It being the holidays and my daughter having flown home I loaned her my Subaru and borrowed the older of two buicks my parents drive. Driving the 2000 Park Avenue is a little like piloting the aircraft carrier in Everett’s harbor, and as such we began calling it the USS Nimitz.
There comes a time where small conveniences like a gas gauge just are not worth fixing. “Just be sure to fill up when the trip meter reaches 225 miles” he said to me as I was handed the keys.
And with that, we hauled up the anchor and set sail for the confines of Ballard.
It is hard to imagine a time when Ballard was populated solely by cars of this size. The streets are not narrow, but parking is allowed on both sides, and thus the Buick more or less takes up the entire street. I thought this was a neat trick I was pulling off until this morning when it was discovered the Interbay Whole Foods was fresh out of pumpkin pie and so we charted a course for the Westlake store in downtown Seattle.
There is a parking garage, but driving the Buick into those confines reminded me mostly of Luke Skywalker’s traverse of the canyons of the Death Star, the columns and walls supporting the building looming on either side as I descended then leveled out seeking a space large enough among the Prius’s and Subaru’s. Use the Force Luke… a voice said in my head.
We headed her up into the wind and dropped anchor at a space between two Smart cars, generously leaving enough room for this monument to the days of cheaper gasoline. Departure was a thrill as well, particularly since the drivers window needed to hand the validated ticket to the attendant now sticks while opening.
But we recovered the pumpkin pie. Christmas was saved.