In Which I Am (Literally) A Bang – Up Driver

Happy New Year!

The tree is undressed and waiting to go into storage, the majority of the festive touches are packed away, and the toys have found their permanent homes.  We marked the dawning of 2009 in front of the t.v., everyone being too stuffed – up, snotty or congested to go to any fun parties.  Our neighbors had a gathering I would have liked to attend, but I couldn’t bear to be the Typhoid Mary of the neighborhood.  New Year’s Day we spent eating more pigs – in – a – blanket and apple pie while Paul worked on the deer damage to my car from December 2007.  I’ll tell you what: car paint and refinisher is some nasty awful smelling stuff.  If we all come down with some nasal or brain cancer, we’ll all know why.  It’s like filling your house with the strongest smelling nail polish you can find.  Blech!  But more on that in a moment.  First an update on the newest knitting projects that I am egregiously behind with.  A pair of socks I started right after Thanksgiving (intending to gift them to my mother) with Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks That Rock in colorway Grimm’s Willow Wren.

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As you can clearly see, they did not get finished in time.  But fear not, I am determined to get them off the needles and onto her feet before January has left us!  They are a bit time consuming, what with all the fussy cabling, but very enjoyable to knit.  The pattern is called “Slippery”, from Knitty.com.

I also couldn’t resisit starting on a pair of classic bright red mittens for Neve.  All I have done so far is one cuff (gimme a break – I just cast them on last night).

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I am a bit nervous about these, since I have never knit mittens before (the thumb poses a challenge anyway) and the book I have, although quite lovely, does very little to explain how the thumb should be executed.  So in true to myself form, I cast on anyway and am hoping I’ll figure it out as I go.  If not, I am sure there are plenty of excellent tutorials online somewhere.  I love the internet!  I never would have found the nerve to buy great yarn and try challenging projects without so much virtual knitting support!

These two projects have usurped all others I have been trying to slog through.  I want them done and then I will try to finish up all the other loose ends I have hanging over me.  Plus at Thanksgiving my grandmother brought me a beautiful hank of sock yarn from a yarn store in upstate NY.  It’s a yummy handpainted Superwash from Kraemer Yarns, which I have never heard of before, but us wool addicts always love discovering new sources of pretty yarn!  Point is, I am practically foaming at the mouth to roll it up and get it worked into some socks!

I still have some fun holiday related stories for you, but for today I will leave you with a shameful exploit in the life of a former transit bus driver.  You all know I used to drive big beautiful diesel transit machines back in the day.  35 feet long, 8 feet wide……you get the idea.  I was pretty darned good at it, too, if I do say so myself.  So Paul was probably more than a little justified in expecting me to be very good at driving the vehicle he chose for us when we found out we were expecting baby #3.  I had wanted to simply squeeze a car seat into my car.  I loved my car.  It was a big, beautiful tank of a car and I was set on fitting all 3 kids in the back.  Paul wanted something more roomy, and suggested selling my much – adored European sedan in favor of a used mini – van.  I suggested he might do better jumping in the lake.   In fact, I think I did say something like, “If you buy me a mini – van I will push it into the lake before I drive it”.  Hey, I was pregnant, nauseated and hormonal, and frankly, I despise mini vans.

Eventually he sold me on the idea of a VW Eurovan.  I still wasn’t too crazy about it, but it has that kind of boxy European quality I love and is much roomier than a standard mini van.  So he bought one.  Well, two.  He got them used on Ebay, neither one of them in working order, but good enough that he figured he could make one kick a** van out of the two.  They were dropped off a truck into our driveway in February ’07.  In August ’07 Oona made her entrance into the world.  In December ’07 Paul got the van done.  For the 4 interim months I squeezed all the kids into the back of my car just fine, thank you.  In the almost 10 months that he worked on the van he rebuilt parts of the engine, refurbished the interior, put in new headlights and tires, and then put in a monumental amount of time smoothing out dents, grinding away body rust, filling in patches with body filler, and repainting.  This part took months.  Months, I tell you.  I was afraid to drive the stupid thing.

So imagine his reaction when this past month (After a year of driving it exclusively, I’d like to note) I put a rather big dent in it backing it into the garage.

Because he has a lift installed in one bay I have to park the van in the second bay, and the walls are lined with shelves of automotive stuff, so it’s (to me anyway) kind of a tight fit.  If I don’t line it up right as I am pulling down the driveway I have a difficult time backing it in straight.  And when it’s just after morning bus stop and it’s dark and rainy and I need coffee I tend to be more “mistake prone”.   And then I have to correct.  And I have been known to “over correct”.  You know, like right into the shelves, or the garage door.  So I scraped up both sides a bit and dented the sliding door.

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Now, let me further point out, in my defense, that we’ve been married almost 13 years, and in that time I have had no accidents, nor have I destroyed any car in any way.  The deer damage with my BMW was the worst thing that ever happened, and it was relatively minor, when you consider I was doing at least 50 when it jumped out in front of me (smashed headlight, cracked bumper, dented fender and hood).

But Paul is all about car perfection. So I wasn’t sure how the van dent was going to be received.

He took it pretty well at the time – bigger fish to fry, I guess.  But it has become increasingly clear that he hates me for it.  He’s been pointing out to anyone who’ll listen just how much work I’ve created for him.

Oh well.  We can’t all be perfect.

Right?

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