Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I'm considering a quick trip to Arizona this weekend.

I need to get a car to Son #2.

It's a 12 hour drive.

I could leave early Saturday morning and be in Arizona by Saturday night.

Then fly back on Sunday, in time to work on Monday.

There's this one teeny problem, however.

My son's car is a manual.

I haven't driven a manual for ummm, about twenty years.

I'm not sure I still remember how.

So I'm working up to this trip.

On Sunday, I went out and inspected the car.

Called my son.

"What pedals do you have to push to start the car?"

I could almost feel his eyes rolling from 900 miles away.

"The clutch. Just the clutch."

I went back out and started the car.

I moved it ten feet forward. Felt pretty accomplished. Decided to call it a night.

Last night I had to walk the dog and watch the Broncos. I didn't have time to practice driving. 

Tonight I went out again. I needed to move the car because tomorrow is street sweeping day and I don't need a ticket.

I pushed in the clutch and started the car. I waited until there were no cars coming. I played around with the gear shift. It doesn't have the positions for the different gears.

I called my son. He gave an impromptu lesson on gear positions. Cautioned me not to put the car into reverse accidentally.

He then suggested that I might want to call his friend, Nick, to see if he is available to drive with me this weekend.

That would be nice, but it would mean two plane tickets, instead of one. So it's not a possibility.

I hung up and drove around the block. In first gear.

I'm going to google gearshift positions tonight. 

I'm thinking it might take too long  to get to Arizona if I drive ten miles an hour all the way.


BK said...

Wow, what a challenge! I remember my early days with that clutch. I loved the experience but I can't imagine your drive to Arizona. Are you sure about that?

Linda B said...

How about a plane ticket here for your son, then he could drive the car back? Good luck, Carol-I've still had to drive a manual shift enough that I still remember. Wish I could help in some way. Want me to come up to help you figure it out?

Jone said...

I remember the clutch days. Good luck. Do you have a friend that can go with you?

Kyle said...

I'm laughing thinking of you trying to get over Raton Pass in first gear. Just think of the clutch as an extension of teaching reading. Now gun it!!!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I'm with Linda on this one, Carol. Arizona is a long drive...

Penny Jansen said...

You can do it! I learned to drive a motorcycle at 53 years old. Go by sound..if the engine is revving, change gears. Use the parking brake if you have to start on a hill. If you're not sure about anything, push in the's a safe bet.
Good luck!