I’ve always bragged about my driving record. As with many, I started driving at the age of 16.
I’ll grant you, I’ve never traveled much cross-country or in a foreign land, (such as Canada).
Still, no person of the law enforcement has ever flagged me down on the highway.
I’ve always been quite proud of that.
Oh yes, there was that time in New Hampshire. Returning to the campground where our fifth-wheel awaited, my husband was tired so I was driving.
It was almost midnight. You may wonder why the time would be of importance. There were no cars to be seen on the road through town. Trying to navigate the unfamiliar left turn at a cross section, I didn’t see the traffic light.
It was blinking red… apparently.
I could see the red flashing light of the police car in the rear-view mirror.
A traffic officer appeared at my window. Why he was cruising this deserted road at midnight, I’ll never know.
“I didn’t see the light, officer”, I said. “I was searching for the turn and guess I was preoccupied”.
He was very nice and quietly remarked, “You’ll need to be more careful in the future”. There was no ticket…whew!
Now let me think. The only time I received a traffic ticket was in 2013 when I was traveling a local highway, apparently at the speed of 74 mph in a 55 mph zone.
A township officer, who was hiding in a nearby forest, must have believed she had a live one.
The marked car followed me persistently until I pulled to the side of the road. Without even saying hello, the officer said, “Don’t you have a cruise control?” “Yes officer”, I said…
“but it doesn’t work”.
“I’ll have to write you a ticket, she said.
Standing by the car she began to fill out the citation. “I have not had a ticket since I started to drive at the age of 16,” I said, smiling quietly.
” I suppose I will have to quit telling my friends I’m a “virgin driver”. (I was quite sure she’d noticed my birth year of 1935 on the driver’s license.)
An understanding smile crossed her face. “I’ll just write the ticket for 60 mph.” “But be careful you don’t get another within the next three years or your insurance will increase.”
Thanking her profusely,I drove on my merry way, silently cherishing my sense of humor which was inherited from my Mother.
* * *
Last Monday I drove a few miles down the road to our local McDonald’s where I intended to buy myself a Big Mac and an order of fries. Just as I left home, my son said
“Pick me up a large strawberry shake”.
So I did.
As is my usual routine I drove through the Wal-Mart parking lot which would allow me to enter the road at the light. It’s much safer.
As I approached the light, it was green. Slowly proceeding across the highway I prepared to turn left toward home.
At this point I can only tell you what I assume happened.
There was a loud bump on the driver’s side of my car near my left shoulder. The side airbag inflated. Truthfully, I wasn’t aware of the airbag at the time.
The car was now tilted a little bit to the right and was located several feet to the right of the light, in the opposite direction of home.
A quick look told me there were remnants of a strawberry shake all over my car, up, down, and sideways.
As I recall, the Big Mac and fries were never seen again…but I digress…
Wondering where my glasses were, I noticed them sitting in the corner of the dashboard on the passenger side of the car.
Now that’s odd,
or maybe it wasn’t.
A nice gentleman came over to the car and asked me if I was all right. “Yes, I’m fine”, I said. (Later was when I found the scrapes and bruises and aches, but once again… I digress.)
My son came to give me a ride home and the wrecker took my car away.
A few days later the insurance adjuster called to inform me the car was totaled.
I now have a new (used) car, a new appreciation for driver side airbags, a new understanding of the need for seat belts, and some other things I haven’t thought of yet.
The lady in the car that crashed into me had run through a red light and apparently wasn’t aware of the color. (Until she collided with me, of course.)
The lady’s car was also totaled.
Oh yes, there is one thing which has recently occurred to me. This must become part of my driving habits. When I’m approaching a green light in the future, make sure that no one is coming from the right or the left, appearing to be maintaining speed, seemingly making no preparation to stop at the red light.
Loved to write since high school..as the years pass memories and relationships are primary. (There is also room for an opinion or two.) Feeling good at the age of eighty-five, enjoying life and a hobby of photography. Lived on a small farm for sixty-one years. welcomed three sons, two grandkids, and 3 greats. Owned and operated an Ace Hardware and Hallmark Shop, managing also to raise sheep for ten years. Shared sixty-two years of marriage before his passing in 2017. One son has also passed on to the next life, Memories really are "Made From This". Welcome to my world!