Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back Seat Driving

For some reason my children think that they are expert drivers, despite being 5 and 3 years old.  The younger one tells me to "race that car" every time we are driving beside another vehicle, and she cannot abide sitting at red lights or stop signs.  The older one thinks that she knows better routes than me and says that I drive too slowly.  She might be right about the slow driving.  My natural inclination is to drive around 90 km/hr when I'm on the highway.  I try to use cruise control as much as I can so that I don't make those around me angry!  My husband won't let me drive when we're on long trips, since I'm such a slow driver.  I come by it honestly, my dad and brother both drive pretty slowly as well.  They are usually busy analyzing crops or comparing snowfall amounts.  I'm just busy watching out for suicidal wildlife.

Here's a great example of how family driving trips worked for our family growing up.  We always left later than expected because either chores took longer than anyone thought they would, or my dad was still under the vehicle in the shop, rebuilding the back end or replacing the alternator, water pump, brakes, ad infinitum. In fact, one time the u-joints went on the Suburban on the highway in Saskatchewan while my parents were driving to Minnesota for a family wedding. My dad changed them in the ditch on the side of the TransCanada highway!

My dad always wanted to take a different route, so that he could see some new countryside, even if it took longer or involved driving on a lot of gravel roads.  I think I have been on every back road of south & central Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan.  And there were the inevitable stops at truck and machinery dealerships.  The worst trip of all was one time coming home from Edmonton, what should have been a 6.5 hour drive turned into a 10 hour trip, after all the detours and machinery viewings.  One time we were almost home from a trip, I think to Calgary, when we saw the axle break on a truck just outside of Brooks.  We stopped to pick up the family and drive them back to Brooks and then my dad helped them coordinate getting their vehicle towed to be fixed, as they were just traveling through and didn't know the area.  I won't even get into the countless number of trips to visit family in California, Oregon and Washington! Needless to say, I now drive in the most direct route to my destination and try to make as few stops as possible.

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