Under Cover of Darkness
"Anne, you'd better get those plastic poles out on the street," John said when I got home from putting my mother to bed.
"Oh, right," I said, though I was more worried about getting the kitchen floor scrubbed.
I still had a lot of cleaning up to do before the P.E.O. meeting at my home tomorrow, an event that had appeared on my horizon about a year earlier when I started taking Mom to bi-monthly gatherings of this group.
"I'll help you--those things are heavy," John said.
Soon we were several houses away at the end of our block, scouting for empty parking spots where we could position the ten orange-pole "delineators" to reserve places for the P.E.O.s to park in tomorrow.
They can't park on our street, right in front of our house, because the city has decided to put fresh asphalt on our block tomorrow.
John hauled the poles with their heavy black bases three at a time on a dolly turned into flat cart. I placed the poles and looped yellow Caution tape from pole to pole.
We hoped none of our neighbors would catch us out here doing this.
"You get yourself into the darnedest situations," he commented.
"Yeah," I murmured apologetically.
"What does P.E.O. stand for anyway?" he asked. "Peculiar Elderly...." He couldn't come up with a third word.
"You know I can't tell you," I said. "I'm sworn to secrecy."
We completed the job and returned to the house, where I started making cupcakes and moving furniture to make room for a circle of 10-12 chairs in the living room.