What Kind of Mood Are You In Today?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Don't Park Under the Apple Tree

My kids are now back in school and everything, homework included, is in full swing. There is even talk about the first field trip the K-2nd graders will be taking.

It's a tradition. Every year this age group goes to Gitzich Ranch where they learn about apples, apple trees, apple juice, and the adults in the group learn about buying apple pie. This field trip is often well chaperoned simply because of the apple pie.

When my daughter Hannah was in Kindergarten and Rebecca in 1st, I was crazy enough-I mean priveledged!- to chaperone this field trip. (And yes, I bought an apple pie!) I piled six kids into my infamous Expedition and had a lot of fun watching their little faces stand in awe of the...

...play house hay bales!!!

Of course it wasn't the apples!

And you never see kids so eager to eat an apple anywhere other than at an apple farm! My daughters enjoyed it so much that I decided to take my son there. He was still in preschool, so I figured I would enjoy a little time alone with my son and took him to Gizditch Ranch on my day off from work.

I had Fall Fever, big time! Apple farms will do that to you! I could smell the crisp Autumn air, I could smell the apple pie, and all that red and white gingham was stirring the Martha Stewart in me! I also had a brand new Honda Accord and driving around in something that clean was stirring up the Martha Stewart in me so bad that my hair was beginning to cover half of my face...and it didn't bother me...and I liked it! Well, I don't know if I'd go THAT far.

So, off we go, my 3-year-old and I, to Gizditch Ranch. He was so excited! His sisters had told him all about the hay bales and he was ready to experience every minute of it.

We drove the country roads, pulled into the ranch, and I began to search for a parking spot. There must have been another 500 school groups there because I was having a hard time finding a parking spot. And I'm not too great at parking, so I don't try to squeeze into those tiny parking spots that is only there because some huge monster truck took up two spots somewhere in the lineup.

But then (sound of angels singing) a minivan backed up. YES! Even if she was moving because she judged the space was too small, it should be no problem for my Honda Accord! SaaaaaaaaaWEET!
The minivan drove down the row a bit and with a smile on my face, I began to pull into the vacant spot. The minivan stopped in front of another minivan, apparantely a friend, and I caught a brief moment of eye contact with both of them. They had the strangest looks on their faces. I was smiling at my fortune, but they were looking at me like...well, like I was nuts or rude or...I don't know what!
I'm thinking, "Am I taking her spot? Was she planning on coming back and thinking that no one was going to park there while she did a little socializing? Am I being rude in some way and don't even know it?


"Ahhhhh...yes. I'm parking under an apple tree. Those are just branches. I hope they don't scratch my brand new car, though.

"Wow! Those are some seriously loud branches! I think that's going to leave a scratch."

I got out of my car, unbuckled my son from his car seat, and together we headed off toward the hay bales. Unfortunately, the hay bales were gone and it took some time, but I was finally able to convince my son that the tour through the apple trees truly was going to be fun.
And it was. And I bought another pie. And it was time to go.
We went to the car, buckled, and I began to back out.
"HOLY COW!!! Those branches are INCREDIBLY LOUD!!!"
I decided that maybe I should get out and have a look.
Those weren't branches. Rather, it was a single branch. Only a BIG one. To be more exact, it USED to be a branch. It was a branch that had been cut off and it's stump was as large around as a Christmas tree stump. It hung out a bit and I...well, I just didn't see it.
I'd like to think that perhaps I'm still as smart as the minivan driver, as it would have been in her windshield, I'm sure, so she had no choice but to see it, but I don't think Travis would have bought it. He barely bought the fact that I didn't see it!
It left a very long and deep scratch on my hood and sunroof. It wasn't pretty.
I took it to the same shop that repaird my Expedition after taking it through the car wash. Unfortunately, they recognized me and I'm not sure if the look I saw was a look of, "Oh, brother. I can't believe she's back," or "We better suck up to this one because she could bring in a lot of profit!"
The cost was suspiciously the same amount as my copay, again $1000, and since I didn't have $1000, I decided the repair wasn't totally necessary.
As you can imagine, Travis wasn't too happy that our car of 2-weeks old was already damaged and I don't know what it is about guys and cars, but he still gets a little riled when he thinks about it.
Well, here is a picture of the scratch and proof of why you should never park under the apple tree!

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