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14 November 2007


I wrote this for a small group of friends about a year ago.

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Two elderly women were out driving in a large car -- both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself "I must be losing it, I could have sworn we just went through a red light". After a few more minutes they came to another intersection and the light was red again, and again they went right through. This time the woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it. She was was getting nervous and decided to pay very close attention to the road and the next intersection to see what was going on. At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was definitely red and they went right through and she turned to the other woman and said, 'Mildred! Did you know we just ran through three red lights in a row! You could have killed us!" Mildred turned to her and said 'Oh, am I driving?'

I'm a terrible passenger. It scares the padoodles outa me when I see brake lights ahead and the person to my left speeds on as if he hasn't noticed. I sit there in a tight, white-knuckled little knot, shoving my feet into the floorboard as hard as I can.

Duller hasn't helped at all. He drives like all those other maniacs. And it certainly doesn't help that he's been stopped for speeding twice this year. That was before his accident. He used to drift off sometimes. I'd look over and see his eyes closed and yell at him. He'd look at me all huffy and say, 'I was praying'. (Yeah, me too!) I kept telling him God allows you to pray with your eyes open. Over the years, he's taken out a mailbox, driven over one of those concrete stops in a parking lot, hit a deer, run over a turtle (trying to straddle it)... I often wonder why he's still alive! My friends are beginning to understand why, for the past few years, I've been doing all the driving.

I have a magnet on my fridge that says 'Let go, Let God'. This goes against all my self-preservation instincts. (And I have some serious trust issues.) It's a daily conscious decision. Some days, I can sit in life's passenger seat and actually relax, knowing He's in control. It's the days that I try to grab the wheel that everything seems to go wrong.

I'm not sure just where He's taking me right now, but I'm gonna try my best to enjoy the ride.


Cathy S. said...

Ooh. Wait until your teenager starts to drive. You will be in big trouble. Good for your prayer life though. One piece of advice: DRIVER'S EDUCATION. My oldest would not drive with me because the first time I took him out to drive, I ducked under the dashboard and screamed. It sure appeared to me he was going right into a ditch. The view is definately different from the passenger's seat. But, I am confident that God is a better driver than we are and will take you some amazing places that will bring you great joy as long as you keep your hands off the wheel.

SophieMae said...

Cathy, DS has already survived his teen years. Believe it or not. he's the one person for whom I can ride shotgun. He's an excellent driver and I only occasionally get a little nervous. 8-}

You're right... things look WAY different from the passenger side. I never knew that tree was so close to the edge of the driveway.

Sometimes, I have to clench my fists and grit my teeth to keep my hands off the wheel. I'm gradually getting better at it.

Peggy said...

Thanks for your comment on my bear sighting! Yes, he was coming from deep woods so only accessible by boat. The river enters the NWR but this was actually about a quarter-mile south of the boundary. I was so excited.

BTW, I relate very well to your driving post (tried to comment when you first posted it but Blogger wouldn't let me--hope this makes it)--I am the driver in this family, after DH dozed off at the wheel once on I-10...

SophieMae said...

On I-10! Gadzooks! Good thing you were there to wake him up!

I'm thinking I need to go look for eagles tomorrow. If I time it right, maybe one of those bears will show his face. It could happen. 8-}

Steve said...

Great story and related material following! I really like the humor.

Y'all be careful on the roads.

rcwbiologist said...

My sister used to drive like a maniac. Once while driving from San Diego to Los Angeles I had to tell her that if she didn't stop following so closely and swerving in and out of every car she came to I was going to have to drive for her or she could let me out of the car. No joke, I told her that. Luckily it helped.

SophieMae said...

Steve, that's one of my favourite fun stories. The punchline has been repeated in my car on several occasions. ;-]

RCWB, good on ya for speaking up! Now that I'm in a small car, I'm even more aware of just how close those trucks behind me really are. Pretty scary sometimes.