Windows Down, Volume Up….

I had to drive a lot this past weekend. One thing I discovered was that you can drive from Wasaga Beach to Barrie and only play two Meatloaf songs. “Bat Out of Hell” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.. He’s longwinded.. I drive fast.

I noticed that my car is approaching the 12,000km mark and started thinking about where I had driven it since I got it in December… and realized it’s mostly been from Barrie to Toronto to Kitchener to Hamilton to St. Catharine’s. Mostly Barrie to KW. It all adds up. I’ve always put a lot of miles on my cars.

I love driving .. it gives me time to think and listen to music….LOUD. Strangely, I only got my licence when I was 21, even though I already knew how to drive. Growing up, Chris-the-boy-next-door, was 3 years older and got his licence promptly at 16. He’d take his parents Dodge Dart out in the evening with the excuse that he was going to his friend’s across town. In reality, he was meeting me a street over and letting me drive the Dart in the hopes that I would make out with him. I was a tease.

At 16 I didn’t bother getting my licence right away… we only had one car and I’d rarely get the chance to drive it, so I just didn’t bother. Actually, we did have a second car – an old green Ford station wagon.. which stayed parked in the driveway. That vehicle I used.. often.. but not for driving purposes. On a couple of occasions my father caught me and my boyfriend Craig in the backseat .. in the driveway. Craig didn’t drive either.. it was as close as we got to going “parking”. My parents started locking the car and hiding the keys. Craig and I started making out somewhere other than my driveway.

Ironically, my first full time job out of college was as a traffic reporter at 820 CHAM in Hamilton. Each day I’d get up at the crack of stupid and take the bus to work.. do the morning reports.. sometimes take the bus home for a bit.. then bus it back downtown for afternoon traffic. I was kind of embarassed by the fact that I was reporting on traffic, yet didn’t even drive. Then I was asked to start doing the all night show on air.. which meant I needed wheels. So at 21 I had to go get my driver’s licence….and buy a car.

I took some driving lessons so that I could use the instructor’s car.. I really didn’t want to parallel park with my Dad’s Chev Caprice Classic … aka the boat. My driving test went well, and I got my licence on the first try… nothing exciting to report. However, my lovely friend Mark thought that this was somewhat amusing and apparently feared for his personal safety. Imagine my surprise when I heard my driving instructor being interviewed on the air… calmly reassuring the fine people of Hamilton that I was a good and safe driver and that they shouldn’t flee the streets in terror, as per Mark’s suggestion. (Please note that I have yet to extract revenge for this but could do so at any moment. Yes, I’m talking to you, Mark…)

My first vehicle was the 1985 Plymouth Horizon. I loved it. It was freedom to me.. The first day I had it my mother made me promise to stay off the highway.. and I promptly headed toward the QEW and the Skyway Bridge. I loved that car.. I would finish work at 6am and sometimes I’d just drive around for the hell of it.. just because I enjoyed it. I had plenty of adventures in my little car.. drove to Niagara Falls NY with my little sister and her friends …stayed in a hotel and went partying.. (we told our mothers we went on rides and to the wax museum…) I drove to Sault Ste. Marie by myself.. and Sarnia in a snowstorm.. and Kemptville .. all for a boy. Then I married the boy and it was our “family car”.. the one that we brought our first baby home in.

Then someone smashed it and I had to get a new one… A beautiful red Dodge Shadow. Which… someone stole after a few years… then I got it back only to be t-boned by a guy and cut out of it. Broke my hip and couldn’t drive for a while. After that had a couple of vans… then drove company vehicles for 5 years.. until the company let me go.

So I had to get my own vehicle. And I chose the 2009 Hyundai Elantra. Red, of course. It reminds me a bit of the Shadow .. which I loved.. but hopefully I won’t get cut out of this one…
But it also reminds me of the freedom that I feel when I drive.. Sure, I complain about it on occasion but for the most part.. I love driving with the windows down and the stereo cranked obscenely loud… everything from the Beatles to the Brides of Destruction…… I can go anywhere or do anything .. as long as I have wheels.

And I guess it’s a good thing I like my little car.. as I may be living in it soon..LOL… at least it has A/C and a stereo.

Life: Just waiting to finalize the house deal.. keep ya posted.
Love: I love driving.
Pants: This area of my life is currently being neglected. Need to get back at it!

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