Posted by: Kathy | August 5, 2011

Driving Mishaps – Funny Memories

My mom was a good driver. I trusted her to drive my children anywhere. But she always seemed to have issues with driving. Unfortunately, as my husband would tell you, I seem to have these same issues. But when I think of my mom’s driving, the minor accidents and mishaps she experienced, I have to smile.

I remember once when my mom tried to parallel park somewhere. First, she accidentally bumped the car parked behind her, then as she tried to straighten the car into the parking space, she accidentally bumped the car in parked in front of us. Finally, she had parked in the space, with no damage to any of the cars, but I was laughing as she was trying to park the car. Of course, she didn’t find it amusing, or at least that’s what she told me at the time. There was another evening when she had come home from work I believe. My brother should have been home by then, but his car was nowhere in sight. My mom got so flustered about my brother not being home that she wasn’t really paying attention to what she was doing as she pulled the car into the garage. She accidentally hit the side of the garage, not only denting the frame of the garage but also cracking the concrete foundation of the house. Every time I see the brick that was placed to fix the foundation, I remember my mom with a smile.

We always had extra sets of keys for the cars, just in case. One summer afternoon, my mom somehow locked the keys in her car while the car was running. She called me in a panic to bring her the spare set of keys. Although I really have no room to talk because 20+ years later I locked my keys in the car when I went to get from son from daycare. After the tow truck had come and unlocked the car, I accidentally locked my keys in the car again, along with my son. Not my best of moments.

I think the worst time was a day in December while I was in college. I was home on winter break and had a part-time job at a bank. Even though the roads were icy, I insisted on going to work, against my mother’s advice. The one road I took to work was windy and narrow, and although I was going slowly, I lost control of the car and slid into the guard rail. I didn’t do much damage to my car, but I was really shaken and didn’t trust myself to drive on the icy roads. Less than a mile down the road was a gas station, where I could leave my car until I figured out what to do. So I called my mom and asked if she could come and take me home. Leaning against my car, I waited for her for what seemed liked a really long time given the distance she had to drive. When I finally saw her car, I noticed that the front right bumper was basically hanging off the car, almost scraping the ground, and the right front wheel was shaking. On her way to get me, she slid off the road and hit a tree, doing worse damage to her car than I had done to mine. I stayed upstairs while she called my dad to tell him about the accidents, and he had both cars towed to a garage he always used to be repaired. I didn’t come downstairs until I had to, afraid to face my dad.

I’m a decent driver, but I have to admit that I’ve destroyed almost as many cars as I’ve owned. Right now, I am driving my mom’s car because mine had an unknown oil leak and the engine seized up. The car cost more to fix than it was worth. I take very good care of my mom’s car because it means a lot to me. I believe she knows that I am driving it and has left pennies for me and my daughter to find.

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Responses

  1. Hi Deb. Thanks for sharing your car connection with your mom. I agree, our connections are very different but have a special meaning to each of us. I enjoyed reading your connection. ~ Kathy

  2. My mom wasn’t a very good driver. I wouldn’t say I’m a great driver, but I’d probably classify myself as slightly better than her. Slightly.

    Mostly when I get in the car, I remember how my mom always used to have to drive $100-$200 cars from ads in the newspaper. She was lucky if they lasted a half-year.

    It was bearing this in mind that I looked at the sum I got from the sale of my house and went, “Should I use part of this to pay off my car?” And I decided I ought. My mom never got to drive a brand-new car, and seldom enjoyed the luxury of a full tank. Because of her struggles, I’m blessed to own a car, and to be able to fill it up every single time I stop at a gas station.

    We connect to our moms through our cars in very different ways, but . . . the connections are both sweet, it seems.


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