How the Cookie Crumbles

Life in the fast and slow lanes after SIXTY-FIVE

More information Required

52 Comments


And so it begins.

First my knees failed…no, not correct; they didn’t fail, they gave out on me. The smooth elasticity I’d always enjoyed changed to creaking not unlike a dull saw stuck in wet wood. No problems with mobility yet, I just can’t bend my knees and get back up again.

Later I developed a hole in my chin—not a physical hole you understand, but whatever’s happened I seem to dribble or drip, especially anything the least bit greasy. I’ve ruin too many new—yes new—tops to greasy spots.

I’ve been saving myself for this? I’ve been saving myself for retirement and seven years in, I win the ticket to fall apart?  Not on your life!

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Thanks Alphonse Karr. It’s not just your name that hints you are obviously not a woman. What were you thinking when you said those words?

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

I’ve changed in increments until I don’t know who the hell the woman in my bathroom mirror is, or where she came from. Eyebrows, skin tone and texture, and cheeks have all changed. I am not the same.

A new surprise awaited me yesterday. My daughter bought a truck a month ago. Something wasn’t right with the brakes. To get work done she we had to drive to the next city: on the highway; morning traffic; four lanes of crazy people (they’re always more high-strung on Thursdays); a zillion cars, trucks, vans and transports and everyone’s in a hurry because the weekend starts in one day. This is not just any weekend, but a long weekend. I had to tag along because the truck was to be dropped off for repairs and my daughter needed a ride to work.

I don’t do highways, at least not well. In a matter of life and death, I might manage a two-lane highway if it has ever been familiar to me. Unless, since the last time I’ve driven in the area, a recent town or suburb, or one of those mega malls has mushroomed, I’d be lost.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Bottom line is I had to follow my daughter and her truck. Traffic around me filled and faded, zoomed and whooshed, and I lost track of her truck. Transport trucks on either side of me, I couldn’t go around the guy who’d cut in front. Claws for hands, clutching the wheel till bloodless, I saw an opening. My retired brain has been in the slow lane for a while and I almost broke my neck twisting this way and that to gauge my entry into the new lane. I’ve no idea if I had sweat on my forehead or if the ceiling of my car had sprung a leak when the sky opened up to add to my anxiety.

Stop. Start. Traffic at a snail’s pace; traffic at breakneck speed. By the time we arrived at the garage, I wasn’t even a basket case (as the saying goes), I was melted brains on the front seat. I sagged and couldn’t move.

When had I turned into this wuss?

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

What a laugh. I’m so changed after yesterday, I’m never driving on the highway again; if it’s a matter of life or death, I’ll call a taxi…or a limo. And I will close my eyes because duty calls and I’ll get through it.

I didn’t stay the same. I quit the highway forever.

One more thing, at two o’clock I had to repeat the process in reverse. It’s a wonder I have any hair left.

Advertisements

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

52 thoughts on “More information Required

  1. I feel for you!
    I had to go get my truck registered
    of course in another town…not too far but on a freeway with construction and CRAZY people….
    I went the long back road way home….there is a reason I don’t
    use freeways…they are not free, they extract at least 10 years of my life for a toll!
    Hope you are having a rest-filled night…
    Take Care…
    )0(
    maryrose

    Like

    • Yes, Maryrose I was tucked in bed early Thursday night, I was that tuckered and wrung out. I nicely told my daughter after the ordeal not to ask me again. It’s not easy to have to explain my reflexes are slow and my nerves can’t take four and six-lane driving anymore. We could have taken the back roads but it would have added more time. She already knew she’d be late for work and made arrangements but didn’t want to take the morning off. After all, working helps pay for trucks and repairs.

      Thanks so much for the nice conversation. Talk soon.

      Like

  2. Scares me sometimes how incompetent I feel out there. But since Hubs and I have been doing all that babysitting (which requires a half-hour commute during both rush hours every day – and in the winter, in the dark morning and night) we’ve had to get good at it all over again. But we do not like it. No sirree.

    Like

    • I’m sure it has something to do with response capability. For me, I know my reflex to anything isn’t as quick as it used to be and the highways are so busy. I don’t worry about My driving, but the other guy’s. I see crazy drivers taking chances whipping in and out of traffic expecting everyone around them to let them do what they have in mind, but we are not mind readers. Multiply that by how many nuts in a hurry.

