I think I must have been seventeen years old when my Dad bought a brand new Chevrolet Biscayne. I remember coming home from a trip to the shore with my friend Priscilla and finding the car sitting in our driveway. I was real excited about the new car ... until I discovered it was a standard shift, three speeds on the column.
That was Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning my dad was leaving on a trip. He was a long distance truck driver and we were a one car family. Oh yes, one other thing...my mom didn't drive. So, before the sun was up on Sunday, Dad and I got into the car. He told me what to do and I drove him the seventeen miles to the factory where he would pick up his rig and take off for Oklahoma. At the guard gate he kissed me goodbye and said, "You'll be fine". And I was on my own.
Well, good old Dad was right and I was fine. In fact, that is by far my favorite car ever. We kept that car for three or four years (about as long as my dad could go without trading cars) and I probably drove it as much as he did.
As easy as driving that old three speed on the column was for me, I could never quite master the art of driving a four speed, or heaven forbid, a five speed, on the floor. Try as I might, I just couldn't get it. Until now!!!
I may have mentioned in a previous post that we became the proud owners of a Subaru Legacy named Olivia last month.
Olivia is a sweet little car, previously owned by our dear brother, LaVerne. Jim really likes her a lot and says she has a lot of power, etc. The problem with Olivia is, that darned gear shift...all five speeds of it.
Jim says I MUST learn to drive Olivia, and of course, he's right. What if for some reason Homer is in the garage, or has a flat tire and Jim isn't home....you get the picture. It is important that I be able to drive both of our cars. Soooo, Sunday afternoon after we had finished our walk on the high school track I decided to take the bull by the horns, or as it were, Olivia by the gear shift.
The high school parking lot was empty, and if I do say so myself, I did quite well. Jim, on the other hand, says he wouldn't advise I go the open road just yet. He says maybe when I quit looking at the gear shift and start looking at the road, then maybe I can try the open road.