Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Who is in the driver's seat?

I drove to Geneva NY on the first leg of our trip. That night I awoke with a start and realized I had left my Ontario driver's license on my dresser at home. I had taken it out of my bag when I added my passport and forgot to put it back in. I am sure the State troopers are very nice, but driving without a license is an offense. I lay awake wondering whether to keep this a secret or to give up control of my vehicle to my daughters.

My father likes to be in control, and I guess I am a little like that too! He is as tense as can be when I drive his car as I rediscovered when I shared the driving on a long road trip in Mexico a couple of years ago. In my job I see how hard it is for my patients to gradually give control of their lives to their children as their abilities decline. Could I trust my responsible daughters with my life?

Daughters #1 and #2 (twins) looked at me in shock the next morning at breakfast when I confessed my forgetfulness. And they took up the driving challenge with pleasure. I sat in the backseat and was NOT relaxed even though the driving was well done. My brother had loaned us his GPS unit and it was invaluable! (Thanks again Mark) With high gas prices and fast, new roads, it was well worth while. Driving the New Jersey Turnpike was frightening, but not nearly as bad as the Lincoln Tunnel. What a narrow, dark tunnel. I was cowering in the back praying that we would get out in one piece as large vehicles zoomed by in the opposite direction just inches from us. And we had to pay $8 for this short ride.

Daughter #2 took this short video as we exited the tunnel. I had to laugh when I saw it. On the way home we left via the George Washington Bridge which is toll free and so much airier. On the way home I SLEPT part of the way in the back seat.

Maybe I will be able to relinquish control of my life to my children if I need to...


  1. Anonymous7:17 am GMT-4

    We did the Lincoln Tunnel once, and hated it. Now we always take the George Washington Bridge. There is a toll to cross it into Manhattan, but it's free to get back out.

  2. I'm like you...if I'm in the car I want to be driving. I am a very tense (but quiet) passenger and I'm far more tired than if I were driving.

    I do hope I will be sensible enough to know when I should no longer drive. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out, given the curvy mountain roads we drive daily.

  3. The tunnel does not look like fun, but nothing about driving in a big city qualifies as fun for me.

  4. I'm glad my D is a good driver ... I leave most of it up to him. I hate city driving and get so nervous and tense ... especially in strange cities where I don't know my way.

    Good for you for getting out of your control comfort zone ... even if it was a bit hair raising at times. Ha, ha.

  5. Anonymous2:41 pm GMT-4

    What a great little video

    I would rather not drive, but when I'm in the passenger seat I get the "white knuckles" syndrome and wished that I was driving, so that I can have control. And I find the older I get the worse I become. My husband gets refreshers on driving from me in the passenger seat. Many times I have to bite my tongue because I know that I'm annoying him.

    GSP's... we borrowed one a couple weekends ago and it was the best. At first I didn't trust "her" directions, but I soon learned to put all my faith in "her" and she will get me where I need to go. An amazing little tool. So guess what my hubby is getting for his next gift.

  6. what fun. Thanks for sharing that video--I loved the "whoo hoo, Manhattan." Daughters are mighty fun.

  7. Oh, that's so funny Ruth! Surrendering control is something we all need to practice now and again. :c)

  8. Yes, you were VERY tense mother! :P

    That tunnel was awesome! :P :P

  9. Anonymous7:48 pm GMT-4

    Just became up to date on all your trip to New York. That was my kind of trip but the walking would have been a little rough by mid afternoon. I, too, would have shared a sidewalk bench and enjoyed the people circus.
    I'm in San Pedro until tomorrow so with "wireless"was even able to enjoy your You Tube. Incredible.
    You made me want to see the 5 Finger Lake region again.
    In Mexico all hours there are people everywhere. At times I want to escape but just a little and then back into the show. Yesterday to a little village in the desert where within minutes, adults and children came for the weekly "service" under the only treee and were as enthralled and attentive as in a big cathedral. Our only black (Urgandan) helper keeps the children awestruck just looking at him for an hour and a half. People have become my life - never a dull moment.

  10. Don't you just hate leaving something like a DL behind? Video was fun.

  11. I guess I've "arrived". I quite enjoy letting daughter #2 drive when we're out, or sister Ruth & of course Uncle H. I was always the designated night driver, but I've given that up for a comfortable hotel. After your girls proving themselves so well en route to NY it will be much easier to relinquish the wheel

  12. Maybe you have to be a parent to stress while your children are driving. I took a trip to Vermont and upstate New York with my two nieces and happily gave over the driving to them, but their mothers were horrified when they found out! I think the girls were happy (and mre relaxed?) because I was not "backseat driving" with them =)

  13. Anonymous7:58 pm GMT-4

    Enjoyed reading about your driving experience in NY. A great video, too. I'd need somebody to navigate for me through that traffic - I'm sure I'd get lost in such a metropolis.

  14. Anonymous8:57 pm GMT-4

    I always love driving! Geneva . . I have been there before!

  15. Jan- Thanks for the info. I still would take the bridge across rather than the tunnel. The Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island works the same way. You pay going one way only.

    NCMW- I always drive my own vehicle, even if my husband is in it. I hate adjusting the seat and mirrors (That is my excuse ;-))

    AC- I wonder if you count Ottawa as a big city? Toronto is quite logical to get around, but the volume of traffic makes it a problem most of the time.

    CS- Yes, strange cities at 65 mph are stressful. We found the GPS useful in that it told us ahead of time whether to exit left or right on the big highways.

    Cheryl- I wouldn't need a GPS in our region. I could be a taxi driver here after 10 year of doing Home Care. If I travelled more out of town I would get one for sure.

    Beth- Yes they are! My daughters were that enthusiastic the entire time we were there. No wonder I slept on the trip back.

    Jayne- I know, but it is hard. Still, I could see the young drivers' confidence soar with their success.

    Becka- Quiet!!

    Mom- Glad you were able to enjoy the video. Now driving in Mexico...that is a different thing altogether! No real rules.

    Jean- I don't think I will forget my DL again, but I am sure to forget something else.

    Oma Lois- A. Ruth is a rather wild driver! But she must be skilled! I would be confident with cousin A. for sure. I like driving at night less and less. We passed so many dead deer on the way. That is always a concern for me.

    Rondi- You are a terrific aunt and I am sure your nieces love you. My grandmother let me do her driving when I was still a teenager and it did wonders for my confidence.

    April- You need a GPS! I think this little video clip will always be a favourite of mine.

    Monarch- I figured I may have been near your stomping grounds...

  16. Ruth,

    This was fun! I'm glad you allowed your daughters to have the opportunity to drive into Manhattan. Wow. I've never enjoyed the Lincoln Tunnel, nor Turnpike. Stressful!

    Like you, I'd rather do the driving. I'm a horrible, uptight passenger, especially when my husband is in the drivers' seat :o)



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