Wednesday, October 17, 2007

behind the wheel

I've become a bit obsessed with this posting everyday/numbers challenge.
So, as I was showering at 4:30 this morning, I was thinking of today's post.

Okay, thats not the first thing I thought of...I was giggling when I realized that the last time I'd showered was 4:30 on Sunday morning after covering 10 hours of music and making myself write my column when I got home. I took a quick shower before I went to bed. No wonder I'm always so tired, and bowl like crap.

Anyway, back to number sixteen. Of course the first thing that popped in to my head was "sweet sixteen and never been kissed." Not much to talk about there, in fact we could expand that to sweet seventeen, sweet get the idea. Which probably would would have led in to a discussion of sweet forty-six and, again, you get the idea. Pretty dang boring.

Like most of you I got my drivers license when I was sixteen and one month. As a farm kid, it was slightly anti-climactic. I'd been driving around the farm for years and on bigger equipment than I'd ever take on the road. And as the oldest of four, I knew that I was just adding another chore to my list.

In fact, on my first day of official driving I was asked to drive one of my sister's friends home and I threw a bit of a fit. Which meant that I said nothing, but boy did I tell everyone off in my head. I learned a huge lesson that day.
Don't drive when you're mad.

Yep, I hit the side of the barn. With an audience.

I'm still fairly ambivalent about driving. I'd hate not having a car, but I'm not a big fan of driving.
I have the sense of direction of a donut -- I consider it a victory when I don't have to make a u-turn to reach my destination.

I've always driven very practical vehicles, nothing sexy.

Nothing about the whole driving process appeals to me. Most of all the maintenance.
This morning I was thinking of the glory days of getting my car fixed. I'd follow Dad out to Sam Shepherd's house, Sam would fix the car and on we'd go. The Shepherd family attended the same church we did. Sam was one of a bunch of kids, the youngest Wanda is my age.

I left the house wishing I still had a Sam Shepherd in my car's life.
Now I'm at the mercy of the dealership or local repair shop.
I wondered what ever happened to Sam, I have not seen him in 20 years.

I was giving two talks at a factory this morning the first at 6:00. I left in plenty of time, but in usual Nora fashion things went awry. It was dark and raining. The map-quest directions left out a critical piece of information and I missed a street. It was one of those frustrating you-can-see-it-you-just-can't-get-there moments. The business was across the street from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and you couldn't turn around. I finally got to the address I'd been given.
And the gates were locked. I had to park and walk up to the gate to read the sign.
Did I mention the rain and the dark? And that the neighborhood was not great?
The sign directed me to a street address a block away. I found that gate, parked, walked through the rain to the guard shack.
From there I had to leave my driver's license, and was issued a hard hat, safety glasses, a pass, parking permit and electronic key fob that would let them know where I was at all times.

It's now 6:00 and I'm still not at the right plant building. I'm a little freaked out. I followed the map through the factory grounds, someone met me a the door, led me thought the factory floor, up a flight of stairs and launched my damp frizzy haired self in the room just in time to talk. I didn't have a chance to look around the to see who I was talking to ahead of time.

I've given hundreds of talks in the last couple of years. I'm pretty unflappable. I've only stopped talking in the middle of a speech once. I was giving a talk at the FedEx hanger at the airport. A large door, as big as our barn was open in front of me facing the runway. I could handle seeing the planes taxi by, but when one turned in to the hanger toward me I had to stop and ask "is this okay?"

So this morning, I'm talking away looking around the room and who do I see in the crowd, that makes me stop mid-sentence?
Sam Shepherd!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to think about George Clooney and see if he shows up at my 6:30 am talk.
Maybe I'll start dreaming about him now.


Cliff said...

Clooney would be a nightmare in my mind.
You do live quite the life Nora.

terah said...

Your real stories are always much better than anything I could make up!

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

If you ever have atime when you don't know what to write about (and I really don't think that will happen) could you fill us in on how you hit the side of the barn? Complete with everyone's reaction as well.

bad influence girl said...

Have I already missed your talk? I want to be there if George Clooney shows up!

Jamie Dawn said...

I don't know if I have the ability to talk at 6 a.m.
I'm not sure if my mouth works that early.
It's good that yours does since you had to do your talk at that time.
I'm not a George Clooney fan.
It's funny that you hit a barn on your first official day of driving. I'm thinking you must have gotten the gas pedal mixed up with the brake.

Jerry said...

I know what you mean. By the time I got my driver's license I had been driving cars for three years. My driver's ed teacher was really annoyed that I was such an experienced driver. He made me parallel park on the left side of a one-way street downtown Indy. Jerk.

I see Sam almost every Sunday @8am Mass.