Sunday, September 7, 2014


There is something magical about a priest’s garage door. It attracts people like bees are attracted to flowers, like moths to light bulbs, like altar servers to matches. Every parish with which I have been associated, every priest I speak with has the same story: for some unfathomable reason people like to park RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR GARAGE DOORS.
  Just recently I asked a guy, “What on earth made you think parking here was a good idea?” He said, “I wasn’t going to be here long.” Of course, this was after I had spent 20 minutes trying to find him on our 8 acre campus because I had to get to an appointment and was now going to be late. It’s like people who like to talk in doorways. “Here is a constricted area where people need to get through. I think I’ll stop someone here and carry on a conversation.” I don’t understand.
The apron to the rectory driveway is in ridiculously horrible condition. Even the 80 year old priest who lived here begged me, “Please, Father, let Fr. Ted fix this for you.” (He always spoke of himself in the third person, which for him was oddly endearing.)
I have standing orders to leave it permanently in third world status just to dissuade people from using the driveway as a convenient place to dump their cars.  There is tons of parking on our block, but I will admit that this spot is very convenient.  But not when it becomes a used car lot.
ANYWAY . . .  you may remember that I recently got a new-to-me car.  The windows are incredibly small and it is a difficult car to see out of.  I thought it was just me, but my cousin drove it other day and made a similar comment so now I don't just simply feel old.
It does not have a back up camera (though it really probably should) but it does make a "BEEP BEEP BEEP" sound if you get close to anything while backing up.  The closer you get to an object, the more quickly it beeps.
"Brilliant" you might think.  But no amount of genius can best my profound incompetency.  As I back out of my garage, the car always starts beeping because I am heading for a bush so I have learned to ignore it much to the chagrin of a seminarian who was living with us this summer and took to parking his car behind the garages.
I must say he was a really good Joe about it.  "Wow," he said, "The car is symmetrical again."

Another way in which my capacity for stupidity outstrips technology's ability to compensate is when I am initially backing up out of the garage.  The bay doors are EXTREMELY small and so the alarms go off right away and until the trunk makes it out of the garage.
So I've learned to ignore that part too.
Yes, someone with a pickup truck parked right up against the garages.  Just the bed of the truck was behind my bay and so I could not see it through the tiny rear window and ignoring the beeping because I thought it was telling me about the door opening, I smashed into the truck.
What goes around come around.  Apparently there were signs in the driveway telling people not to park there but they were taken down because they seemed pastorally insensitive and put offish (as opposed to having your car destroyed.)  But maybe the forepastors knew what they were doing.


Anonymous said...

How about a sign saying "Thou shalt not park here"

Anonymous said...

get a bike; forget the car

Anonymous said...

Given how your congregants park every week, I'm not too surprised that they'd block you in too.

snickers mom said...

Maybe you should try backing into the garage? It is much easier to see this way. Or you could walk out the back door to the garage that way you will see what is behind your door. Just some suggestions.

Nan said...

@Vickie DePalma,

I'll pray for your conversion to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the one that has existed since Christ founded Her.

Anonymous said...

So, how is your car surviving all these crashes? I am one of the Rectory cooks and the only time I park there, is when I am dropping off food. Maybe I should leave my car across the street next time.

God bless you Father, I love reading your Blog, I wish I had more time to read all the postings.

In Christ

Jisel E.

MaryofSharon said...

You are not the only one who backs into cars parked behind garages while driving a car with poor visibility (how is a person supposed to see a dark driveway through small windows that are heavily covered with dark film???)

I backed into my son's friend's black car, parked right in front of the garage. People should not park in front of garages, especially with black cars at night in the country.

I backed into my son's brand new car, again, at night, ... it was navy blue ? How could anyone expect me to see it?

So it's not my fault. It's the bad design of my car's darkly filtered windows and the bad design of those dark cars that should be banned in the country at night.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to figure out the parking lot to the left of the main doors. As far as I can see, the rule is, "We all get here about the same time, and all leave immediately after the service, so it doesn't matter if we block other cars in."