Mrs. F phoned last Thursday evening. I answered with my best business voice saying, "Debra ____ Piano Service."
"Am I talking to a real person?" she asked.
I had tuned Mrs. F's Yamaha grand for the first time last April. It and she live in a splendidly appointed older home in Magnolia. Three levels, on the rocks, with an unobstructed view to Europe. She wanted to schedule another tuning. "But I'll be leaving on the 29th," she cautioned. "Is it possible to have it done before then?"
I checked my schedule and we agreed upon Tuesday the 20th at 10:30 a.m.
Mrs. F phoned yesterday morning at 8:30. She just wanted to check that her calendar was correct. Was I tuning Monday morning or Tuesday?
"I have you for Tuesday, tomorrow, at 10:30."
"Oh good. I have it right. See you tomorrow then, I'm so looking forward to it."
I turned in to Mrs. F's driveway between 10:20 and 10:25 a.m.* It had just started to slush out. Rain mixed with big snowflakes, that is. I was glad that I had taken the time to put the additional 400 lbs. of tube sand in the bed of the truck before heading out. Just in case. I made the descent down the hill and negotiated the abrupt left turn of the drive avoiding the careen across the steep side yard into the gray ocean below. I'd hate to make this trip in the ice and snow! Passing Mrs. F's Mercedes in front of the garage, I parked along side the front porch, collected my stuff and headed for the front door. I rang the bell and waited.
I knocked and waited some more.
I went to the side door and rang the bell. And...waited.
Back to the front door and double rang the bell followed by a reverberating rapping on the wooden door panel. Nothing.
I went back to my truck and sat inside protected from the slushy mess falling more rapidly from the sky. I got two business cards from the holder and wrote the current date and time on each.
Tuesday, 20th, 10:40. Then I got out my cell phone and called Mrs. F's number. Nothing.
I'd been stood up. I put a business card in each door, loaded my tools back in the truck and left.
Mrs. F hasn't called yet.
Some good things did happen from being stood up...a Christmas present that I had ordered for my Mom had been delivered to the door and I got home to take it in and hide it before she noticed it, I was home to take a phone call from a technician sending a set of keys and needing pricing info, and the Rockport Art Association called to schedule a tuning.
*Contrary to the illusion of Mrs. F's drive being visible at the front of her house in this photo...it's not. The drive heading to the left that you can see actually belongs to the neighbors house. Look carefully at the small gap between the trees, about in the middle of the photograph. That's where Mrs. F's driveway takes it's dip towards the ocean and then, out of sight in the photo, takes a sharp left to her house. In this photo only the top half of the second (main) floor and the third (top) floor along with the roof are visible. Hidden below the hill are the bottom half of the main floor and, accessible from the ocean side, the first (walk in finished basement) level.