Tag Archives: Driving

Driving to Humility

My house has one very minor drawback.   The driveway.   It is gravel and a little steep.  Okay, that’s not totally true.  It’s very steep and there is a curve at the steepest point.   This driveway has caused a few hiccups over the past eleven years.

It really is not that easy to carry a newborn down this hill in the snow.  You have to walk sideways and hold onto the tree branches but it can be done.    It is also difficult to deliver pianos.  or groceries.   But those stories are all not what this blog is about.  Thank goodness.

At an any rate, my husband and I can both back up this driveway without skidding and it’s not a problem.

Usually.

Over the weekend we had a visitor.   We were sitting in our living room boxing up all our earthly possessions when we heard the sound of very large tires on our driveway.    I walked outside and sitting there, stopped on the steep curve was a large, black, diesel, jacked up pickup truck.   Driving this monster was a kid who had to be twelve.  He must have lied on his driver’s license application because I do not believe he was sixteen.  He had with him two equally young and slightly dazed girls.     He said “Is this house for sale”.

I think what he meant was “Is this house empty so me and my girls here can come in and get drunk and cause great damage?”    I think this is what he meant because his bumper stickers were quite….expressive and colorful.

He then tried to back up the hill.   It did not work.   I asked if he had four-wheel drive.   Nope….broken.   Front wheel drive?   Nope.   I sighed and went and got my car keys.  We spent the next little bit maneuvering our cars around so he could pull all the way down.  We backed up the hill and waited.  and waited.  and waited.

I ventured down the hill.    Here is what followed:

Me:   Having problems?

Him:  I can’t turn my truck around.

Me:  Want me to try?

Him:  Do you know how to drive stick?

Me:  Do you?

(No, that’s not what I said…but it is what I thought).

Him:  Okay.

Me:   Did you know your tires are bald and your clutch is almost totally blown?

Him:  Yes

Me.  okay then.

I turned the truck around and just when I got it all the way around and pointed up hill….

Him:  I got it from here.

Me: I think I’ll try.

The side kick girls:   You better let her do it.

Tee Hee.  Oh how glad I am not to be sixteen anymore.  This kid is never going to live it down.  I hope he learns from it though.

 

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Cars anyone?

My first car was fast. It was not cool but it was fast. I was totally thrilled and am still grateful to my parents for a car of my own. It was a 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Chocolate brown. It smelled vaguely like maple syrup. My friends and I called it the brown bomb. The car had sometime lost the lining in the roof and therefore rained down orange fuzz on the driver (me) and any passengers (usually my sister). Used to be a diesel but someone had converted it and put in a 350. This is entirely too much engine for a brand new driver. I got three speeding tickets in this car.

My second car was a bright red completely stripped down Dodge Neon. I bought it myself with payments for five full years. I do not recommend this plan to anyone. I test drove the fully loaded version and then bought the stripped down one without driving it. I do not recommend this plan to anyone. I could not drive the car home because I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. We took the car the next weekend to SunRiver for a college retreat. We took along walkie talkies and my friend drove in front of me and spent the entire trip on the walkie talkie telling me when to shift. I do not recommend this plan to anyone. I got one speeding ticket in this car.

My third car was a blue hatch back Hyundai Elantra. My mom and I went to the dealer to buy this car and refused to go inside the dealership for any of the purchase. While the sales people thought we were deranged, it was a very speedy negotiation and the fastest car purchase on history. I totally recommend this plan to everyone. I got another speeding ticket in this car.

I’d like to say that I quit speeding when I got pregnant and realized I was carrying precious cargo. That’s not actually what did it. My aunt found out somehow that I had five speeding tickets. My aunt lost her husband and her daughter to cancer. So when she raised her voice and told me that I was absolutely not allowed to endanger her future niece or nephew I listened. I haven’t had a speeding ticket since.

My daughter and my nephew both have little mini cars they love to drive around various parking areas. It scares me a little. I know they are having fun and a bump or scrape won’t remotely matter. I want them both to grow up and get their own cars. I will cheer when they get their driver’s licenses. But I have to be honest, I hope their cars are not fast.

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Driving from Gisenyi to Kigali

Driving across Rwanda is a combination of exhaustion, terror and awe. The exhaustion comes from 5:00 AM starts and 11:00 PM bedtimes. The terror comes from windy, narrow lanes, huge tour buses, delivery trucks, bicycles, tons of people and people who change lanes on the corners by very large ravines. The awe comes from the red flowers in the trees, the banana leaves drying on adobe houses, the children who smile and wave, the women who scale mountainsides with heavy loads on their heads and the mountains…oh the mountains. God did a great job when He created Rwanda. It’s gorgeous. The four hour drive from Gisenyi is a good time to reflect and consider what it means to come home and what it means to leave children whose home is Rwanda.

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