Tag Archives: driving

The car is not the dining room table

Another morning of driving in commuter traffic. The battery in Terry’s car gave up the ghost over the weekend and today was the first day we could get it into the shop so I was out in early morning traffic. I’m sure glad I don’t have to drive on those roads so early every morning. Usually 9 or later is my drive time, after the majority of workers have made their trek.

Today, while slowly creeping along a busy thoroughfare, I see the driver behind me tipping a bowl up to her face, like she’s drinking soup. I guess it must have been milk from her cereal. A little farther down the road and she’s using a spoon to get the remainder of the solids out of the bowl. I could only shake my head.

I had gotten up at my usual time of 6, had breakfast, read the newspaper, put on my makeup and dressed, and was still on the road shortly after 7:30. Oh, and I did my exercises. I wouldn’t think of eating cereal (or soup) in my car because I can be sloppy and would have spilled it all over my lap. What happens if you have to stop quickly, or make a fast lane change, or turn? I would be a mess by the time I got to work.

Maybe a dry cereal that I could eat out of a bag that I held in my lap. Maybe a cup of coffee or tea that I could put in my cupholder. Probably not, though. Eating and driving just don’t go together in my book. I would rather eat at the dining room table and drive my car without distractions. Gosh, the bad drivers are enough to keep me on alert.



The decision to take away the keys

Have you had to make that decision for an elderly friend or family member when you know they are no longer safe to be driving on the road? Or have you made the decision for yourself?

I had a friend who, at the age of 88, was still driving, and believed to be doing it well. She turned the corner one day, and realized she had almost hit a pedestrian in the crosswalk who she saw too late. She drove to her daughter’s house,parked the car, and gave the keys to her daughter. “I’m done driving,” she told her. “If I killed someone, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.” The daughter decided to have her mother’s vision checked and the doctor found the beginning of macular degeneration.

Yesterday a fellow who has a business in a downtown area of Fresno posted to Facebook the photo of a car that he warned others to avoid as the elderly woman driver was driving erratically and had nearly missed the UPS driver and then stopped her car in the intersection at a light. Most of us responded with the advice to call police and/or highway patrol to report the license plate number, which he had on the photo. Someone needed to tell this lady that it may be time to stop driving. Or, at least take a course in driving for seniors.

AAA offers such a course. They will even give you a discount on your insurance if you take it. California DMV now requires everyone who turns 70 to come in for an  exam.

Terry’s mother had two accidents, neither of which harmed any person, just property, before she finally stopped driving. She wrecked the car so badly on the second accident that she had no other choice. I kept telling Terry that she shouldn’t be driving, but she and the other two brothers thought she was okay. I told Terry, “How will you feel if she hits and kills someone?”

I am hopeful that I will be like my friend who whom I started this post, who knew enough to give up her keys without being made to do so, and before harming self, others, or property.

What it costs to get there and back

This was my gas purchase yesterday. I am grateful that I do not have to drive far each day to go to work. Even when I was teaching, I only needed to fill up every other week. One would think that these prices would keep people from going places, but I certainly don’t see a lack of traffic when I’m out.

Yesterday I drove downtown and met a friend. We parked our cars and walked for two hours, taking pictures. Today I picked up another friend and we drove across town to shop at a store neither of us had been to before. It was fun to chat the whole way, making the drive seem shorter.  I will probably go out tomorrow to buy a birthday card for my granddaughter who turns two this weekend.

Unfortunately, living in Fresno, walking is not easy to do. This is a car town. Everyone drives and looks askance at those who are walking. The sidewalks are often non existent, or they peter out and become street where cars whizz past, too fast and too close for comfort. So, we pay the piper.

I did the driving, Terry did the shooting

No, dear Reader, I have not joined one of the many gangs in Fresno and become a gun moll.

Last Saturday Terry volunteered as a photographer for Rebuilding Together, San Francisco, and was assigned three locations at which to shoot photos.  He knew he wanted to get in-progress pictures as well as the finished project so he would be making a series of visits.  Parking, in San Francisco, is at a premium.  That is nicely saying, there ain’t any.  So it was decided, I would drive by, drop Terry, park somewhere and wait for him to call me to drive back by to make the trek to the next site.  I got pretty good at maneuvering through those narrow streets, up and down hills.

I had to amuse myself during the waiting periods so I took my own photos and I did a lot of Facebook updates.  Thought I would share a few of the photos with you, dear Reader.  San Francisco is such an amazing place.  These photos, except the last ones, are in an area called Silver Terrace, which butts up to Bayview/Hunters Point.

These houses are down the hill from Thurgood Marshall High School.  Here is the back of the school which overlooks downtown and the bay:

That grass is astroturf, by the way.  Holds up well to high school feet trampling it all day.

There is also a great overlook from the school.  I just know these kids don’t appreciate the views they have at this school.

My Subaru Forester handled the steep hills and narrow roads very well.  However, I kept wishing I had a smart car to fit in tight places.

This steep street made me nervous. After I had parked I noticed all these little old ladies walking up and down the sidewalks.  Must be the best exercise around.

And this was the view from our apartment window that greeted us when we finally returned.

Terry noticed a wedding party down on the grassy area so ran down and shot a few more photos.  This last one is his.

I have since realized that this is my 500th post.  Just want to put a celebratory note on this piece.

Hey, Mr. JellyBelly, can I have a job?

While perusing photos on Flickr, I found a photo of the JellyBelly motorhome that travels around and hands out candy.  This inspired me to write to JellyBelly and ask for the job promoting their product.  I think I would be great at this job, driving around the country and talking to people and handing out candy.  Terry could drive the RV and take pictures and I could talk to people.  JellyBelly would be the talk of any town when we arrived.  I would be willing to dress up as a jelly bean to get even more attention.  However, because it’s JellyBelly, I think people would come out in droves for this great treat.

So, keep your eyes peeled, you never know when I might arrive with jelly beans for your town!

remember those high gas prices?

Ok, now gas is cheaper than ever, except maybe when I was 25.  People are sure driving more, and faster.  But the cost of food hasn’t come down.  Prices in department stores have fallen so far that they are practically giving away the goods.  My husband went shopping today and could hardly believe how cheap everything was.  Will the price cutting shift to the grocery stores?

How would God drive?

This morning, on the way to school, I am cut off by a pickup that has Jesus bumper stickers on it.  Then the guy slowly turns in front of me, going the same direction I wish to turn.  After we turn, he moves again into the lane I am in, and abruptly makes a left hand turn without turning on his signal.  Now, would God be pleased with this?  I think not.  That is the reason I will not put Jesus bumper stickers on my car.  I really do not want to disparage the name of God with the way I drive.