Christy Huffman.jpg

I said a while ago that I was working my way down that bucket list. One “easy one” has been there just kind of waiting for me. I did need help with it. It required a very patient husband.

Learning to drive a stick shift car is now crossed off the list for the most part. You don’t learn to drive that thing in one day. In some cases, you don’t learn to drive it over the course of a few years. Oh yes, I lingered on that one. I will say we are busy people. Weekends seem to get away in a blink of an eye. But David and I found ourselves on a lazy Sunday thinking, “Hey, now would be a good time to learn.” I like Sundays because there are way fewer drivers on the road. I hate to subject anyone to my granny driving and moreover I want us all to be safe on the road.

Why did it take so long? Part of it was nervousness. I’m learning manual shift driving on my husband’s car. It’s got a big engine rumbling under the black shiny frame. The name Mustang is appropriate since it gallops with a fury of power. My last driving lesson was probably a year or two ago. I don’t really remember. It’s not important. For whatever reason, everything came together and I did it! Now it’s kind of all I can think about as I drive my little Acura downtown. I imagine myself shifting, starting and stopping. Alas, it is all for not since my small SUV doesn’t gun it like a Mustang and it’s an automatic so there’s no shifting.

I probably would have been more than okay going through the rest of my life never learning this skill. But I thought it was pointless to have an extra vehicle around the house and not be able to drive it. I’m a big “what if” person. What if David and I ended up in Dallas and I had to drive him to the hospital in the Mustang? What if my car was not working and I had to rush a fur baby to the vet? Yes, that’s a bit dramatic. It could have happened. Not likely and it has never been THAT big of a concern.

When it comes down to it, it reminds me of family. That is why I wanted to learn. If you never ascertained that I am a gushy, mushy sentimental gal, let me tell you. I am a mushy, gushy, sentimental lady. Dad had a ’67 Chevelle SuperSport. I only know some of the details of this vehicle because my brother made great attempts at restoring it. We heard a lot about a 396 engine. Most of it means nothing to me other than it can go really fast. Growing up it was not impressive to me. It was that funky 60’s gold color inside and out. The seats seemed hard. We only had lap belts in the back and normally we didn’t use them. Getting tossed around in a monster machine like that was kind of common. However, once I was older, I could see the cool factor. Not to mention that it was part of our family in a way. We kept that mostly not running jalopy in the family for over 40 years. Somehow me learning to drive a stick keeps a connection to that part of my past.

I will only toot around town in David’s car just enough to not forget how to drive it. I won’t be Maria Andretti on the city streets nor anywhere else for the time being. It does make for fun Sunday driving on the backroads of Navarro County. I just need to take life slow enough to enjoy the ride.