Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reflections from a Tuesday at Grady: Up on the Roof

Up on the roof (of the Grady Parking Deck -courtesy of my iPhone)

"When this old world starts a getting me down,
and people are just too much for me to face.
I'll climb way up to the top of the stairs
and all my cares just drift right into space.

On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
and there the world below don't bother me, no, no. . . ."

from James Taylor's rendition of "Up on the Roof"
(written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin)


Up on the roof. . . . .

I had an evening meeting recently and didn't get a chance to leave Grady until it was already dark. As I crossed the street from our office building to the parking garage, I suddenly remembered the craptacular parking lot karma I'd had that morning--translation: I had to park on the tippy-top level of the garage.
Uggghhh. Could hear Harry in my ear: "You better have somebody escort you to your car! I mean it, babe! Don't be crazy!" Seeing as I pride myself on being a good (and noncrazy) wife, I went ahead and asked a kind security officer to join me up the elevator and see me to my vehicle. And just as I would expect of our smiling brigade of parking garage security officers, my request was granted.

The doors immediately opened when I called for the elevator car; not unusual for an after hours lift at Grady. "You must've gotten here late, doc!" teased the officer as I pushed 9 on the key pad.

"Not too late," I replied with a chuckle, "I just had pretty bad parking lot karma this morning. I'm telling you I circled this puppy up and down for fifteen minutes hoping somebody would pull out, but no luck." The officer smiled and gave a knowing nod.

We stepped off of the elevator and into the cool evening air. I gestured to my lonely car in the furthest parking space from where we stood. Without speaking, the officer and I paused for a moment, then looked at each other and laughed.

"Dang doc! They got you in the corner pocket!" He cocked his head to the side and gave me a playful eyebrow raise. "I don't care what you say, doc, you got here late."

"Me? Late? Never!" I laughed out loud at my own joke. I pulled my bag up on my shoulder and strolled out onto the asphalt. My feet were tired, and these crippling three inch pumps (that sounded like a good idea at the time) would be kicked off and thrown in the back seat the minute I reached the car. I could hear my heels clicking across the lot, and felt the vibration of another car rolling down the ramp below me. The officer stopped midway and watched as I made my way over to the truck. Whew. I was secretly relieved as my car was (and still is) offensively dirty. Again could hear Harry asking one of his famous rhetorical questions: "Babe, I just have one question. Were you planning on just keeping your car as dirty as possible on the outside. .. . or. . . " (Nothing ever comes after the "or".)

Just as I reached my truck, I dug around in my purse, grabbed my key and then glanced up for a moment. . . . .what I saw made me freeze in my tracks.

I was suddenly struck by the breathtaking evening view of the Atlanta skyline.The lights were sparkling like a well-lit Christmas tree--spectacular. For some reason, it was like I was seeing it for the very first time. I whispered audibly,"Wow." I reached into my pocket, pulled out my iPhone and snapped a fuzzy picture of it. Even though the picture doesn't do the sight any justice, I like that it serves to remind me of that moment. I peered back over my shoulder at the kind Security officer who'd graciously escorted me up and waved. Thanks. Once I was safely inside my locked car, I threw my high heeled shoes onto Zachary's car seat, turned the ignition and then just sat there for a few moments . . . . .creating my own mental postcard. Sigh.

Today I am reflecting on how crappy parking lot karma became a sweet little gift. Wrapped in a dusty bow, I was treated to a moment of solitude. . . .leading to an appreciation for just one more thing, albeit small and unexpected, that there is to love about working at Grady.

Now this will be the theme music I play in my head when I have bad parking lot karma at Grady. . . .aaahhhhh. . . .up on the roof. . . . . I just love James Taylor, so initially chose this one, but admittedly my internal theme music alternates between the JT version and The Drifters version (below.) . Which do you like best?. . (I know what my dad will say already!) .

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