This Time Last Year…

My head, and house are in chaos, so I thought I would post something I wouldn’t have to think about. This is a post from 24th August 2020…

Freedom of the Road 2020

I read a post the other day where they were talking about the wonderful sense of freedom to be found behind the wheel of a car.

Immediately, I was transported back to my own independent, working woman days when I owned a car.

Learning to drive was a nightmare for me, as it takes me a while to learn anything new, but once mastered, the world became my oyster. Not only did I drive myself to work every day, my family found a newfound freedom with that car, as we visited so many interesting places.

Becoming an experienced driver opened a very different world for me, a world where I finally felt competent and capable, something I had never felt before.

It wasn’t all roses though, there were a few hair-raising experiences along the way.

Someone must have dropped something from the bridge, just as I drove underneath. The windscreen splintered into a million pieces, leaving me in a state of shock and unable to see anything in front of the car. 

I had been travelling at about 65 mph and for a few seconds I froze. I had no memory of anyone behind me, but my instinct was to slam on the brakes in an emergency stop. The silence after the car stopped was deafening, and I sat there stunned, with my eyes shut.

I became aware of someone shouting, and when I opened my eyes, a furious man was standing beside the car, demanding to know what the hell I thought I was doing.

I couldn’t answer him. I was still in shock and confused but I remember thinking, what the hell did he think I was doing?

More to the point, I wonder what he would have done in the same situation?

He stomped back to his car and drove off. At that point, I desperately wanted to go home too, so somehow, I punched a hole in the splintered glass and drove away.

Another time, we were just leaving the garage in our car, feeling rather pleased that it had miraculously passed its MOT. It was a lovely sunny morning and our spirits were high. We were looking forward to a visit to the coast that afternoon.

We were waiting at the top of a narrow exit ramp, when we saw a rather large laundry van at the bottom of the ramp.

We wondered what the van was doing. Surely, he wasn’t going to reverse up the ramp?

Oh yes, he was, and he obviously hadn’t seen us waiting at the top. He continued to reverse, we expected him to stop at any minute and when he showed no sign of slowing down, we started thumping the horn like a pair of crazy people.

Because the ramp was narrow, we couldn’t get out of the car. We were being forced to watch the disaster unfolding.

The car needed a new bonnet and radiator after that, but our nerves took a while to mend!

To this day, every time we see a Sunlight Laundry van, we still want to scream!

I was a driver for more than 25 years before my hip put a stop to my fun, but all those years sitting in the driving seat were some of the best years of my life…

Has anyone else had any near misses when driving?

17 thoughts on “This Time Last Year…

  1. I was headed for work at 4:30 AM on a freeway. There was a large steel hauler up ahead in the left lane. I didn’t think about staying back and just continued in my lane. In an instant, as I got abreast of the giant rear wheels, he pulled quickly to the right. I stood on the brakes, and he missed me by inches. I realized later that. He never saw me as he continued on his way. That was a near miss. Another time my car left the roadway and flipped several times. Seventy days later, I left the hospital very lucky to have survived.

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  2. I’ve had several near misses and two total disasters. The two disasters left me in the hospital. The first for 70 days and the next for a week. Both vehicles were totally destroyed. Thankfully no one else was involved sine these were one car spinouts. The only near-miss I remember was on the highway at 4:00 AM. There was a huge flatbed hauler loaded with steel passing me on the left. He decided to come over too early and I stood on the brakes. His rear wheels missed me by inches.He never slowed down or seemed to even know I was there. My guess is he thought I had exited since we passed an exit about the time he started over. It’s the only explanation other than he did it on purpose.

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  3. I started driving at age 12!!! Yes, my uncle taught me on his old farm truck, and by age 13, I had learned to hot-wire my dad’s car and drive it whenever he was out of town! Ah … the good ol’ days! 😉 I still drive, though I find it more and more difficult, and have gotten lost within a few miles of home more than once! But, in the months before my eye surgeries when I couldn’t drive, I realized how much being able to drive and having a vehicle contribute to my autonomy, and I hope never to have to give it up. These days, my maximum distance is about a mile to pick up my grocery order, thanks to the pandemic and a van whose transmission is about to go belly-up!

    Liked by 1 person

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