My lesson’s in patience
At the ripe age of 16 my Granddaddy decided it was time I learned to drive. He taught me how to parallel park a car and he accomplished this with a lot of patience. I did not realize how much work that it would be learning how to drive, not to mention, frustrating. While teaching me to drive, he also taught me patience and to watch out for things in my surroundings. My lesson’s started in front of their house in sunny Florida.
When we went outside, he told me we were going to practice in front of the house. In 1980, I had to know how to parallel park to get my drivers license. Granddaddy went out in front of the house and measured off the length of a parking space. He then put up two stakes for me to practice between. In the front yard there was a fence and on the other side was their parking area. The parking area scared me to death because it was on a hill! He expected me to learn how to parallel park on this hill with a “boat” of a car.
When Granddaddy told me what I would be using to practice in, I asked him why? He said, “Because if you learn in this, then you should be able to drive pretty much anything.” Granddaddy’s car was a nine passenger station wagon, which was akin to the size of a boat. Thank goodness Granddaddy had a lot of patience while teaching me. I still look back now and wonder how he could put up with teaching me to parallel park.
Honestly, back then, I was a typical teenager and had no patience of my own. Now it was time to practice and more patience.
Even though I had to practice everyday after school and on weekends, I really remember how frustrating it was. I would get upset every time he told me to do it again because it was not right. I remember asking him if it had to be just right for him or for the person giving the test? He said, “For both girl.” When he finally thought I got it right, Granddaddy decided that we could take a test drive with traffic. I was nervous but he told me to pay...