Monday, August 24, 2015

Coming Home to Roost (or The Kindness of Strangers)

Sometimes one can ignore one's faults and glide, swan-like, through life.  And sometimes those faults accumulate and come home to roost in a big way.  Friday afternoon was like that.

On the plus side, I was teaching yoga at a new place, which I am very happy to be teaching at - Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn.  More about that another time.  For this story, all you need to know is that I was teaching there on Friday in the late afternoon.  When I left the studio I discovered that my car had been towed.  Many times I have parked near the studio without problem so I didn't look too hard at the signs, which were right next to my car.  Fault #1 - thinking I know what's what.  In fact, there is no parking from 4 - 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Normally, this might result in a ticket (and it did last Friday as well), but the city has days when it likes to collect extra revenue so it sends out armies of tow trucks to take away cars that otherwise would just be ticketed.  Last Friday was one of those days.

Ok.  Having your car towed is a fact of life here, so I didn't get too upset and went to the tow pound to get my car.  My Canadian makes a difference.  Going through the bureaucratic hoops, I got my registration and insurance out of the car and used the ATM machine to get cash to pay for the fees, which are substantial.  But no!  The registration was out of date.  Huh?  I knew that I had renewed it so I searched my document folder.  Not there.  More bureaucratic hoops to go back to the car and look again...still no registration.  Fault #2 - disorganized.

Explaining my situation did not move the clerk very far, so no car for me.  The city charges $20/day to keep the car in their lot overnight.  I won't bore you with further details but suffice to say that other faults, such as procrastination and failing to respond to friend's communications also came into play.  Indeed, just about all my faults coalesced in this one moment.  It came home to me hard as I was frantically texting with Lucy, who is in Newfoundland now, about searching the house there and asking our friend to help out and she wrote back, "I am really not comfortable with this."  i.e.. doing my dirty work, and I couldn't deny that this is exactly what was going on.


Nonetheless, the car was still in the lot and I was planning to head to Cape Breton on Monday (that would be today).  These two things do not go well together.

On the plus side, years of Zen and yoga practice (not to mention parenting two teenagers) has given me a fairly good dose of patience and I mostly was able to stay cool and keep things friendly with the various people behind the counter in Brooklyn and Newfoundland in my attempt to get a copy of my current registration faxed to the tow pound.

This morning, I was not on the road to Cape Breton.  Instead, I spent four hours making numerous phone calls, texts and emails to people on both coasts of Newfoundland and Brooklyn.  At last, the deed was done.  But not without the assistance of four people who were willing to take time out of their busy day not just to respond to my various communications but to actually GO to the DMV in Corner Brook, wait in line, and deal with the bureaucracy there to get it faxed.

So many life lessons here but the one that really brings tears to my eyes is this one: We are not in this alone., it is real.

A huge thank you to Lucy, Olive, Hannah, Lisa and Phillip from the Corner Brook DMV for all their help!  I haven't actually gotten the car keep your fingers crossed that there isn't some new thing that has to be done.

Truly, never will I be so happy to pay the City hundreds of dollars as I will be today.


J. Brown said...

I'm so glad you got the document faxed. Fingers crossed you don't get held up anywhere else. Safe travels. Warm regards.

Robyn said...

Thanks so much J! Happy to say that I am writing this back home where i can gaze lovingly at my car parked in front of my house : ) Safe travels to you too!

Jan Morrison said...

Oh Robyn, this is me to a tea. Karma comes up and whacks you up the side of the head and there is nothing for it. Luckily, (or p-luckily as I don't believe in luck without a p in front) it is also your good karma to have friends who will do for you - who will stand in that line with a minimum of groaning. Oh, you'll pay for your misdeeds but you are also being paid for the kindness you have extended in the past. I like you so much! I can't believe we've never laid eyes on each other. Hope your trip goes well now that this bump had been overcome. Are you going to the textile art conference at Gros Morne?

Robyn said...

Jan - we have to do something about that not laying eyes on thing! Alas, my workshop was cancelled at the fibre conference in Gros Morne for under-enrollment. What is your travel schedule like in the coming year or so? There has to be something.....

Jan Morrison said...

Are you going home at all this year? I was in Halifax for two and a half weeks of eating in restaurants. Or that's how I recall it. I'm going to Ottawa some time in the fall to see my youngest grandchild. I can't wait to go to the national art gallery and eat ... Who knows, maybe my novel will be picked up and I'll see you in NY.