Driving Miss Leslie...



This morning, I did something that I haven't done in almost 8 years.

I drove a car!  Well...kind of.

I hopped into Hubby's pick-up, put it in neutral and rolled it forward a whole meter!  (That's a little over 3 feet.) 

Okay, so maybe it doesn't really count.  But it is the first time that I have been behind the wheel in 8 years. 

Has it really been that long???

I'm afraid so.  The last time I drove a car was during my 3 month visit to the States when I was pregnant with Ashley.   I still remember the first time I got behind the wheel.  Hope and Nick were both shocked and concerned that their mom was about to drive.  Nick even voiced his concern by suggesting that maybe Pappy should be the one to drive.  As soon as they saw that I actually knew what I was doing they clapped and cheered for me from their carseats. 

So, you're probably wondering why it's been so long?

There are a couple of reasons as to why I haven't driven in 8 years.  One being that I live in a small town.  EVERYTHING is within walking distance.  The market.  The kids' schools.  El Jardin (the townsquare).  Churches.  Banks.  Post Office.  Hospitals. Etc.  And even if I wanted to drive, I would have a hard time finding a place to park in El Centro (downtown) and would end up parking the car back at my place.

But the main reason I don't drive is because I don't know how to drive a stick-shift.  (Excuse me for a second while I hang my head in shame.)  

Years ago, when I first learned to drive I did so in a Datsun with a manual transmission.  But then I went to live with my grandparents and every car they owned was an automatic.  So, I forgot how.

In the last 8 years, my Hubby has tried very hard to teach me, but I just don't get it.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that even though I'm 35 years old, I have a hard time distinguishing my left from my right.  (I was supposed to be left-handed, but my mom insisted that I do everything with my right hand.)  And the whole clutch concept is just too confusing for me.  Three pedals to choose from, really?

When do I  push the clutch in?  When do I  let it out?  Do I push it in /let it out all at once?  Or am I supposed to do it slowly?  And why does the truck roll backwards when I'm about to step on the gas???

Now do you understand my problem?  And don't get me started on the gears!

Maybe the first book I need to buy for my Kindle is a "Stick-shift for Dummies" kind of book!


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12 comments:

  1. I've been wondering about this exact thing! I keep looking at all the cute little scooters out on the roads and wondering if we need to bring one of those with us and leave the cars behind. Unfortunately, where we'll be moving to, there will some necesity for driving and/or taking the combis. I love your insight though, I LOVE to drive and I don't know if I can give up my restless desire for random road trips. Do you guys ever travel for "vacations" or stick close to home? There are so many sites to see in Mexico!

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  2. that is crazy! how awesome that you get to walk everywhere you need to go though. that sure cuts down on a lot of time, money and stress. city driving here makes me crazy sometimes!

    on a totally different note: i've been meaning to ask ever since you posted Name that Fruit... What the heck are Chongos???? I've lived here 4 years and I cannot figure them out? We buy the ice cream & love it but still no clue what it is we are eating!

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  3. For me it's been 1 year. My family's coming for the wedding in 2 weeks (what the heck?), and I'm renting a car for myself for the week they're here. I'm kinda scared about it haha

    Can't drive stick either. Don't want to.

    You're a lefty?! craaaaazy

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  4. I was starting to wonder just how much I will forget during my forced no-driving regimen. Four months now. Probably eight -- before I get back to Mexico. But that is months, not years. My driving trips along the Mexican coast were more than I could give up.

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  5. This explains a lot

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  6. I love driving, though today was no exception in passing 2 wrecks, one stalled bus, and one guy going backwards on a four lane. Honduras, especially Tegu is always interesting for a drive. Left or right? I ALWAYS wear a watch b/c without I can't recall which hand I am using. For feet.. . maybe you could try an ankle bracelet.

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  7. Awww....that is too cute!!

    I am sooo happy my parents made me learn to drive stick! Heck, my first two vehicles were standards!! However, with that being said I never want to own one again. At least not in a big city. I couldn´t handle it in traffic any longer.... manual is just so much more relaxing!!!

    There´s nothing wrong with not know amiga...If you could learn back then, I am sure you could again. Stick is much easier now than ever!!! Si se puede!!!

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  8. I've had a few stick shift vehicles of my own, really miss them. I learned on my dad's little Valiant back in the 1970s. Fun!

    Love your cute lil blog here, was fun reading some of your posts and getting to know you!

    Visiting from SITS! Have a *vroom vroom* good day! =)

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  9. The first brand new car I ever owned I bought 4 years after my divorce, I went to the car lot told the man how much I had to put down and how much I could afford to pay every month and I only wanted to look at cars in that price range..there was only one that was in that range and it was a standard! I was 32 years old and had no idea how to drive one. The salesman was an ex state trooper so he took me out and gave me a crash course lesson.....it was awful. My dad talked me into buying the car and for the first 3 months I was convinced I'd made a very expensive mistake...but I did get the hang of it finally! So don't feel bad it's really one of those things that no one can really teach you you have to get the hang of it yourself and unfortunately that comes with lots of practice!
    When my daughter got up driving age I insisted she learn to drive on with my car she hated it at first but now she is 26 and says she's proud she knows how to drive one when so many men now don't!

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  10. when I was 15 my dad told me that if I wanted to learn how to drive, I had to learn on a stick. at the time I thought that was the meanest thing he could ever do. But now I'm so glad he did that because i can't imagine trying to learn now. lol

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  11. Leslie this is so funny, I actually wish we could walk more, gas for the truck is killing us right now. We so want a scooter for Issac to use for work, we may even just get him a plain old bike, then hed really get in shape. lol
    I have a good friend who has trouble with her left and right, its so weird to me because she is supper intelligent but seriously if your giving her directions while she driving you have to point the way. I guess its just one of those things like my bad spelling. ;)

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  12. I had to laugh at this post! No matter how many times my husband has tried to teach me to drive a stick shift, it just hasn't worked. We will hang our heads together! lol

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