Monday, February 6, 2012

Someday is now!

My grandmother never drove a car. She walked. She took a taxi, or my granddad drove her wherever she needed to go.

For over five years and over 55,000 miles across this beautiful country, I sat comfortably in the passenger seat of our 41'6" long Mandalay motor coach with a 400 horsepower Cummins diesel engine thinking someday I would learn to drive it.  After all, I had lots and lots of excuses -- we are in a hurry, my husband enjoys driving, there is probably road construction ahead, etc., etc., etc.  Oh, yes, and I almost forgot to mention that my husband, George, just so happened to be an instructor for the RV Driving School!  He teaches other women how to drive RVs I would share with fellow RVers.  Of course I understood the importance of learning to drive it, but honestly, it IS huge and intimidating.  

My day of reckoning came in late November of 2011, while in Livingston, Texas preparing to assume ownership of the RV School and thinking how ridiculous it would sound to tell people I actually do not drive our RV.  However, the thought of sitting in the driver's seat and encountering construction barriers or making a sharp right turn in traffic sent my heart into panic mode.  So, November 28, 2011, Dennis Hill, the owner, took me out to a local parking lot where he gave me a lesson. We adjusted the mirrors, I learned the controls to the left of me and on and around the steering wheel.  Then I actually moved it!  And I moved it again!  And I made right turns until I was blue in the face, and when I perfected that we went out onto the local highway.  I couldn't believe I actually merged the thing!

And then, as if planned, suddenly what I most feared had come upon me -- those orange construction barrels that narrow the road and signal danger!  Since I couldn't very well bail out of the driver's seat, I watched the mirrors closely to ensure that I was as centered in my lane as possible (and I probably held my breath just a little bit) and we actually survived my first construction encounter!

The lesson was completed and I had not even frightened the two male instructors on board.  Me, someone's grandma, actually drove this humongous mechanical marvel, and words are inadequate to describe the euphoric feeling of conquering that fear that I was somehow incapable of navigating our RV in and out of parking lots and streets and onto the highway.  Someday had come and gone!  I really did it, and for the first time in a long time, I could actually admit to being extremely proud of myself!!!

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