*I wrote this after meeting Mary in 2009.
Mary (not her real name) is a hospice volunteer who likes the night shift since she doesn't sleep much anyway. She is 74 years old, about 4 feet tall, with a hunchback and about three times the energy I have. She says she's good at sleeping in chairs because her brother is a midget and she slept next to him in a recliner for a while.
Mary travels a lot in her old Buick. The other day I told Mom Mary was on her way up the drive. She was supposed to be in Liberty but I knew it was her, as the car appeared to barrel up the drive with no driver. Really there was a large tree in the car that appeared to be driving. I thought "Aw, she shouldn't have." She didn't. She brought Mom some wet wipes, a friendship plaque from the dollar store, and some priceless stories.
She told us about her travel adventures: On the way back from Liberty she stopped in Warrensburg at a nursery, where she got a great deal on the tree that appeared to drive the Buick.The lady at the nursery said the tree wouldn't fit in a car, and Mary said anything would fit in her car. So the lady said to pull up the drive, close to the door, and they would try to fit it in.
Mary went up the drive, thinking it was very narrow, and parked. Then the employee explained that the drive was on the other side of the building, and she had driven up the sidewalk. She had knocked numerous flats of plants off their stands in the process. Mary insisted that the employee call the owners of the nursery right then with her insurance information and said not to worry about the dent in the Buick - that was from last time.
Before I could catch my breath Mary said she does pretty well going forward, that backing up is usually what gets her in trouble.
For instance, she was at the SOS one day, "where everyone went for gas and beer and cigarettes because they were the cheapest around" and she didn't want to wait for the guy in front of her to leave the pump, so she decided she could "rock" the Buick back and forth and get out from between cars.
Would have worked except the guy behind her was standing between his car and hers and what with Mary being so short, she didn't see him. She backed the Buick into his knees right there at the SOS.
Then Mary told us she'd best get going, as she wasn't too good at driving in the dark.
The tree waved out the window as the Buick cut ruts in the yard, finding its way back to the road.