Today’s post is about the adventures that I had in learning to drive a car. Although I love traveling on foot, I realize that, at times, that method of transportation is too slow to be practical. Also, in the winter, I am sometimes risking hypothermia just to get in a good walk. A few years ago, I decided that it was time to learn how to drive a car.
For the most part, I found driving to be a great deal of fun. I drove in a big circle around Grand Island. Winter came and my friend/driving instructor and I went to the empty parking lot at Beaver Island State Park where I did donuts. That was fun. Maybe too much fun. I drove in tight circles and said “whee!” It was OK because it was an empty parking lot. I stopped when my friend began turning green. (Making your driving teacher carsick may not be the best plan.)
But then, the scary part began. I had to drive over the Grand Island bridges. They are high and big and very intimidating. I told a friend at church that I was too scared to walk over the Grand Island bridges and that I wasn’t sure that I could drive over them, either.
“Don’t think of them as bridges,” my friend advised. “Just think of them as big hills.”
Hills. Big hills. OK. Well, I’ve walked over some really big hills. They aren’t scary. Maybe a little annoying because of the effort that it takes to climb. I decided that I would approach the bridges as if they were hills. Never mind the churning water beneath the “hill.” The Niagara River. My friend, who was my first driving teacher, was calm enough to let me drive onto the expressway and over the bridges. We went into Niagara Falls some days and, other days, we went into Buffalo.
Finally, it was time for me to take my road test. I drove with some trepidation to the test site. I say trepidation because I didn’t think that I was quite ready. I had not really mastered the art of Parallel Parking. My parallel parking was hit or miss. Unfortunately, it was mostly miss. I spent the days before the road test watching YouTube videos about how to parallel park. Every video showed a different technique. My head started spinning so I gave up on Learning Parking Via YouTube. It also did not help that my friend had had a few accidents and the car looked like a crushed tin can.