"" Writer's Wanderings: My Mother's Great Adventure

Friday, August 03, 2018

My Mother's Great Adventure

{Lots of smiles every time I remember this story.]

Mother's Day is around the corner and maybe that's why my mother's been in my thoughts lately. I think I owe a lot of my travel itch to her. When we were little, Mom used to pop us into the car and we'd "get lost." I'm still not sure if we were literally lost on those day trips or if she just did that to make it adventuresome. With my mom, it was hard to know. She was a great storyteller. (I think I owe that to her as well.)

Today I had to cross over a bridge to get to the Lowe's I was headed for. The bridge always brings back memories of visiting my uncle who lived on the other side about 20 minutes from our house although at my young age then, it seemed like hours. The bridge has been modernized. Gone are the iron rails that I remember, replaced with concrete sides, but the memory of our first trip over that bridge with Mom driving lingers.

Mom may have had a learner's permit--or not. Dad was teaching her how to drive which in itself must have been quite a feat for their marriage to survive. We had a stick-shift Chevy. (Dad was a Chevy man all the way). It was the weekend and Dad had decided to go fishing. I'm guessing that there was a little tension over that because Mom decided she wanted to go visit my uncle and his family and she still didn't have her driver's license.

Mom packed my brother who was about 2 or 3 and myself (I was about 7) into the car and we headed out to Uncle Harry's house. I don't remember Mom having any trouble until she spotted a couple of policemen directing traffic at a crossroad near our destination. She panicked a bit, popped the clutch at the wrong time and stalled the car in the middle of the intersection. She then proceded to flood the engine in her haste to get it restarted.

Now as Mom embellished the story, she said, "The cop got in the car and tried to start it again. He sniffed the air--I think to see if I'd been drinking because my face was so red. I told him the baby (my brother) stood up (no child restraints back then). He and his partner then pushed me off to the side of the road and told me to take it easy and try to start the car in a few minutes. Thankfully, they never asked to see my license. The car started again and I made it to Harry's."

Joe and I were threatened with "death" if we told, but eventually the story came out. And I later learned that she tried to get Uncle Harry to drive her back but he wouldn't. He also wouldn't give her an alternate route. Now I'm not sure if she went back the same way. I suspect that might have been the first time we "got lost."

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