Virginia M. Ford
The portals of my senses were opened wide, as the hushed early morning silence ended, at the crest of the hill on the back-road, a mile from my home. Visible outside the windshield of my first car, a new green 1968 Volkswagen Bug, was a herd of some thirty cows rambling in the middle of the road on their way to a north pasture. How is it, on my shaky first drive, I encounter this crazy problem, especially when I purposefully avoided any main roads!
With a rush of adrenaline I braked, slowing down to a mere crawl, as the beasts veered on either side of my car, plodding steadily with their hooves clip-clopping and their tails swishing from side-to-side, as they bellowed along. Then, I heard the unmistakable sound of laughter and spotted my neighbor, Farmer Glen with his walking stick, at the same time he recognized me behind the wheel with a look of fright on my face, in the middle of this exacerbating situation. Calling out a cheerful “Good Morning,” he tipped his hat as I carefully passed by.
Moments later, I pulled in my driveway breathing a sigh of relief, and shut the car off. I took a moment to thank the Almighty that that incident was over.
As a four-year-old survivor of the 1950 polio epidemic, I went through a childhood of surgeries and rehabilitation in order to walk again. However, my legs were weakened. The once quick reflexes in my legs remained impaired. Installing hand controls in my car enabled me with the ability to drive to my position as an elementary teacher for the upcoming fall; providing me with a certain level of independence. After this morning’s ordeal I had the confidence to go forward in my life’s journey. Owning that car for nine years, I educated others about driving aides and I always shared the above amusing story about my first car and its “test drive.”