Saturday, March 27, 2010

Driving like an old lady

I started to learn how to drive in an old truck (which my dad still has!) with a stick shift and no power steering. When it appeared that my dad was going to have apoplexy trying to teach me, my mom took over and I resumed leaning in the family car, a Ford station wagon (the Ramblin' Ranch) which was also a stick shift. 

My first car was a Ford Falcon, with a stick shift. So was my second car. I later was given the Ramblin’ Ranch, which we had to leave behind in Oregon because when we moved here because something was messed up in the front end and it wouldn’t tow properly behind the U-haul truck. 

Since then we have owned quite a variety of cars, some with standard transmissions, some without. The car I drive now has an automatic transmission, but the two main cars – a Toyota Corolla and a Ford Ranger – are both stick shift. Just saying all this so ya’ll believe me when I say I know how to push in a clutch and shift a gear, which is why what happened yesterday is rather embarrassing.

So yesterday morning when I set to leave out of here for town, there was such a thick coating of ice on my car that my dearly beloved suggested I take the truck, which he had earlier scraped the ice off of so he could haul the trash up to the highway to be picked up.

So I set off in the Ranger, which doesn’t have a whole lot power and definitely needs the 5 forward gears on the floor to get up to speed. I stopped at the intersection and waited.... and waited.... for the stream of high school kids driving to school to pass. The speed limit there is 45 mph but many of the drivers on that road coming in from the countryside are moving right along, probably at 55. I probably should have let two more cars pass but I was tired of waiting, so I pulled out, shifted into 2nd as I completed the left turn, accelerated some more, and got ready to shift into 3rd. 

Instead, I ended up in 5th gear. Naturally, the engine lost all of its power, so instead of continuing to accelerate, there I was poking along at about 30 mph with cars coming up behind me having to put on the brakes. I should have immediately shifted back down to 3rd gear and started over, but I was sort of rattled and so I didn’t. I can just imagine what they were thinking.

I’m not old enough yet to be an old lady driver!


Oklahoma Granny said...

My brother let me use his old standard shift truck a few times until something happened to the transmission and he blamed me for it - me? why me? I didn't attempt to drive a stick shift again until my youngest was in grade school and I did quite nicely, thank you very much. How many kids now-a-days do you think even know what a stick shift is?

Nedine Says said...

My father started to teach me how to drive on a VW bug stick shift back in the 60's. After one outing he gave up, He had no patience and I was relieved. My first car was a green Ford Falcon with yellow hippie flower power stickers on it and I thought it was the coolest thing around. When first married I had to drive my husbands Mustang stick and I got used to it but still prefer automatic transmission. I still drive like an old lady !

Leilani Lee said...

Wow! My Ford Falcon was green and I also stuck hippy flower power stickers on it too.