Drivin’ My Life Away

“Those windshield wipers slappin’ out a tempo,
Keepin’ perfect rhythm with the song on the radio,
But I got to keep rollin’ . . . ”

Until recently, I the Mother of this pack, was the main driver of my children.  The one to ensure all daily comings and goings were done efficiently and safely.  If my husband is with us, I defer to him, and he drives. But today, I relinquished control to 22-year old Culley behind the wheel, and 16-year old Livi in the navigator’s seat, which was not an easy thing for me to do.  I sat in the back seat, and listened as the synergy between the two of them played out.  It was a great trip, made short by fluid conversation and Livi’s great playlist. Today, all this driving, and what felt like a seismic shift in our driving roles got me  thinking about my history with driving, and some important drivers in my life.

Gordon Livingston McCully.  My dad was the best driver I knew: cars, motorcycles, or boats.  He was prepared for most any road situation.  He was in control, and his vast knowledge of all things mechanical seeped its way into his driving ability.  He knew what every ping and rev of an engine meant.  All this to say, I felt sublimely safe with him, when he was behind the wheel.  Also, he was my most patient, unflappable driving instructor who loved being in the car and on the road.  Daddy = Roads Scholar.

Jim Lesch.  My husband is the most cautious driver I know.  He opts for slow and steady, which works for him, and for the past 27 years has served our family beautifully.  He’s the only person I know who’s been driving as long as he has, and has never gotten a speeding ticket.  I learn from his methodical approach to driving every time I get in the car with him. He’s the Zen-master of the road.  He yields to drivers; let’s them in if they are merging, and is never aggressive.  All this, and he’ll tell you, he dislikes driving, especially road trips.  Jim = Safe & Courteous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenny McCully Hoagland.  My baby sister is one of the finest drivers I know, too, probably because we learned from the same man: Gordo.  Jenny, however, inherited his love of speed, which he always kept in check, but she does not, necessarily. She wastes no time dawdling, and if she’s alone, she will seek a thrill.  Her theory of driving: get from A to Z as safely and quickly as possible.  And also, have a good time while driving. That usually means some great music, and some bubble gum or lollipops.  Jenny = Fun & Safe.

In the book that I will one day write about my mother, Thelma, there will be an entire chapter dedicated to her driving.  There’s a lot of material there 😉  And for today, I hope and pray that my children have inherited the safe-driving gene that runs in our family.  As I’ve often realized, there is no more comforting sound than the garage door opening, signifying their return home.

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And if you made it this far. . . here’s a throwback to my car-washing days 😉

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Drivin’ My Life Away”

  1. I dont know what it is in our family. We all seem to have remarkable hand eye coordination.
    Our driving abilities, the kids being so great at video games, my ability to hit the bulls eye, whether it be a bow or a gun.
    My husband, also my high performance driving instructor, has always said…
    It’s not something that can be taught. He belives that you’re born with it.
    I have a good Daddy driving memory.
    He and I went somewhere in Sheila’s little 5 speed Ford Tempo.
    I remember him feeling the music as Bruce Springstein’s Dancing in the dark song played, heeling and toeing, matching revs as he down shifted. I remember looking over at him thinking it was so cool how he drove.
    That’s a skill I’m trying to learn!!
    Now, Mama.
    I have a memory of us in the back seat, screaming at her “Go Mama GO”!!! As she overtook another car because I guess he was just going too slow and was in our way! 🙂

    • Daddy and music and driving. All inextricably linked. Mama, more daredevil, for sure! And that arm thrown out over little bodies if she had to slam on brakes. The Mama-Reaction. We all have done that! Love you 🙂 xo, P

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