Drive

The Daily Post Prompt is Drive, so I pulled out an old post I had written about just that.

As I drove on the highway this morning, going slow enough to be able to see into the cars alongside me, I thought about how the car allows us to be within our own little world. One person appeared to be singing, another was talking on her cell phone. A man was shaving, this is not the first time I have witnessed this, and who am I to judge as I have been known to apply lipstick while driving, and I floss my teeth when stopped at red lights.Our cars provide a private space, in public, but still private. We can sing at the top of our lungs, we can cry, all while ensconced in our own little world on four wheels.

It reminded me of when I first learned to drive, and on Sundays my mother would let me borrow her car. A 1970 Chevy Impala with a bench seat.

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Being able to drive brought a new freedom. My best friend and I would drive up the highway about twenty minutes from where we lived, to visit beautiful farmland. It had always been so close, yet so far before I could drive. There was a farm stand where we could get a hot cocoa in the winter, lemonade in the summer. On the way home we would take the local streets, winding our way past beautiful homes, not really knowing where we were, just moving in the right direction, heading South, knowing sooner or later we would find our way. We always did. We kept a map in the glove compartment just in case, but never used it. It was on these drives we would talk endlessly, safe within the walls and windows of the car, with no interruptions from our parents or siblings, no homework to think about, talking and taking in the wonderful scenery. Arriving home we felt as if we had been away on vacation. Driving opened up a new world for us, before the days that we needed to drive to get to work, to get to the supermarket, to run the endless errands.

Sometimes it is good to take that drive to nowhere, allowing us the time to think, to be alone with our thoughts, no interruptions, no place to go except wherever you decide to make your next turn.

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22 thoughts on “Drive

  1. I wish people would just drive when they’re behind the wheel of a car. It kind of freaks me out to see people doing all kinds of things – one day I saw a guy reading a newspaper … not at a red light, on the highway!!

    The feelings you expressed about first driving mirror my own memories of driving when younger. It was an escape. To this day, I still love the feeling of getting in my car alone and heading off on my own for a drive.

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  2. Just yesterday I saw a young woman putting on makeup with a brush to her cheeks, forehead, then down around her neck. I was captivated. The guy behind me had to honk when the light turned green. I’ve also been embarrassed when I looked over and saw people applauding my singing even though they couldn’t hear me.

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  3. that was great to be on board with you while you had while driving to “nowhere”. I did that very often (before the gas prices exploded) to ponder about a problem or to clear my minds… it has something special for me to drive among other drivers who maybe have a real destination, while I only cruised around… I wish we still had cars with bench seats, it’s easier to talk together and the problem of coins who fall between the front seats eggsactly that moment when you need it would be solved too.

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  4. This was a great “read” about your teen years and escaping to the country with a friend. So cool you have photograph of the car! My brothers shared a Mustang my Mom drove the first years since it was brand new. Then, after that, we all went many places after my brother, Randy, learned how to drive.
    I read once in an advice columnist’s article that the car is a good place to discuss difficult subjects with teenagers, Lisa. There isn’t any eye contact needed. 🙂

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    • So true about the car being a good place to talk- reminded me of when my younger sister asked my father where babies came from from the back seat- much to my embarrassment in the front at the age of 12 🙂

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  5. I was just at that cutoff for 287 a week ago, though the traffic was worse. 🙂 Lovely car. The farmlands of NY are beautiful. I visit the Chatham area a couple times each year and enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.

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  6. Oh, the memories…my first car was a 1965 Chevy Impala. Yellow with a black vinyl roof. I paid my dad back from my first full-time job. I sold it when I moved to Florida and the guy I sold it to promptly wrecked it within a month. I was heartbroken. I remember driving to Jack-in-the-Box (when I ate meat) to go through the drive-thru and it felt like such a big deal! Thanks for the blast from the past, Lisa. Awesome times.

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