Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tangling with trees

Last night I went to a wonderful holiday party for Intercommunity Mercy Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer. I've been on the IMH Board for six years, and they were bidding me farewell. I had all kinds of praises heaped on my head, and then I went out, took a wrong turn onto a dead-end dark lane on Mercer Island, tried to back out, and backed instead into a laurel shrub. I was rescued by Jennifer, the hostess of the party, and eventually by Brian with AAA.

This reminded Jennifer of the time she had been tending her young children with her right hand and had driven into a tree (slowly) with her left hand. It reminded me of the time I went on a Capital Campaign call for Jubilee Women's Center and found a large alder had fallen into the middle of my car when I returned. And it reminded me of a short story by Ursula LeGuin about the inner life of trees as they try to avoid drivers. My apologies to the laurel, which now owns a nice hubcap and fine mirror. My thanks to the laurel for keeping me from backing off the edge of a steep hill, which I might otherwise have done. And thanks to Len's Automotive, the best car repair shop in Bellevue, which is restoring the Toyota to her former state.

I fly to El Salvador in 16 days.


  1. Oh Susan, you didn't need the kiss/smack of that laurel. Grateful you are okay and that Ken's is restoring order to your Toyota. Jim's is my favored place for such restorations. Hope we never do business with Ken or Jim again. And may trees avoid all autos, forever!
    PS Will you have a car in ES?

  2. Not only will I have a car in El Salvador, it's a Toyota 4Runner that's been with the PazSalud project for 8 years now (so no longer considered theft-worthy) and I already tangled with a tree in that car in 2001, losing, yes, the side mirror, so you might say it's broken in to me. Speaking metaphorically.