Story # 56: My Mom: Miriam Elizabeth Hall Gateley, Part 9 — Cars
Note 1: I’m going to do another “Sayins’” post soon, with the favorite sayins’ my awesome readers have been sending to me. So if you think of any more I can include please send to me!
Note 2: I’ve been spending my time preparing to publish a new App: “Signs and Cues”. It is like an ASL dictionary and currently has 1,927 entries. It’s a project I’ve been working on a couple of years, and now I’m almost ready to get it published for the first time. I’m pretty excited about it. It ties together my YouTube “Word Of The Day” series and my ASL Adventure Game, SignCueQuest App, with some explanations from “Word Of The Day” videos and these 1,927 terms and words will be used in SignCueQuest. I hope to have it published in a couple of weeks at most.
Mom And Cars
My Dad worked as Sales Manager for a Ford Dealership in Oklahoma. Then he owned a Volkswagen dealership in Titusville, Florida, then another dealership in Orlando. He was always driving a different car home.
So it may not be surprising that Mom never knew, even day-to-day, when she would be driving a different car, or what kind of car she would be driving.
Here’s what Mom wrote about cars:
All my cars have been named Lucy Bell, And I have no idea how many different cars I have had. But I do remember some of them. Like the 1938 LaSalle. It was so big and really ugly, but it drove like a dream.
Many years ago when you had to break in a new car, I always had a new one it seemed like, to break in for some one that didn’t want to drive that slow during the break-in period.
The worst part of it was when I would go grocery shopping and forget what I was driving. I would hunt for it by walking around the parking lot looking for one my key would fit.
My sister Deb remembered that Mom would tell her lots of folks would come out from a store and forget where they parked their car. Mom would come out of the store and forget what kind of car she parked!
When I got old enough to learn to drive, I also was able to experience driving different kinds of cars, standard (stick shift) or automatic transmission. This was great because I felt confident no matter what car I needed to drive next.
But that didn’t mean there weren’t mishaps. One time I came out of a meeting and walked to my van. I got in and started it. Just as I was pulling away I saw something I didn’t recognize on the passenger front seat. I stopped and it took a minute to sink in — even though my key worked, this wasn’t my van! I scrambled getting out of it before anyone saw me.
LESSON LEARNED: It’s funny how in the olden days new cars had to be driven slow during a break-in period. But I wonder — why isn’t this good advice today? Wouldn’t it be better to have a “break-in” period, going slow and carefully while learning to use the camera, laptop, blender, binoculars or whatever new gadget? Better to have a “break-in” time than a “uh-oh I broke it” time.
LESSON LEARNED: Be careful familiarity doesn’t lull you to sleep. My Mom’s unfamiliarity with her cars kept her vigilant. My familiarity with my van meant I got in without thinking. Key or no key, even a casual look inside would have made my error clear. If the real owner had walked out as I was pulling away, things could have gotten ugly real quick.
LESSON LEARNED: Never get too rigid in your thinking or opinions. I always thought Mom’s “look for one my key would fit” strategy was really smart. But considering my “key worked but in the wrong car” incident, was it more luck? Did she ever actually drive the wrong car home, and my Dad took it back without telling her?
Interested in learning ASL? See my “ASL Word Of The Day” at:
Interested in learning Cued Speech? See my “Cued Speech Word Of The Day” at:
Have a good week!
— Donna Gateley