Baby, You Can Drive My Car

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
If you're a longtime reader of this blog, it's no secret that since the demise of Corolla II early last spring (March '11), I've spent a fair amount of time feeling like I was on house arrest. When you live in the woods, about the only place you can get by locomotion of your own two feet is . . . well, into more woods. We decided to replace the Corolla last May with a Subaru Baja. Despite the fact that the car has a manual transmission which at the time I didn't know how to drive, we bought it for myriad of factors: good car, convenient, good price, convenient . . . .

And as we all know, when it came to learn how to drive a stick, I took a cue from the Tortoise of "Tortoise and the Hare" fame and opted for the "slow, but steady" approach.

But . . . BUT!

 This weekend, I drove down to the Cities to visit my friend Sarah. Before I left on Friday morning, I discovered that Andy had left Post-It notes around the house that said "I love you!" While sweet, the gesture smacked of his wanting to make sure I went out with a message of love on the off chance that the trip ended with my untimely demise.

Luckily, the Post-Its can now simply be viewed as a sweet gesture, because I totally made it!

That's right. This gal made the five and a half hour trip (one way) all by her lonesome in a manual transmission. I learned cruise control, I gassed the car up two times en route, I did interstates. A Mother's Day miracle.

Well, maybe not a miracle, per se.

I opted to take the Baja on its first junket over the county line in a year to Sarah's because I've driven to Sarah's many, many times and am very confident of the route. (Other Cities dwelling friends, I will catch you next time!)

Sarah and  I spent a pretty low key weekend doing some shopping, eating, and catching up. As two non-mothers, unaware of the flowery focus of Mother's Day, we accidentally braved Bachman's greenhouse on the busiest day of the year other than Valentine's Day. When we weren't playing bumper cars with our fellow customers, we did get soak up a lot of flower therapy. Because I'm cheap started so many plants at home, I only picked up a couple plants: 2 pepper plants because mine are so teeny yet, some chives because I'm anxious to try some chive blossom vinegar, and a curry plant. Turns out the curry spice comes from a curry tree, not a curry plant, but the plant smells delicious and will be happy little addition to the flower garden.

After the successful trip to the Cities, on Monday, Andy decided it was time for me to learn how to drive the motor boat. Despite initially flooding the engine, it went quite well. That is, until we got to the dock and I realized I didn't know how to turn the motor off.

Don't worry, boat, dock and passengers are all fine; we just had to row our way out of the shoreline weeds to actually moor the boat to the dock.

Being able to drive myself wherever I please is huge boost to my sense of independence, which in turn positively impacts my happiness and well-being.  But while I may no longer feel like I'm on house arrest, it'll be a while before I can jet off at the drop of a hat. Summer craziness (and scheduling inflexibility) is upon us. I started back at work full time this week, so postings may be sporadic until I get my sea legs back under me.


  1. You're the manual transmission QUEEN! And the boat, too? Red letter week, my friend.

  2. Better get used to driving a manual on the other side of the car, so we can rent one in Ireland :D

    1. My head hurts just thinking about it. Roundabouts!

    2. I will be the chief navigator and screamer.

  3. I gave you the versatile blogger award, come on by and pick it up!:)

  4. wow you did all kinds of driving! That must be a liberating feeling to know that you have more options :) plus this time of year always feels like less cabin fever regardless since its not freezing!

  5. I hated learning how to drive a stick so KUDOS to you!!! Now you can go wherever you want!!!

  6. My car died about a month ago, and while I don't live in the woods, I do live a significant ways from my necessary destinations. Yet, I'm still disinclined to buy a car. Maybe extreme heat in summer with persuade me.

  7. Good for you Ada! I drove our stick shift pickup truck years ago as a kid on the farm and only on our land. Never got it out of 2nd gear! Ha!

  8. Ada, you must be so proud of yourself! I can totally relate to this. I don't generally drive long distances or places I haven't been. I am learning to now that I am on my own. It feels good. Like you said, It boosts your sense of independence. Hooray!

  9. Love the blog!!! Saw you on the Hop. Please follow me back!!!


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