      Nice to chat with you, Lynne. Sorry to hear you have to suffer twice daily in rush-hour traffic.

      Like

  3. I’m having a panic attack reading it. There are times of the day I can not, absolutely can not, get in the car. Peak hour is a no no for me. You are a brave woman do to this. I pulled some hair out for you.

    Like

    • Sorry, about the panic. I figured I was panicked enough for all the women in my boat. I nicely told my daughter after it was all over and she came home from work not to ask me to help in this way again. I don’t think I could survive another hit to the body. I haven’t needed to drive on a four or six-lane highway in a couple of years and I certainly didn’t have to follow someone, which is a crazy trick to perform.

      Thanks for the support, Kate. My apologies for going off the deep end and sharing, but it’s always nice to see you.

      Like

  4. I’ve noticed the body starting to change too. I could wave flags from the flaps in my underarms.

    I’ve done so much highway driving, and still do, that I have the opposite problem: I’m so relaxed I find my mind wandering off to dreamland. Not good on the 401, as you know!

    Like

    • Mind wandering is called multi-tasking in my book, no matter what it’s about, but I hear you. On familiar routes, mine wanders too and it’s a miracle I arrive where I’m supposed to. Now I drive less and go out more but I need a car and I need to drive or be home-bound. Ack.

      I haven’t done much highway driving since my mother passed away 2-1/2 years ago. She lived off the 401 about 45 minutes from here. Going to visit was one way of keeping my highway driving in my repertoire. but it was only a two lane one way (not four or six). Still, it had started to get harder.

      Nice to see you, Karen. Thanks for the chat.

      Like

      • The 401 has gotten busier, that’s for sure, with the lane expansion. 98% of my highway driving is the section lovingly referred to as “Carnage Alley”–the section between Windsor and London.

        I probably should do less “multitasking”. 😉

        Like

      • The 403 around Burlington is so wide now, I can’t even count how many vehicles it carries. Do watch the guy beside you, Karen. It’s the other guys you have to watch.

        Like

      • For sure. I’m on high alert when I drive in busy traffic–or through the GTA area. That’s just hairy.

        Like

  5. I’m not too keen on driving when it’s busy, Tess. Well, if its sooo busy everyone can’t move faster than a mile an hour I don’t mind that… but I love being on the open road. Just me and nothing around! However, having said that, I’m probably one of those drivers who gets cursed constantly, as when I look behind me there’s a long line stretching miles back.
    My knees click and clank constantly. All my joints do, actually…

    Like

    • Fifty years ago you had to be RICH to own a car. Now it’s a necessity. The highways stink and are plugged up with them. Where the heck did all these people (owners) come from? Can you imagine the skies if those Sci-Fi personal flying devices ever came to fruition and everyone had to have one of those too? We have enough crows and seagulls flying around. Progress isn’t always a good thing although for mature people like me might find flying easier than driving–except for all that new traffic in the sky. Heh-heh.

      Nice to see you back, Tom.

      Like

  6. I know what you mean. Old age creeps up on you,luckily, since it gives you a chance to get used to it. Imagine how awful it would be if it all happened at once! As for driving – one day you won’t be able to, so before that day comes, work out what you’re going to do!

    Like

    • So true, Rose. My car is 13 years old now and I plan to drive it to the ground, but it’s starting to leak. Already I’ve considered whether it’s worth buying a new one (what’s the point in buying someone else’s troubles?). I drive less and go out less. The more expensive insurance and less driving doesn’t add up but I do need transportation as I can’t get a bus to go shopping. Anyway, taking a bus to shop takes ALL day. I want to have a life!

      Like

  7. I passed up a nice opportunity this week, because I couldn’t deal with even the idea of driving to (and in) Boston. They say the eyes are the first to go, but I think it is the highway.

    Like

  8. Your drove the freeway backwards!!! Just kidding, when you wrote you had to repeat it in reverse, I got an image… What can I say, my feeble changing aging brain does things like that and what better way to say, I hear ya. I had to go get glassed to be able to drive on the freeway. Do you think that helped? I guess the next thing will be an anti-anxiety pill to put me to sleep so I don’t care about those huge trucks that always want to side swipe my tiny little civic.

