30 January 2012

Monday Memories

Quite a few years ago, back in the late 1980s, my husband and I bought a Ford Festiva. It was a cool little car, but it was a straight-drive. I had never driven a straight-drive car before and didn't really want to have to learn. It seemed like too much to keep up with. With little ones in the back seat, I needed to be able to both pay attention to the driving AND to what they were doing to each other back there and trying to figure out gears and clutches was just way too much to try to
figure out.

As happens when one drives a car, it eventually needs more gas. That point happened before I had mastered getting the thing up a hill and up a hill I had to go to get into the gas station parking lot. I reached a point where I couldn't go forward without having to change gears and this meant risking rolling back down the hill into the traffic. I was paralyzed with fear. So, what did I do? You guessed it. I stopped right there, mid-hill and walked up to the gas pumps to find someone that would have mercy on me and drive the car the rest of the way up the hill for me. Thankfully, there was someone pumping gas that was willing to help and they drove the car up the hill to the pumps for me. I loved the car and eventually mastered not smashing everything behind me on an incline, but I was never comfortable driving a straight-drive car.

Anything that I drive has to be an automatic because I just don't have the concentration or memory that it takes any more to try to remember to a clutch for this or that. I'd probably be on the evening news as the cause of a zillion car pileup on the freeway if I tried!


  1. I never heard it called a straight drive. My part of the region calls it stick shift. I had a purple Impreza in the late 80's too. LOVED it! It was a pain to drive in rush hours traffic though. I had to sell it in the 90's when I had the boys. Couldn't fit the car seats in my little sports car.

    1. Hi Tami,

      Back when I was a kid, all I ever heard was the term straight drive. I've since heard stick shift like you're used to, but also manual and standard. My daddy did mechanic work off and on, but it was all Greek to me. :)

      How cool that you had a purple car. My youngest would love that. Purple is her favorite color. What kind of car do you have now? We have a red Fiesta. We can't fit much into it, but most of the time it is only me and David in it, so it works and is great on gas.

  2. Yeah, we call it a stick or standard if we're being classy. Not that often for that.

    I can relate to the fear of learning to drive it...especially on those hills. We had a '69 Boss 302 with a huge and heavy clutch that I learned to drive on. Oh, way back in the day. Thanks for the memory :)

    1. Hi Stephanie, you're welcome for the memory. Did you ever have the problem of "clutch foot" when going from the stick to driving an automatic? I think I gave one of my aunts whiplash when I went from driving our car to driving her automatic. I could never smoothly go back and forth between the two types of vehicles. As hard as I jerked the car at one point, I'm surprised her head stayed on her neck. :)

  3. Tami and Stephanie, thank you both for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it very much. I hope that you're both having a great day!


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