Thursday, August 9, 2007
The Key to Life
I'm feeling very literal today. It's Theme Thursday, and the theme is Key. So I present you with... my keys! Seems kind of obvious, I know, but as I was taking the picture I realized how much this group of metal and plastic is a literal key to my life. For example, ignoring the ridiculous number of plastic membership cards, this is the emptiest my key chain has been since high school. I'm used to having keys to an office building, keys to an office in that building, keys to friends' houses (that I would actually use to go over and hang out - imagine the luxury of that), all in addition to the standards: car and home. Right now I have my car key, my house key, and - just for good measure - a key to my sister's house. It took me a while to get used to an emptier key chain, as if a larger number of keys somehow indicates a more useful life. I prefer to think of these as simpler times.
Two things I love about my keys: First, that the big clunky one says VW. I drive a station wagon that we bought before there was Eli, before we even left California to head east and start this family. I love my wagon. But I especially love that it's a VW because in my single California days I drove old bugs. I had a white '66 - nicknamed Pearl - for a few months that was stolen off the streets of San Francisco. (Boo.) I replaced it with a '65 in seafoam green that needed a ton of work, most of which I did myself, again on the streets of San Francisco. There I was, weekend after weekend, at the intersection of Polk and Filbert, re-upholstering the seats or sanding out the rust or replacing the bumpers. One of my favorite memories of that time is when a woman walked past, said hello, and then came back about 20 minutes later with a 12 year old girl trailing right behind. She said to me, "I brought my niece back because I wanted her to see all the things that women can do." I felt pretty good about that.
And then I drove that freshly painted car - christened Opal - down to LA to start graduate school and wouldn't you know it, three days later someone stole that one. (Sigh.) I replaced it with a UPS brown '67 (obviously not the original color, which was beige). That poor car never got new bumpers, never got a new paint job, never got a name. It just got replaced with something else when I could afford it. I think it was a combination of the thefts breaking my spirit and the LA freeways making me wish for a steadier car. But I will forever hold a special place in my heart for VWs, and my station wagon and its key hints at that a little.
So there you have it. A key to my keys.