Okay, so I called the cops—but hey it was late and dark and I was alone in the house when I spotted an old, beat up van with tinted windows parked well into the grass at the edge of my lawn. At first I thought it might be the girl who had contacted me on Craig’s list to buy my fire pit. Surely, though, she would have come into the driveway and knocked on the door?
So, I leashed the dog and boldly walked out onto the lawn under a lone pool of light. I stared hard at the van but all was dark and quiet. I figured the car had run out of gas and been abandoned. As I turned back towards the house, though, there was the sudden rev of a motor. The van began to move forward, stalled, then stopped again. Quickly, I headed into the house and called the police. Four minutes later, a patrol car pulled up behind the van. He talked to the driver then headed towards me.
“This guy says he’s supposed to pick up a fire pit at your house. He was afraid to come in your driveway until his friend arrived. Unfortunately, he’s now stuck in your lawn and can’t get out.”
I felt like a dope. Turns out he was a doctoral student in biomedical engineering working in gene therapy. Just then his friend swung into my driveway. She is studying pharmacology which treats mental illness. They called AAA and were told there was ‘at least an hour and a half wait.’ Well, I couldn’t leave them outside in the cold that long, so I invited them in for dinner. There was laughter and intelligent conversation at my table and I loved every minute.
By the time AAA arrived and hauled his van off our lawn, there was a 15-foot trench of mud where grass used to be. It did not bother me one bit. What’s a little grass loss compared to the company of two spectacular, young people? As they left, the young man said again, “I am so, so sorry about your lawn.” I replied: “And I am so, so thankful you happened by.” He looked surprised. “You see, what you are sorry for at your age is something that I am grateful for at mine.” Someday, he will know exactly what I meant.