Insert Grace Here…

…finding grace to help in the time of need…

Where’d You Get YOUR Driving Skills—Nana?

Nana (our Mom) didn’t learn to drive from a drunk Grandaddy.  Instead, she learned from the man who learned from the drunk Grandaddy.

I don’t recall what age she was when Dad taught her how to drive, but I know she was 33 when she got her license.  So, technically, she has about a three year gain on Ginger at this point.  Your times up, Ginger!

Mom was a stay at home mom when we were little.  Other than helping Dad—a self-employed painter—on occasion, she was home with us when we were growing up.  The driving demands of mothers at that time was nothing to be compared to today.  Getting rides to doctor’s appointments summed up the extent of her dependency on friends.  It wasn’t until we were playing ball that she realized it was time to get that license.  As she puts it, “calling a friend for a ride to the doctor is one thing, to take your kids to ball practice is another.”

Mom drove before she got her license, though.  I’m not sure how long that went on, but I can tell you how it ended.  An officer pulled her over one day for a myriad of violations that she doesn’t completely recall.  She had an improper tag which might have caught his eye.  But there was more to the story.  She remembers him approaching the window and asking with a very stern voice, “let’s see…where should we start lady?”  He read off a list of violations before he asked “the question”.

She had no insurance.  But she knew what he wanted.  Her license.  She laid her head on the steering wheel when he asked for it.

He looked at her in disbelief.  “Lady, don’t tell me you had your license revoked?”

“No.  I don’t have one.” 

He was no doubt exasperated at this point.  “What am I gonna’ do with you, Lady?”  At least he was gentleman.  Notice how he kept calling her lady?  That’s quoted, people.

Mom threw herself on his mercy.  “Sir, I have four kids.  My mother is dead.  We’re from Florida.  I don’t have anyone.  If you put me in jail, who’s gonna’ take care of my kids?  You?”  (Good one, Mom!)

He told her that her face and car were etched in his mind.  If he so much as saw her on a side street, she would go to jail if she did not get her license and get her car legal.

So that’s what it took.  That and ball practice. 

Driving without a license seems to be a problem in this family.  Here’s a story about MY driving skills that had a big effect on the Nana…

As I said in Ginger’s post, I learned to drive as a teen, but didn’t get my license until I was 19.  But, like much of my family, I drove without a license.

While Dad worked out of state for quite some time, Mom walked to work to a nearby K&B (now Rite Aid).  She saved up enough cash to buy a car.  If I remember correctly, it cost around $400.  Stop giggling!  Sure, it was a hoopty, but it was “her” hoopty—bought and paid for by the sweat of her brow.  She was proud.

She let me drive it one night to pick up my friend, Jennifer, from work.  Jennifer was two years younger than me, but she had her license.  Mom let me go but insisted that I let her drive after I picked her up.

I didn’t.  Nope.  “I” wanted to drive.  The road to Jennifer’s house was “a long and winding road”.  I recall a bit of play in the steering wheel, not paying attention, driving off the road a bit, then overcorrecting BIG TIME.  I drove across the other side of the road smack-dab into a tree.

We were staring straight up that tree with the headlights beaming, the engine roaring and radio playing.  But all we could hear was the sound of our screams.  There were no seatbelt laws at that time.  Jen slid over to the driver’s side.  There we were…scrunched together, looking from the tree to each other, screaming to the tops of our lungs with our mouths wide-open.  It was like a bad horror movie.

A teen boy was nearby and heard the commotion.  He drove us down to Jen’s house where we decided Jen would be the one to call Mom.  We didn’t call the police.  What would we say?  I’m sure Mom didn’t want to bank on history repeating with a merciful Officer.  That was the last time I saw that car.  We found out the next day it had been towed.  The towing fees and repair costs were more than the car was worth.  I had smashed Mom’s pride and joy.

Mom was forgiving.  But to this day, Jen still acts like I can’t drive.  She’s a nervous wreck when she rides with me, which in turn makes me a nervous wreck.  Let it go, Jen.  Let it go. 🙂

That’s another look into the driving skills of our family.  So, where’d you get YOUR driving skills?  If you’d like to share a story, leave us a comment or a link to a post about your driving mishaps.

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5 Comments»

  Lisa Demars wrote @

Oh those days you try to forget! Heheeheheheh I waited until I was 18 to get my license. One night the 1st time I was driving home in the dark the O.P.P. car pulled me over, The male Officer said have you been drinking, I said no Officer this is my 1st time driving in the dark and the road was very curvy and his car light were going in to my eyes I was getting real Nervous. He was right on my rear before he pulled me over! I have not be pulled over since that time I’ve been Thanking someone for that!

  Lisa Demars wrote @

Oh ya I post 2 cute video on my blog! Stop by girl you will be lol for awhile! too funny!

  Ginger wrote @

No worries about ME driving without a license! Let’s keep this convo. going for all the nameless non-drivers out there. This isn’t New York, but I know they’re out there… come on ladies!

  Cleaning Master wrote @

Well I’m from Belgium, and here we have to wait until we’re 18 before we can get a drivers license.

  Lisa @ The Preacher’s Wife wrote @

How funny!

I learned to drive when I was eleven from my senile great grandfather. He was the love of my life. Seriously.

I remember once driving down the road and almost having a head on collision with a woman coming in the opposite direction. Pop jerked the wheel back to the right side of the road and I just knew he’d make me pull over and let him drive. Instead he said, “Did you see the look on her face?” and laughed the heartiest laugh imaginable. Oh how I miss him.

Unfortunately, my skillz have not improved much. :))


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