Here Teacake is at one of both of our favorite spots :: My grandmother's house on Jamestown, Rhode Island. Our trip up here turned out to take a different route than we expected. And while I had big plans to write about Lobster and the Fourth, I think Ill share our Journey instead.
There Teacake and I are -- rushing down 24th Street to reach my car by the morning street cleaning deadline. He, zipping around and excited to be out, me spilling coffee on myself and carrying ten thousand things. As we get close to the car I panic : Did I leave my window open overnight ?! But even before I get close enough I know this is impossible. It was 9 million degrees in Manhattan, there is no way I was sitting with humid garbage breeze blowing through my car. When I am close enough I see shattered glass all over the sidewalk and shards sticking out of the window frame. Inside, the owner's manual + all the other non-theft worthy items are sitting neatly out on the seats (which incidentally, nothing was theft worthy--they didn't even take phone chargers).
My heart sunk feeling personally attacked, and like I'd warranted bad karma for some reason. I began sweeping it out of my seat with a towel and got sympathy from girls exiting Whole Foods. I pulled the car up to my building unsure of what to do. I now had a dog, lots of luggage (too much luggage), no street parking, and a waiting grandma. I told my doorman Al what had happened. He got a broom, wouldn't let me touch the car, and started sweeping all of the glass out talking about what kind of mean people there were out there + what kind of person would do this ? He was so consoling he almost elicited mom tears from me (the kind you don't even know are there until you hear your mom's voice), but I managed to control myself.
Next, I pulled the car into a garage that charges a zillion dollars an hour to park. I begged them to let me leave it while I ran into the hardware store and bought plastic covering to tape the window. He said he unfortunately had to charge me, and I understood -- this was not his choice to make. I left him with the car + the dog who I promised would be very friendly if they had to move it, and ran to the hardware store to buy a drop cloth and gorilla tape. When I returned (having the hardware store tell me it was exponentially too dangerous to drive like that, and that I should purchase large goggles if I was going to be stubborn and do it anyway) not only did they not charge me, but one of the men was sitting in the back seat of my car playing with teacake. He went on to spend the next ten minutes taping my window up, leaving ample room to see the rear view mirror, carefully tucking the plastic into the cars interior, X-ing the tape to try to stop the movement, and explaining to me what had to be done to replace a window. I can basically guarantee if I had taped that window myself I wouldn't have made it all the way to the west side highway without it coming undone. This makeshift window blew no air on me, and lasted, driving the speed limit, all the way to my grandma's driveway.
All the while, my father had talked to the Nissan in Newport, and they were ready and waiting to replace my window. They even called the tape job professional.
Now here is the confessional part, that is slightly embarrassing. As I drove up 95 I was thinking how lucky I was to have strangers + friends + family alike that were so willing and ready to lend a hand. One tiny thing goes wrong (and this was by all means tiny) and kindness crops up in droves, ten fold to the tiny blip in the road a moment before. I had been in such a great mood that morning -- great dinner with friends the night before, drinks with a friend the night before that, time with family, a week in Jamestown + Nantucket ahead of me (both with some of my favorite people), and a summer of fun weekends to come. I was thinking about the girlfriends I call for any and everything. And the large number of people I can actively say I can't wait to see and spend time with always. I thought about these things as I drove (in the right lane, a rare place for me) and I started to cry. I get nerd points I know. But the idea that any time I feel alone must be self induced is a pretty amazing and lucky thing. And adding the unexpected or deserved kindness of strangers to this, and it is sort of unreal.
I often say Thanksgiving and Fourth of July are my favorite Holidays because they are festive happy gatherings of friends and family, with good food + good people. Thanksgiving is warm, overflowing with hot turkeys, and red wine, pies, and candlelight, while 4th of July there is barbecue, seafood, lawns at sunset, grass + bare feet, and laughter with cool cocktails as we see fireworks fill the warm summer sky. Truth be told this is a tiny fib : I do adore Christmas as well, and really should include it in the list because the spirit of it and magic are irreplaceable. In some ways though Thanksgiving and the 4th feel more like a time to reflect and give thanks with no agenda. Yesterday morning was a little reminder of why.