Lisa, you killed the plant!

I’m not going to ruin the story by telling you about the plant just yet, so let’s rewind to four days before. My dad and step-mom leave for Florida at 4AM for a four day, three night “thank you vacation” that my step-mom won by being one of the top drug-reps for Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals (whoop whoop!!).  This means that for the next four days it will be my nine year old sister Elizabeth, our two dogs, and me. Pressure much?

Elizabeth and I were having so much fun – we went to the pool every day, we played putt-putt, we watched movies, went out for dumplings, painted a castle and coffee table, and laughed a lot. Everything was going perfectly, until this happened:

We pull up the driveway after Elizabeth’s swim practice and OH. MY. GOD – WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE DRIVEWAY!?! My heart is beating so fast, I’m looking all over thinking “How did this happen? Who could have done this? Why didn’t they leave a note?” To make matters worse, my dad had literally just repaved the driveway.  And the catastrophe wasn’t contained to a small area. It went all…the…way…down…the…driveway…

You may be wondering, “How did this happen?” WELL – I had left the tarp from our painting activities out on the driveway and anchored the ends with paint cans so it wouldn’t blow away. I might add that this was in plain sight of anyone or anything that may come across it.

SO – I’m having a panic attack in the kitchen when all of a sudden the doorbell rings. It is our elderly next door neighbor with a panicked look on her face. She asks “what happened?!” and I frantically tell her my theory of how the FedEx man drove up, left a package, exploded the paint and drove away never to fess up to his crime! Well, guess what? She didn’t mean what happened to the driveway. No…she meant “why’d you stand me up for dinner? I’ve been worried sick! I’ve called three neighbors asking where you were. I drove up here honking my horn….” Her voice trails off because the only thing I’m thinking is: WAIT…you DROVE UP HERE?!

(Let me clear something up before you think I’m a horrible person for standing an elderly woman up when we had dinner plans together. I had called her that morning, 5 hours before the incident, to say that my sister and I couldn’t attend the dinner because we had to go to swim practice. There was no way I could have known that she wouldn’t remember!)

Lets get back to the point where she said she drove up the driveway…

As it turns out – the nice, worried, occasionally forgetful,  elderly neighbor was so worried about the two of us that she drove her car up the driveway, rolled over two full cans of paint causing them to explode, and drove home while leaving a paint trail all…the…way…down…the driveway. She didn’t hear the cans explode, she didn’t notice her car splattered in paint, nothing! Did I mention that it was oil based primer and coral colored acrylic paint? You can’t get that type of paint off of ANYTHING.

I was left feeling horrible that this woman had worried so much about the two of us!  She’s calling other neighbors, walking back and forth between houses and getting into a car that she probably shouldn’t be driving in the first place. And after she found out about the paint? Well, she was just beside herself with guilt. So even though I knew I was going to get in HUGE trouble, I decide to bake her something to say “Thank You”.

Dear Abby’s Chocolate Cake from my previous post was supposed to be for her, but I couldn’t give it to her, it would probably have sent the wrong message.  So my sister and I teamed up and made her some old fashioned Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe Link).

Not that you really care…but I got to use my Dad’s fantastic Kitchen Aid Food Mixer! I am dying to get one of these. I didn’t have to do anything except throw all the ingredients into the bowl and turn it on! I would barely even call it baking! So awesome.

Anyways, the cookies turned out perfectly, the elderly neighbor was thankful and apologetic, my parents came home and didn’t kill me (they actually thought it was funny…you can’t make a story like that up!) and I went back to Arlington, VA with some great cookies and even better memories.

Not to leave you hanging with the plant story – I get a call from my dad the day after I left saying “Lisa, you killed the plant!” Although I do feel a little bad that I killed their teeny-tiny little “love” plant, I think that keeping a nine year old and two dogs alive for four full days is good enough. Don’t you?

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