Beginner's Heart

via wikicommons

via wikicommons

Americans take our ability to drive ourselves wherever for granted. I’m probably the only person I know who didn’t drive until in my 20s. Yes, I ‘learned’ to drive. Took the test at 16 (the legal age when I was a kid), and passed. But I ONLY passed because the guy testing felt sorry for me. Honest. I ran over the curb, totally hosed my 3-point turn-around, and more.

My mother had an old Chevy Corvair that you had to drive w/ the windows down because it leaked gas fumes back into the car. So I drove that a bit. Then we went back overseas, where only the very wealthy have cars. Public transportation is the name of the get-around game.

I LVE public transportation!

Not simply because I grew up with it, taking cheap buses (a nickel to go anywhere) or almost as cheap cyclos and samlors to get wherever. But because it’s so…communal. 🙂 You meet folks, visit. You can look out the window. You can even sleep! For years, I took a bus to work 90 miles away. It was WONDERFUL. I made friends I will never forget. And learned things from people I never would have met otherwise. All that said, America is still a driver’s country.

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

And today? My beloved rejoined the drivers! Whoohoo!

This is a BIG everyday gratitude. Not only because I’m not required to do all the errands (that wasn’t always fun, just FYI…), but also because he LIKES driving. And he does NOT like being dependent. Who does?

One of the hardest things about aging parents, I know from experience, is taking away the keys. Because in this country, it pretty much condemns the non-driver to dependence. Unless s/he lives in one of the few good public transport hubs: Boston, Portland, NY. Otherwise? It’s hard. Yes, we have Uber now. But it’s not the same as having your own car. And it requires ca$h when perhaps you don’t have much.

So today I am very grateful for a seemingly small thing: my beloved can drive himself to his physical therapy appointment. Not, perhaps, all that earth-shaking. Until you look beneath the surface, as I’m finding w/ all of my seemingly ordinary gratitudes: he’s healing! He’s regaining mobility! Which is perhaps the biggest gratitude I have every day: my beloved is getting well. The driving? It’s just the confirmation we both need. 🙂

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