Friday, April 2, 2021

Back on the Road

 For the past year the days have melted together and time seemed different.  It was only yesterday that I realized that while I’d flown cross-country three times since last March, I had not driven my car or gone out unescorted.  My son and I did all the shopping and errands together and he drove his car.

I’d gone to start my car a few weeks ago and surprise, surprise, it was dead.  But the battery has been charged up and my son took my car out, so when I went out there this morning, I knew it would start.

So, it was just going to be my Nancy Drew Roadster and me. The car actually is called a roadster and is a very old two seater Mercedes—  like just before the turn of the last century.  I didn’t know how I was going to feel about going out solo and actually driving. It’s hard to explain, but it was like I never even considered going out myself.

In the past year I have had the opposite of isolation.  It’s been more like too much company.  I’m used to doing things on my own and suddenly I was doing nothing on my own.  I always had to conform to someone else’s schedule and time sense which is not like mine.  I don’t enjoy always getting to stores when they’re announcing that it’s time to bring your purchases to the check-out.

The first challenge was backing the car out.  It was somebody else’s idea to squeeze it in between two cars in the driveway. One of the cars was gone, but I still had to get past the Lexus SUV.  I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 28 and have always been a tense driver.  That’s what I tell my son when he complains about something I didn’t do in the past.  I remind him that I drove him to school everyday (he didn’t want to be in a car pool).  His school was ten miles away and I spent about two hours a day with dropping off and picking up.  There were days when tumbleweed rolled in front of my car and other times when fog was so thick it was like driving through a pillow.  Not to mention all the piles of rubble after the ‘94 earthquake.

The backing out turned out to be fine and when I got on the street and hit the gas, it was just fine and honestly felt as if no time had passed.

Ah, the luxury of being alone.  I could park where I wanted to park, which when dealing with Trader Joe’s is always an issue.  I like to park far from the madding crowd or maybe it should be maddening crowd.  

It was also nice getting to the store early when they still had a supply of green onions and Persian cucumbers.  I love green onions and put them in everything.  The Persian cucumbers have a crisp sweetness that makes them great in salads.  I put them in everything, too.

The lines outside are gone now that L.A. county has loosened restrictions and I forgot all about the thing of standing away from the grocery checker and we actually talked.  We both had masks on making it hard to hear each other, but it was an actual conversation.  I told her it was my first solo trip driving in a year and she asked me if I’d developed any hobbies while being shut in.  I said I’d written two books.

As I rolled the cart back to my car, I took my time to look at the other stores in the center.  Several restaurants had created patio areas in the parking lot, but other than that, it felt like old times, except with a mask.


Linda Osborn said...

Love it !!! I didn't stop driving, because l don't have anyone else here to take over, but if one of the kids is around I persuade them to drive my car. It is nice to see most of the restaurant tents going down {Orange County}, and actually going inside to eat. I'm not crazy about holding my phone over a spot on the table to read a menu. I am really not very skilled at such things. COVID shots are finished for me, and they made my arthritis worse. I like to be different !!
Over all things are improving greatly--within a couple of weeks you will be back at Disneyland !!

Betty Hechtman said...

Sorry the vaccine made your arthritis worse. That's awful. I hope it is only temporary. I don't like the menus on my phone either. It will be awhile for Disneyland since they cancelled all the annual passes, though my son can't wait to take Jakey. He's tall enough to go on the rides and old enough to really enjoy it. He's coming over tomorrow for an Easter egg hunt. It is so good to see him in person. I hope you have a happy Easter with your family!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yes, things are getting back closer to normal these days, but now it's a new normal. I don't know when, if ever, we'll live life as we used to. I do go out some on my own for shopping and exercising, and drive my car then, but I appreciate company too when my husband comes along. How fun that you have a classic car, Betty!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it will be interesting to see how things play out as restrictions are lifted. People have had different responses to all the shut downs and lock downs. Some of my son's friends are still totally freaked out and even with getting the vaccines are afraid of everything, like not doing their own shopping and disinfecting everything. I wonder if they'll be able to let go of all that fear.