A Flat Tire, Eggplant and Potatoes

The eggplant and potatoes

I washed the dirt off the  potatoes, cut them up and put them in a pan with  rosemary from the garden, and olive oil. Like eggs, fresh potatoes taste so much better than the ones you buy in the store.

I didn’t grow or dig these potatoes, they came from the most unlikely place.

Today went nothing the way I expected it to.

I spent the morning trying to figure out a creative activity to teach at The Mansion Assisted Living Facility.  It’s something  I do every month and this was the first time I was having a hard time figuring out what to teach.

I even googled “art for seniors” but found nothing that appealed to me.  Finally I came up with the idea of making a collage using scraps of fabric, a glue stick and a linen napkin.  I cut the fabric scraps from my scrap bin into smaller pieces and ironed them. I bought six glue sticks at RiteAid and headed for the Mansion.

As I backed my car out of the driveway, I felt the wheels dragging.  My front tire was completely flat.

So Jon drove me to The Mansion, but when I got to the activity room I found out that Julie and some of the residents had gone to Walmart and there was no one else around.  (Julie later called me to let me know they got stuck in a traffic jam and only got back later in the day).

No problem, I thought, now I can get my tire fixed and called AAA as we drove home.

Not five minutes after I called my phone rang.  I explained to the woman on the phone where our house was.  “Well, he’s coming from by the Burger Den”, she said, and wanted to know if the house was before or after Moon Magoosh’s. I told her I lived in Florence Walrath’s old house and she said ” Oh okay, he just has to put his shirt on and he’ll be right there”.

That’s how small town directions work.

I was surprised to see an old rusted Subaru pull into the driveway instead of a tow-truck.   But was even more surprised to see a big man with a white beard pulling pale blue, plastic laundry baskets, filled with potatoes from the back of it.

“Are those potatoes,” I asked.  “Yeah, he said, “I just dug them. Do you eat potatoes, take some. Take an eggplant too.   People come from all over to buy our eggplant, we sell them for only a dollar each.”

Turns out the AAA guy lives down the road and along with fixing cars has a vegetable stand, and is running for Town Justice.

It also turns out that in place of a spare tire, there’s a  little air pump in the trunk of my car.  It never crossed my mind to ask if there was a spare tire in the car when I bought it.

So the AAA guy pumped up my tire with his portable air pump and I drove down to Rushinkski’s Auto in town.

Charlie, who runs the garage, said he could fix it while I waited.  A few minutes later he told me  he couldn’t find a leak, but had a few theories that might explain why the air leaked from my tire.  Then he reminded me that I took the snow tires and rims off my old car which are the same size as my new car, so I could use one of them as a spare.

By 4pm I was back in my studio working, an art project for The Mansion ready for next month’s class, my tire filled with air, a spare tire in my trunk and potatoes in the oven.



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