To borrow a line from Paul Harvey, "And now....the rest of the story..." So about two weeks ago, I got the opportunity to drive the Ol' Truck by myself for the first time. Joel had given me a list of instructions of what to do, what not to do, how its in "Drive" even when the needle looks like its in "Neutral", how to put the key in upside down and how to hold your mouth just right so the thing will start. I was so proud doodling down the road to pick Hallie up from school! It was a little warm as I waited in line at the school. I also became increasingly aware that, for some reason, I don't look near as cool as Joel when he drives. I tried to look relaxed and confident, but its pretty hard to do when you have to move the seat all the way forward to touch the pedals and grip the steering wheel tightly at "10 and 2" in order to maintain control over all the horses under the hood. When Joel drives, he looks like a man driving a piece of Americana that makes people stop, stare and reminisce about the "good ol' days". I, on the other hand, look like redneck, white trash. When people stare at me at stop lights, they seemed surprised to find that I have all my teeth and only 2 "young'uns" with me. Why is that?
Once Hallie was in the truck, we still had about 20 minutes before it was time to get Hannah. So, of course, we went to Sonic. We pulled up to the drive-thru lane first, but apparently no one saw us in that huge mint green tank. A little perturbed, I lumbered the truck into an actual parking place and pressed the red call button...which did not elicit the speedy response I had hoped for, but I was trying to set a good example for my daughter, so I refrained from pushing it another 20 times and yelling, "Hello! Is this thing on?" The little silver speaker box finally acknowledged me and I placed our order. It was simple enough: 2 large sweet teas and an M&M Blast. Unfortunately, we had to wait for the tea to arrive on the slow boat from China. Let me just say this...its summer...and I'm in TEXAS...oh, and just in case you forgot...there's NO AIR CONDITIONING! Those who know me well, know that I do not like to be hot. It makes me cranky. Sometimes it even makes me cuss a little...I'm trying to get a hold on that. To add insult to injury, a friend from church pulled up beside me in her nice, new, air conditioned Tahoe. She rolled the window down and said, "I don't think I've ever seen you drive that before." To which I replied, "No. No you haven't. And there are reasons for that...the greatest of which is...there's NO AIR CONDITIONING!" She smiled politely and raised her eyebrows as she rolled up her window so as not to let the precious cool air from inside her own vehicle escape and probably also to keep me from frightening her children. When our order finally arrived, I threw that old truck into "Reverse" (which really looks like "Park" on the gear shift) and headed for the open road. Hallie asked, "Where are we going?" To which I replied, "To the highway. So we can drive fast and get some air circulating in here!" This tactic did help to improve my mood a bit and the danger of saying cuss words in front of my eight year old quickly passed. Thank you, Lord.
We finally picked HannahKate up from school and rode home enjoying our sweet tea. I made a promise to myself that I would not complain to Joel about how hot it was and instead focus on the fact that I didn't kill the engine or squeal the tires, not even once. (Except for maybe twice) And thus, my first outing in the old truck had come to an end. I did it. I proved to Joel, the girls and myself that I could do it. I feel the need for a pat on the back. Thank you, thank you very much.