    The good news, the writing was longer and I really like your writing, Tess. At first I thought it was a longer writing exercise, then it rang too too true.

    Good weekend to you.

    Like

  9. (typo correction alert) P.S. I had to get glasses, not glassed. Yipes…

    Like

  10. Because I live in the south west of England there are dual carraigeways but only one motorway, that ends in my city. There isn’t really much cause to go up the motorway – I live where everyone else wants to go! so I have limited expeience of motorway driving and I don’t much enjoy it. Give me an A road or a windy country lane anyday!

    Like

    • Half-way, my daughter turned off the highway because it was so plugged up. We did a long city drive across town and it was slower but I didn’t know what she was doing. It was all I could do is follow because I don’t know that city. Thank goodness for that bit of relief at least until I had to pick her up at work and drive back to pickup the truck when it was ready on her lunch hour. I made her drive and following her afterwards still wasn’t any easier.

      Like

  11. Hi,

    I’d like to give you and your great blog the super sweet blog award
    http://heilablog.com/2013/08/03/super-sweet-blog-award/

    I’ll be happyif you accept.
    Thanks,
    Heila

    Like

  12. It’s NOT you!!! Driving the highways is insanity! People truly believe if they need to get some place they have every right to make asinine movements to reach their end goal. Despite any and all risk to others. That is intelligence on your part to avoid it! Back roads are there for a reason. Those with common sense! 😉

    Like

  13. Oh, I am so with you. Body and driving. I’m sorry you had such a time.

    Like

  14. I just get on the phone with my Bluetooth, nothing bothers me. You would hate driving with me though, I am a speed demon.

    As for falling apart, oh my friend I have been doing it for years thanks to injuries. Take it from me you adjust, work around it and get use to it.

    Like

  15. Every day we change.
    Glad you survived the highway experience Tess – and hope it does not have to be repeated anytime soon!

    Like

  16. I’m sorry… but *giggling* Oh My GOODNESS!! Being only 34, I have to say, most things still behave the way they are supposed to. Although I did have a car accident when I was 17 and my pelvis was broken in 5 places, my left hip ALL the way through, and I could not walk for around 4 months. It gets quite achey in the colder weather (luckily I don’t have too much of that, where I am from). The doctor labels it arthritis *blank stares*…

    Wonderfully written, and one hopes for your own safety and that of other drivers you never have to go back onto that dreaded freeway again eh!

    Like

  17. I never learned to drive. There isn’t much point in London where I’ve lived most of my life. I’m sure that driving down a busy three lane motorway (as we call highways) would absolutely terrify me and everyone around me!

    Like

  18. Oh my gosh! I can really relate to this!! It’s funny too because I just wrote a post about it today as in a little while I am driving down to my daughters house in central California. But the difference between you and I is that I’ve always been a wuss when it comes to driving. HA! 😀

    Like

  19. Your experience reminds me of my mom. She would be in melt-down mode just worrying about an upcoming venture out of her life long neighborhood. She had her route and didn’t want to vary from it. As she became older even having to take an unknown route would cause her great anxiety

    Ironically her husband was a long -haul 18-wheel truck driver and he taught me how to drive, which gave me the knowledge to find my sense of direction and confidence. I grew up and have lived in small towns except for 10 yrs when I lived in downtown Seattle Washington. That smug confidence that had been with me for most of my driving years?
    Vanished, Poof!
    I suddenly was my mother.

    I always thought Alphonso Karr’s quote was absurd.

    Like

  20. Since you have become a loyal reader of mine 🙂
    All I have to say is that I know you know I totally GET IT!!!
    Great post! Glad you survived!
    xoxo

    Like

  21. I’m an old hand at driving the back-roads. I still get there; same as everyone else, without pushing the blood pressure up! Just checking in with you because I am so pleased that you complimented me on my poem today. I think we will become friends…Thanks!

    Like

    • I used to be an old hand now I guess I’m a no-hand. I understand blood pressure can kill you and that’s NOT the way I’m gonna go!

      Jacqueline, we ARE going to be GREAT friends. Thank you. I don’t know much about poetry but sometimes…you know…something comes over me.

      Like

Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s