Happy Birthday Madi

Today for Madi’s 16th Birthday Celebration, Mom will tell about how she learned to drive.

Xena: *yawn*

My Grandma was afraid to teach Mom, so she hired a professional driving teacher when Mom was 17. He said she was “a natural” and she passed her driving test the first time.

Xena: Seriously? People get paid to teach people how to drive? It just doesn’t look that hard. Push a stick here, turn a wheel there, move your feet around, and voilà, we are where we are going. Kind of sounds like a Dr. Seuss story, doesn’t it? 

Don’t interrupt me, Xena. Where was I? Oh yes. Just a year or so sooner and Mom would have learned in the family ’54 Buick Century. The seats were blue, so Grandma called it Blue Belle. Grandma had to get another car because of all the salt on the roads to melt the snow. The salt killed that big, heavy car. Even its eyes fell in. This is a picture of what it looked like (credit to Mr. Google). 

Xena: No wonder Mommy doesn’t let us have much salt. Uh, Lucy, isn’t that Angel Lexi in the back seat? Was she with Mom way back then?

Um, I don’t think so, Xe. We’ll have to check with Mom about that.

Here’s a picture from January, 1960, of the actual car with my Grandma and her sister in front of the apartment where Mom grew up. 

Xena: Wait, Lucy. Who is that running from behind the bush?

*eyes wide* Let’s just keep going.

When Mom got a boyfriend…

Xena: Mommy got a boyfriend? Really? You’re fibbing, Luce. Mommy would never have a boyfriend. She’s married to Daddy.

When Mom got her first boyfriend a long time before she met Dad, he taught her how to drive something called a straight shift in his old Chevy Nova. We have another picture of what it looked like, courtesy again of Mr. Google. Mom says it was old and beat up and had red seats and didn’t look nearly that good.

Here’s the funny part. Her boyfriend lived out in the country with lots of woods. One part had a dirt track around it, so he showed Mom how to change gears and told her to just drive around the track. She got going too fast and forgot which foot to use for the brake ’cause there were now three pedals instead of two. This silly boy stood in the track waving his arms and yelling at her to stop. She didn’t want to run him over so she swerved into the woods and the car bumped over rocks and big sticks and barely missed trees until it finally stalled out on top of a log. A few days later, after he fixed his car, he took Mom into town and told her to drive his car around while he went into a store. The main road, State Street, was on a bit of a hill. Mom had stopped at a red light, and the car behind her kept running into her bumper. Finally, the man got out of his car and came up to Mom’s window. He explained that it was her drifting back into him, and did she have her foot on the break. She said no, just on the clutch. So that’s how Mom learned to drive a stick shift.

Xena: I think I will just learn to drive our T-Lex. 

Our what?

Xena: Our T-Lex. That’s what Mommy named the car she bought for Angel Lexi before Lexi was an Angel. It’s a Toyota Lexus, hence T-Lex. Isn’t Mommy funny, he, he? How old do I have to be to drive?

I think 16 years old.

Xena: Oh. Well let’s just wish Madi of Madi and Mom a very, very happy 16th birthday, and happy driving!

Lots of love from Lucy, Xena and Mom

This is a blog hop, but since Mom isn’t smart enough can never get linked up properly, just hop over to Madi and Mom’s blog to leave your birthday wishes and hop along.