I love to drive. I loved to drive even when I had “Betty” my 1974 Pinto Wagon. Betty had no heat, no air, AM Radio only and not much else. She had pepper in the radiator so it would not leak and tape holding up the bumper. I miss that car, I truly do. On one side, I had a bumper sticker that said “Love a Preppy” and on the other side, “Give Blood, Play Rugby”.
Now I have an SUV flanked with a “Got Lacrosse?” sticker and a “Basketball Girl” sticker. At any given time there is a ‘cup’ rolling around the back after Jack ripped it out of his shorts after LAX practice. My how things have changed.
But not really. I still love that feeling of driving and thinking and thinking and singing! This morning I made my trek to our White Plains office. It is easy shot down the NYS Thruway. I hit Starbucks for a Venti-Iced-Non-Fat Latte with lite caramel drizzle. Yummo. Then I meet up with my friend and co-worker to complete the ride together down the Taconic State Parkway. Donald has nerves of steel and can balance a medium Dunkin Donuts (cream only) in one hand and maneuver the twisty Taconic with the other. He fends off those crazy suburbanites in their Benz while texting AND applying mascara…. Amazing.
This morning I was deep in thought. I have had a lot on my mind and cannot shake it. For at least 15 years I have driven this trip and paused in awe at the Catskill Mountains near the Saugerties Exit. On the way down I make the sign of the cross and say “Good Morning God” and on the way back, “Good Night God”.
I don’t mean God in the flat out religious crazy-holy roller version but in the God that creates the beauty of life in those mountains. The snow I see in the winter, the bloom in the spring and summer and the magnificent fall color pallet. It makes me smile, didn’t shake my funk, but made me smile.
Years ago I had a young man who worked for me and we were driving to NJ to meet with a large client. He was nervous. When we got to that Saugerties exit, I must have paused for a sec and he asked if I was OK. I told him the story of the mountains and how it looks like a man lying down. We stopped to look and he was awestruck. For years he called me every time he passed those mountains. I am so glad I shared that with him. (I miss you Tim). Some time I will tell you about the accident we had and how I milked it for a morning delivery of coffee for at least three weeks!
In my car, on the rear view mirror is a necklace my son made when he was three years old. On the back, the letter ‘c’ in Jack is backwards, like all little kids do. It is a piece paper plate cut to look like pumpkin pie with a cotton ball for the like whip cream. The smell of the cinnamon is long gone after these 9 years. I see it every time I look up and it is still wonderful and still special.
Menopause must be in full swing because I can’t remember where I was going with this story. I just found the shirt and sweater I bought for my husband’s birthday in February. I forgot to email myself with the hiding place so I fessed up and gave it to him last weekend. Jeez.
In my cars over the years I have taught myself to speak Italian, on tapes; I have convinced myself that I sing like Karen Carpenter. I love to open that sunroof and feel the spring sun on my face. In my car I called my husband when I found out we were finally pregnant and 9 months later I watched my dear speed freak husband drive 45 mph on I-90 when we drove Amelia home from the hospital on the day she was born.
Tonight the kids and I walked Izzy in this March 72 degree heat. We took Izzy for the walk to Starbucks and had a cold drink for the walk home. I love my kids and I love the time we spend talking about their life and their experiences. Next year Amelia will drive. These walks may be a thing of the past when wheels are way cooler. Maybe she will drive me to Starbucks so when I forget where I live, she will make sure she remembers where she parked the car and how to get home.