Sunday 24 January 2016

behind the wheel

A couple of nights ago, we had a beautiful sunset. I got a couple of pics through the trees.

sunset behind our now empty chicken coop

it looks like a raging fire in the distance
I was listening to the news last night where a report from Virginia described the ankle-deep snow. The governor came on and said this storm might cost them one hundred million dollars. My jaw dropped. That money amount was shocking. I realize that big snow is not as common in some of the states as it is here, but I don't understand where that kind of cost comes from.

We still have a lot of snow on the ground. I look at the five day forecast, but often things change. It's wise to only look at the next day to get an accurate idea of what the weather will be like. Snow doesn't really hold anyone back in this area. You have to learn to how drive in it, but at the same time respect it. I believe in the province of Quebec, you must have tires which  are snow rated, or you could be fined. Sure, every year with the first heavy snowfall, there is always someone who is going too fast and braking too hard and ends up in the ditch. Young drivers need to learn lessons the hard way sometimes.

Our son just got his G1. That's what we used to call our "beginners" back in my day (lord, I sound like an old fuddy duddy there, don't I?).  He will be signed up for driver training soon in the month of February. There will still be plenty of snowy days and unsavoury driving conditions at that time, so perhaps its a good thing that he is learning in these conditions. Maybe he will end up being a better driver for it. He has had lots of experience on the lawn tractor, driving, turning, backing up... I think even that gives him a bit of a feel for actual driving of a vehicle. I think he will be a good driver.

He's quite tall and I am sure he will have to move the seat back from the position I usually have it in. When our daughter was home in the summer, she would use my vehicle to drive to work and other places. She brought the seat forward so much that when I would get in, I would bash my knee against the steering column. When my husband sometimes uses my vehicle (because it holds more in the back, with the seats able to fold down), he adjusts the seats to what feels like a La-Z-Boy reclining position.

I did not take "driver's ed." like many of my friends who lived in town and just stayed after school to attend the driving lessons. No, my driver education came from my father. He drove big cement and block trucks for a living.  My father was an Oldsmobile man. Great big, land yacht Oldsmobiles. My mother took me out a few times, but it was my father who thought that learning how to parallel park should be done on Dundas Street (the main, busy downtown street) in our nearby town on a Friday afternoon. I have not parallel parked since. Seriously. I will drive around and look for a spot that I can drive into. I realize that sounds pathetic. I'm o.k. with that.

I remember another time when my father picked me up from my part time job in a menswear department at a local department store. It was about a 15 minute drive home and my father thought I should do it. It was one of the first slippery nights. I didn't realize that and when I made an adjustment in my steering (or just a bonehead move because I was a young untrained driver), the car started to fish tail and skid. I think I hit the brakes, but there is a slight possibility it was the gas. I just remember the car swinging around on the road, careening down into a shallow ditch and ending up in a farmer's field facing the opposite way. Gotta hand it to my dad, he sat there for a moment, said something like, "wups" with a little grin on his face, got out and had a quick look at things, came back in the car and said , "Let's not tell mother about this."  He drove home. I do recall some vegetation hanging from underneath the car after that.

What were your early driving days like?


  1. What great stories. They really brought back some driving memories for me. I especially liked the last one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This was fun to read. And I laughed at your statement "I will drive around and look for a spot that I can drive into." because...I do exactly the same thing!! :)

    That last part with your dad made me smile. He sounds like such a cool dad! Sometimes it's best not tell mom :)

    1. I think we did end up telling her, in the end. I don't know that "cool" would have been the word I would have used to describe my father (he's been gone for several years now), but he was at least very understanding about that incident. -Jenn

  3. HI Jenn....
    This post brought back a lot of memories!
    My kids all took drivers Ed...but it was ME that helped and took them for their driving tests!
    I hit another car, in a parking lot, with my Mom...I had my 90 day license...I am REALLY dating myself! Hahaha! Had to pay for the repairs...I worked p/t as a cashier at Dominion....took me ALL summer to pay it back!
    Linda :o)

    1. Oh Linda, I remember Dominion! That must have hurt, having to hand over all your hard earned money from that summer! -Jenn