GROWING OLD WITH GRACIE

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Western Maryland, United States

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Taking The Wheel

I wish I would have taken a picture of my first car.  But back then, I didn't have a camera.  I guess that wasn't as important to me as having my own car.  

I was sixteen, and I remember approaching my dad with my request, "Dad my friend Greg has has a car for sale, only $50.  What do you think?"  

I loved my Dad.  He didn't say much, but he was always there for me.  And I never felt quite the protection and love with anyone as I did when he was near. 

 I was working at the time, a babysitting job from 3-11 just five houses up the road... Cemetary Road, that is.  At 11 PM Dad would 'just happen' to be walking our German Shepard  and would escort me home, knowing how terrified I was to walk through the dimly lit street and past the tombstones that sometimes cried out to me 'run! run!'.   Dad didn't say much... but I could feel the love.  From one heart to another.  

He went with me to check out the car... and gave me the okay to buy it.  I didn't make much back then, but I could surely afford a $50 car with my babysitting money.  

It looked something like this.


Only mine was white.

I'll never forget the independence that I felt as I got behind the wheel of my very own car.  I still dream about it, and in my dream I'm picking up my friends for school and we're laughing and talking about where we can go after school to get pizza and then we go to check in with friends down the road.  

I miss that old car.  But more than the car, I miss my Dad... and in my memory holds a crystal clear day at the Hoffman Ballfield where he sat in the passenger seat teaching me to parallel park.  He had the patience of a saint, and a sixpack of beer in the fridge to help endure.

He was only 52 when he died.  I'm thankful for the role he played in my life and I'm for some reason thinking about him today....  

That's me in the beautiful, brilliant, purple,
 puffy sleeved, groovy and wonderful blouse. There
must've been a sale on those glasses.