A trashcan, my mother and the driveway

As much as I wish it weren’t so, the driveway at my new house is actually longer, steeper, and darker at night than my old driveway. That presents a number of challenges, some of which I won’t have to deal with until next winter, and others which occur to me only in the moment.
Last night the girls, my mom and I lingered over dinner and didn’t finish clearing  the dishes until well after sunset. Suddenly I realized the trash needed to be at the foot of the driveway by 6 a.m. as Tuesday is pick up day at my new house. My mother, who is perhaps the most resourceful person I know, immediately decided that there was a way to  get the can down the driveway in the pitch dark, without having to wheel it down while holding a flashlight.
Before I go any further with this story you should know that although she is almost 79, my mom is always up for a challenge. She quickly decided that she was going to prove that I could somehow transport the can down the driveway using  my car. Now might also be a good time to tell you that I don’t have a hitch on my car. But that didn’t stop my mom.
“Get me a wire coat hanger,” she commanded.
“Really,Mom?  I think I can just grab the flashlight and be on my way.”
“No, I’ve seen my neighbor do this many times and I am sure you can drive the can down.”
“Okay,” I replied, skeptically.
Next thing I knew she was bending and twisting the coat hanger, throwing open the back door of my Jeep, and attaching part of the coat hanger to a small hook inside the back of the car, and the other part to the handle on the trash can.
“Are you sure about this?” I asked.
“I know you can do this,” she replied. “You just have to drive really slowly. Now get in the car.”
“Alright,” I said.
I climbed behind the wheel and started the car. By now I was laughing because the whole plan seemed a little improbable to me.
“By now I could already be back in the house you know…” I called out to her. She was standing behind the car holding the trash can.
“Okay, start going,” she told me. I eased my foot off the brake. “Slow down!!!” she cried.
“I only barely took my foot off the brake…” I said. “Not sure I can go much slower.” The coat hanger was coming to the end of its useful life more quickly than we had anticipated. My mother was holding onto the can, walking behind the car. Something about the whole scene seemed so wrong.
“I cannot believe we are doing this. This is really dumb, ” I said, starting to laugh harder.  “We have spent like 15 minutes on this… It would have taken me fewer than 5 to walk down and back up.”
“But I saw my neighbor do this, and I know it can be done,” she insisted.
With that, the hanger came completely apart, and my mother and I both dissolved into hysterics.
We reached the bottom of the driveway, me in the car with the remnants of the coat hanger attached to my car, my mother walking behind, wheeling the trashcan.
I jumped out of the car, put the can by the roadside, waited for my mother to get in the passenger seat and said,
“In the time we just spent doing that, we could have driven to town and gotten ice cream,”
“Yes,” she replied, “but it wouldn’t have been as much fun.
And, as usual, she was right.

One thought on “A trashcan, my mother and the driveway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s