If he hadn't been holding onto the dashboard all this time, I would have seen the boulder, but he weighed 285# and took up almost the whole front of the car. I take responsibility when I'm wrong, but not for this. Anyway, I missed the boulder by several inches.
Next he shouts, "Pull into the grocery store (Sentry) parking lot." On Sunday morning, the parking lot looked empty. Dutifully, I obeyed.
The blustery winter morning blew a grocery cart toward the car, and I honked so that it would move out of my way. That's when daddy told me to walk home. I pulled over and got out and not really dressed for a mile walk home, froze my aspirations for getting a driver's license.
When I married Jim, he knew all about my little attempts to drive and said, "Honey, I love you so much I'm afraid that if you had your license you would get killed."
I eagerly agreed. I never learned directions properly. I thought North pointed straight ahead of where I stood, South at my back and East to my right and West to my left, like on every map I ever saw. So, not driving a car wouldn't cause me any hardships I thought.
Six years and two kids later, Jim came home and told me that the time for me to learn to drive had arrived. I walked thirteen blocks eight times a day to take our sons to four -and -five year old kindergarten. Rob went in the morning and Jason in the afternoon.
Our routine: leave at 8:15 get to school by 8:45 drop Rob off, walk back home with Jason, leave to pick Rob up at 11:35 walk back home, eat lunch. Walk both back to school, drop off Jason, Rob and I walk back home, look over his homework for tomorrow, leave the house at 2:45 with Rob walk back to school, pick up Jason and we three walk home. Jim worried about me walking in the dark, since in Wisconsin it would start getting dark around 3:30 p.m. in the winter.
Not knowing his reasons about us walking, I thought he stopped his feelings of love for me and wanted me to get killed. So off I ran into our bedroom sobbing. We both laughed when he explained his concerns and that he would hire a professional service to teach me how to drive.
After he worked ten hours a day, he watched the boys while I went out for an hour lesson three times a week for two weeks. I failed my first driving test. I wouldn't parallel park for the tester because I knew the car would get stuck in the 7' snow bank.
Then ten days later, during another snowstorm, I passed. The secret to passing the road test is to take off your coat. The young tester kept looking at my chest when I put the car in reverse for the three blocks he made me drive backwards. He never asked me to parallel park and other vital things. This didn't work when I took the test ten days prior as I kept my coat on. The old tester looked angry and any attempts I made to talk about the weather made him angrier.
Jim bought me a used 1965 Mustang convertible on New Year's Eve. I loved driving and drove every day until moving to Arizona in 1986 with us only having the one car.
Our first year in Arizona, I would get up at 3:30 drive Jim to work by 5 a.m., then drive the boys to high school where Rob only went a half day. Pick up Jim at 2:30 then Jim would drive back to school to pick up Jason.
In 2005, I accidentally closed the garage door on his new Toyota and stopped driving. Do I miss it? Yes, but with my limited vision, it's for the best
Like Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, I rely on the kindness of friends (former strangers) and my husband to drive me everywhere I wish to go. I learned that one should never learn to drive from someone you know. If they don't have patience you both could end up patients.