30 Years - Year 15

Friday, August 21, 2009 2 Comments A+ a-

Year 15. The year I got to start driving!!

I had it, the small, plastic card. It was hot off the press and placed just so in my new wallet. I kept whipping it open to take a look at my smiling face. It was so surreal, knowing that the little card gave me permission to drive!

The only problem?

Mom and Dad didn’t have much time to teach me… I remember huffing and sighing, anything to show my displeasure at not being allowed to drive.

Then one day, at a family gathering, I was bemoaning my predicament to Uncle Randy. He was only 12 years older than me, and were pretty close at the time. He asked my mom if he could take me for some practice time and she absently nodded yes. I squealed in glee!

We drove to the empty parking lot of the nearby elementary school and Uncle Randy parked, got out of the driver’s seat, and proceeded to explain the fundamentals of driving a stick shift. This was a completely foreign concept to me, as all the other cars (one) I’d driven were automatics.

He finally handed me the keys and I started the engine of his fire-red sports coupe. I felt like hot stuff with that engine purring underneath the hood. I was confident, I was feeling cool, I was on top of the world.

Then I stepped on the gas…

It stalled. Not just once either, I believe two or three times. Again Uncle Randy explained the core concepts of the stick shift and we tried again.

Finally I kind of grasped how to press on the gas, while easing on the brake, both at the same time.

And then, I was actually moving!







With a ditch on the other side of that fence.

And I couldn’t stop!

Despite Uncle Randy screaming at me to stop, I couldn’t do it!! Somehow, I really have no idea how, the car, the anxious uncle, and the shaken teenager all came to a complete stop.

Uncle Randy held out his hand for the keys.

And that was the end of our driving lesson.


I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.


Write comments
12:52 AM delete

No wonder you were close :).

I had a similar experience learning to drive a stick. But I was 18. My friend Tim was going to hang out with some classmates one Friday night, and we were headed snowboarding together the next morning. He drove his VW Beetle around the school parking lot once to show me the ropes, handed me the keys, and told me to meet him at his house in a few hours. Needless to say, it took me about that long to get there.

7:53 AM delete

You make me laugh...thank you.