Yesterday as I was thinking about my dad on his birthday, I thought how fun it would be to take a few minutes and write down a favorite story here on this ole blog as a small birthday gift. And then I thought, what fun it would be to keep it up, sharing stories all year long for all my favorite people.
And then the night went by and I totally forgot. So I hope Dad is cool with a belated birthday gift. Maybe I'll write two stories to make up for it!
It was just me and my parents at home growing up, and although we lived in a relatively-small community, I was involved in a lot of activities. So it is no surprise that the spring of my freshman year my parents signed me up for driver's ed.
Of course, along with classroom lessons we had drive-time with instructors. But these were only scheduled three or four times over the course, so we were expected to get lots of drive-time in with our parents.
The one and only time I remember Dad letting me drive we were going along a relatively windy road, no other cars in sight, cruising along at the speed limit: a mere 35 miles per hour.
My dad's breathing was labored, his knuckles were white and he was obviously extremely stressed out.
"Deanna," he panted. "It's a speed LIMIT. You don't HAVE to go that fast. You are welcome to go slower."
I spent the rest of my driving hours behind the wheel of the van with mom in the passenger seat.
My parents were owners of classic cars for many years of my childhood, and enjoyed car shows and swap meets and various other boring activities like that. They couldn't resist a good deal so at one point we had at least four cars and only two licensed drivers. One year (I think I was 14) they left me in the care of a friend and took off for a weekend of classic car fun. Wary of what these weekends often entailed, I gave them strict instructions NOT TO BUY ANOTHER CAR while they were away.
When we pulled into the driveway after picking me up from my friend's house, there it sat, another car. A PINK car. A car that I had explicitly told them NOT TO PURCHASE.
So I started in with the lecture. What were they thinking? Why did they buy another car? Don't we have enough cars?
Are you finished? I was asked.
Not yet! I had more lecturing to do. Hadn't I specifically told them not to buy another car? What were they doing with all those cars anyway?
Are you finished? I was asked again.
Nope! Not yet?! Don't we have better things to spend our money on than ANOTHER car? I could give them a few suggestions.
After a lot of lecture, finally I was done. Ugh. WHY? Now we had FIVE cars and TWO drivers.
This is your car, they smiled.
Oh. Well. In that case. Let me remove my foot from my mouth and come check it out.
This sweet car served me well all through high school. But that's another story for another day.