Monday, February 16, 2009

Learning to Drive in Oakwood Cemetery

I was 31 years old when I finally got my driver’s license. In high school I was unable to take Drivers’ Ed. because all elective-type classes were held only during 2nd and 5th periods, and I already had those periods filled with band, foreign language, and advanced math classes, and even had to take trigonometry and 2nd- year Spanish during the same period.

During college and graduate school I avoided the problem of learning how to drive by attending colleges in big cities and living in places that were within walking distance or an easy bus route.

During my first years as a working stiff, I took the bus and then my husband drove me to work for a short while.

When it finally appeared that we could afford a second car, he announced: “You have to learn to drive.” He was right. I couldn’t avoid it any more. And our friend Linda – kind, patient, generous Linda – came to the rescue.

Linda is a natural teacher, so despite my fears, the experience wasn’t too traumatic. We started out at Oakwood Cemetery, which is located in Falls Church near where we live. Driving the small, winding roads was even enjoyable. Venturing from there to the outside world took a bit more courage, but we managed.

My older daughter learned to drive on local neighborhood streets and our younger daughter started out at the local multiplex parking area (the multiplex was recently closed down for some “urban improvement” and may reappear in metamorphosed form in whatever yuppie-tastic residential/commercial conglomeration springs up to take the place of the comfortable, low-rent previous incarnation) and has now graduated to neighborhood streets as well.