Tuesday, February 15, 2011

slip sliding away

It's warming up around here -- I think it is up to 35˚ already -- ooh, balmy!  Outside it is all drip, drip, dripping with the occasional CRASH! as it avalanches off of the roof.  Warning of the day:  Don't stand too close to the house.  It has been above freezing for a few days so it is quite amazing how much snow there still is.  Our alley is an exciting place for a two year old boy as he jumps from puddle, to ice chunk, to raging rivulet, then back for a few more stomps in the puddle for good measure.  My main worry at this point is that the ice and snow being contained on our patio like a swimming pool will decide to drain itself right into our basement since the ground is probably too frozen to be very accommodating and absorbing.  I feel good times ahead.

So a fun result of all the melting is the ice that subsists in the early morning.  Ella drove to seminary this morning, but then came home and asked me to take them to school.  I said no, because then I would also have to pick her up.  I'm efficient and forward thinking like that.  She said it was slippery and she didn't want to.  No, I said again.  Finally, she slowly admitted that she had hit another car on her way home from the church.  They were stopped at a stop light and she just slid right into them.  Well, of course she now had my full attention and I could totally understand why she didn't feel like driving anywhere else.  Fortunately the guy she had hit got out of his car and said he couldn't see anything so it will end there.  She also hit a car in a parking lot on Saturday, but it was not scraped or dented, merely scuffed so I think we'll be okay.  She left my phone number, but I haven't heard from anyone.  The worst part, since our already lofty priced insurance won't be increasing, is that she is now even more freaked out about driving than she already was.  She hates to drive!  How weird is that?  When I turned 16 I couldn't wait to be out on the open road and rushed to the DMV on my birthday.  Ella just hmmmed and hawed and finally six months after her birthday I announced, "I'm taking you to get your license this afternoon."  She screamed and claimed I hadn't given her enough warning, so two hours later I suggested we go then.  "No way!  I have to be prepared for this."  "Okay," I calmly replied, "Let's go next Friday right after school."  Well, that turned out to be not very smart since apparently Friday is the busiest day at the place that, at the best of times, seems to be a lacking in the efficiency department.  So we waited.  Got called up to talk to people who are trained to be disinterested and unfriendly (no smiling!  focus on your face having as little expression as possible!).  Wait some more.  Take a little test.  Finally it is time to have the driving test and the most grumpy looking woman I have ever in my long life encountered walks from the back room.  This is her last test of the day and she looks ready for it all to be over.  "Good luck!"  I call and then add, "To both of you!  ha, ha, hmmm."  Okay, not even a crack at a smile.  I wait.  Ella comes back and says, "Let's go now."  "Did you pass?"  I ask as we rush out the door.  "No, I told you I would fail." Oops, I had assured her that she was a good driver and there was no way she wouldn't pass, but given the traffic around the DMV and the state of the tester, I wasn't really surprised.  I didn't know how I was going to get her to try again, but then someone suggested I take her out to a little town about 35 miles away where the small town folk are friendly and there is no traffic to speak of.  I whisked her up from school the next day and we had a nice journey out into the corn fields.  We had virtually no wait, a perfectly agreeable woman took her out for the driving test, and it was all over in less than twenty minutes.  When I asked how the test went Ella said, "There were no other cars, no people, and not even one stop light."  Perfect.  So now we have another driver, but she doesn't like to, purposely doesn't bring her license with her so she won't have to, and is now a little spooked.  

Phin has been very quiet while I write and then just brought down some of Ibby's Valentine candy so I had better go investigate.


Stacey said...

Poor Ella!!! I damaged three cars while living in the UK and never wanted to drive again so I know how she feels! I am sure it hasn't helped that the weather has been so bad!

Normal Mom said...

Hafe got pulled over on his way home from getting his license for not properly stopping at a stop sign.

I didn't get my license until I was 18. My mom told me I couldn't go to college without it. I was terrified and I failed parallel parking, but passed everything else. I had my first accident that summer when my aunt loaned me her car. I crashed the front end into the Rainbow Snow shack while I was backing out. So I totally sympathize with Ella. I slid on some ice this morning and nearly slid into the intersection. It's scary out there.

But she'll gain some confidence during the summer when things are dry and a little easier. Or she'll just move to Europe or New York where she'll never need to drive.

HARA said...

I think driving in the snow and ice is scary for experienced drivers! She is brave. Also, I remember being terrified about taking my first exams at the DMV because my brother failed his first time, and Doran had never failed anything.

Jen said...

Haha. Love the stinger to this post. My kids always get into trouble while I read or write.

Your girl does have a hard place to be an early driver. Ice is scary!

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