Saint Cheese

On my way home I noticed there were all kinds of leaves and small tree branches strewn all over the road. I also noticed that the wind had slowed down, so I imagined that its speed had probably peaked while I was at the store and it was now winding down. As usual, it must have taken me some 10 minutes to get back to Summerland.

My place was on the southern side of town, so that whenever I came home from Santa Barbara I always had to drive on Lillie Ave. across town to get there. Once at the southern tip of town I had to make three consecutive left turns to get home: The first one on a road leading toward the hills (Greenwell Ave.), then an immediate second turn into the driveway that led to my place and the small wooden duplex near by, and then an immediate third turn to get into my parking space. Usually, by the time I was about to turn into my place I was already going very slowly. This time it was no different.

But when I was about to get into my parking space I had to quickly step on the brakes to avoid running over something that was blocking the way. At first I could not figure out what it was. So I shifted gear into Park, pulled up the handbrake and got out of the car.

As soon as I stepped outside I saw what had happened. The wind had knocked down the fence that was standing by the driver side of the parking space and had thrown it precisely on the spot where my car should have been. I cautiously tried to lift it up, but it was a bit too heavy for me alone. In any case, even if I had managed to lift it up I would not have been able to nail it back together all by myself.

I looked around to see if there were any other damaged things on the premises, but everything else seemed to be OK.  So I got back into the car, parked it on Greenwell Ave., grabbed the groceries, locked the car and, after taking another look at the fallen fence, went inside my place.

It felt good to be back home, but the fallen fence situation had somehow robbed me of the elation I was feeling earlier on. I placed the grocery bag on the pantry and, looking at the TV, I noticed that the CNN anchorwoman was now a different one. Looking outside my window I also noticed that the wind was no longer shaking the trees as much as before, nor was it bending the fence in any noticeable way.

I took my hat, my scarf and my jacket off, then took the goods out of the shopping bag and put them in their place. I unwrapped one of the Brie cheeses and put it in the toaster-oven; uncorked one of the bottles of wine I had just bought and served myself a glass of wine. Then I just waited for the fruit-stuffed Brie en Croute to warm up.

All the while I kept thinking about the fallen fence and the fact that if I hadn't gone out to get the cheese my car would have been seriously damaged. The fence would have definitely bent the driver-side fender and it would have dented or at least scratched the roof, maybe even part of the door frames too.

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