like this since … oh I think we moved here in 1966, so at least that long.  There’s a turn in from Tiburon Boulevard which can be a little tricky and throughout my life I watched cars swing wide and get very close to the plants on the divider while sitting in the drying grass of our front lawn.  Several times, cars coming from the other direction – turning across Tiburon Blvd – would swing too wide, come up my parent’s drive and down the neighbors’ … taking out the mail boxes and post in between leaving them to rest on the sidewalk just past the speed limit sign.

Ah – life in a small town.

Sadly, however, the cars of my childhood have given way to Hummers and SUV’s which will probably never see anything more substantial than kids’ soccer cleats and the road up to Lake Tahoe.  Pulling out of my parents’ driveway defiantly was a skill not taught in any driver’s ed course.  It’s been made more difficult because there is simply no seeing through the taller vehicles packed along the sidewalk.

I’ve seen a lot of stuff on this street corner, but nothing in my life ever prepared me for what was out there today.  Saturday is Soccer day.  Mom and I were doing her errands and coming in.  As expected, the parking spaces out-front of their house were taken, as were the ones outside the neighbors … but what completely shocked me was that there were cars parked on the inside of the lane … next to the divider! 

Sure a car could get through … but that wasn’t the point.  These two blasted SUV’s were parked under the trees in the middle of the road!! What were these people thinking?  Better question would be “Were these people thinking?”!  Mom was surprised at how irritated I was with the situation, but I really was!  Sure – there’s no red line around these long dividers because most people have the sense not to park in the middle of a road!  I also was concerned about the precedent these two cars were setting … and I was right … half an hour later, the entire island was parked along on both sides!  What next?  The tiny space in front of the mail boxes?  Nah – nobody in this town drives anything small enough!

What is it we’re teaching our kids again?  I remember the Golden Rule, getting out to play but winning not being the only thing, respecting property of other people, enjoying the beauty of someone’s garden – not dumping your refuse on the street corner hoping they’ll pick it up. 

Maybe I’m just showing my age — but parking in the middle of the street?  It’s like the gal who pulled up in Kentfield and parked in the bright red fire lane to do her shopping at Woodland Market … and was promptly followed by two other cars that took up the curb.

Maybe I’m crabby because I wanted to walk, but I was dealing with being a ‘good daughter’.  What part of me wanted to do was to write notes on the cars asking just exactly what pocket they kept their common sense in.

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