Scraping the car in the morning, I was reminded of how much it reminds me of sitting in the freezing cold watching my Dad do the same thing.
How pleasing it was to watch him methodically remove the sugary coating from the windows so we could see out again, the fan blowing so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves think.
Now I have to sort my own car out.
But: I have a car.
I live somewhere with crisp frosty mornings, beautiful clear skies.
I got a new scraper the other day and it’s a good one.
I have my fans going full blast so when I’m ready to drive the car won’t be as cold.
I have excellent, thick waterproof gloves.
And unlike my youngest, I can reach the middle of the windscreen.
Just a tinylife job that brings joy!
Gratitude: easy to remember
first-world, privileged snowflake bubble
I float about in. If I
started counting my blessings
we’d be here all day.
Gratitude: easy to forget
on a day when
my brain fires negativity
at me, I’m tired,
the kids won’t co-operate,
there are no clean school shirts in the house.*
Gratitude: found in the
Love and family,
home and identity,
food and fire
space to be, create, live.
Gratitude: found in the tiny of the tinylife.
I changed my screen wash
(blessing no. 458972, I have a car!)
put in less water,
The result? A transformation!
A clean windscreen – not smeary, dusty,
or the dirty of
‘I hadn’t noticed it was always dirty until
it was clean…’
Like when you clean your glasses – and a whole new world appears.
Here is an update on how I am feeling.
I am nearly two weeks into taking my daily pill. I have some paid freelance work today, and I’m driving to the meeting where I’m expected to take a minute of the proceedings.
My usual thoughts at a time like this are as follows:
‘I won’t be able to keep up with my shorthand.’
‘I won’t be able to read my shorthand back.’
‘I won’t be able to follow what is going on.’
‘I won’t make my deadline for the draft.’
‘Someone will tell me I am not dressed smartly enough for this job.’
And my personal favourite: ‘Am I heading to the right venue at the correct time?’
I am driving to the meeting.
I am thinking – ‘I’ve got this.’
It was a good call to go to the GP.
The village has temporary traffic lights again.
As I wait on red, a tree in the graveyard jiggles. It’s almost a percussive movement – the bird bustles high above the lights.
In terms of travel, I’m neither a cutter or a thruster, so I’m not fussed. I’m happy queuing here, watching the bird traverse between the big house and the graveyard.
The whole road was closed, for the gas line. We had to drive round the villages up the back for weeks.
Then there were times that the snow made it difficult to pass through, walking or driving.
Last summer, the road from our village to the next town was shut at the other end.
Remembering a series of traffic curtailments grounds me here. In a good way! Being part of something. Including the mini-annoyances, the wonderful things, even this waiting.
I had decided we were going for a nice walk. Got the map out and everything, planned a new route. As we drove out of the village, spatters of rain started to hit the car windscreen. Mr HB and I looked at each other. Maybe we should do a shorter walk, in a wood, or something?
The rain intensified.
OK, let’s go do an indoor activity instead.
The kids were delighted.
After the fun, but expensive, indoor activity, the sun was beating down. I was gritting my teeth as we drove home. The little ones had a water fight, but I still wanted my walk. So off I went on my usual round from the house. A nice circular 4k. You know the one, if you live here.
As I reached the furthest point from the house – the heavens opened.
I’m rarely on the bypass at that time of night, stopping and starting, bumper to headlight. I always remember my sister’s advice. ‘There’s nothing you can do about it,’ she said, circa 1997, ‘just listen to the music, and chill.’
Suddenly, there was a blue light, flashing behind. How on earth would they get through all this? Thankful that I was passing a place to pull in, it managed past me.
As the car behind me pulled in too, I noticed that the car behind that had already done so.
These selfless acts reminded me. People are kind and thoughtful. Society does work. Most people – even people in a traffic jam – care.
Then the cars in front peeled off to each side, like a pulled thread, we were joined in a communal goal. And together, we let the ambulance through.
Today I have been thinking about…waving.
I’m just back, and was driving through the village when I got stopped at the only set of traffic lights. As I sat and waited, my friend, her husband, their son and their dog crossed in front at the pedestrian crossing.
By the time I had managed the soft beep, rather than
the hard parp that is easier, all but the husband had disappeared through the doorway to the woods.(Yes, in our village, we have a doorway to the woods.)
But I waved, thinking, ‘I’m in the wrong car, I’ve got sunglasses on, he doesn’t know me well. Hi!’
He looked, and then waved back. And before the lights went green, my friend had reappeared, waved, and her son had popped his head back through the doorway and waved too.
I’ve just turned right at that corner that is so sharp that a right turn is literally straight on. There’s a tractor up ahead.
Not particularly noteworthy, I live in the country, and it’s harvest time. I love everything about living in the country including tractors: graceful giants, with almost-always friendly drivers, happy to wave back when they pass my son in the street.
This tractor has a fetching swivel-orange light. Like a siren. But orange. I slow down, but keep coming.
The tractor flicks its lights to full beam and back. Oh.
I slow down further.
The tractor flashes its lights brightly, strongly. I stop the car at the side of the road.
The tractor passes. It’s not a particularly wide load.
What was that all about?
Driving on, I realise. And switch my own headlights off full beam.