A couple of years ago I enjoyed a three month vacation in Largo, Florida. My accomodation was a manufactured home in an adult living park. It took me only a day to get to know three of my neighbours, a couple and a widow. They were permanent residents who lived there all year round. The widow , Jeanette, was a loveable lady who enjoyed popping in and having a chat. I liked her right away. And we became friends.
We went to several activities at the community centre while I was there. It was a good feeling to have people I knew to sit with. One afternoon my friend, Jeanette, invited me to go to dinner with her at the Golden Corral. I accepted happily and offered to drive my car. I had seen Jeannette behind the wheel of her Toyota , her head barely clearing the dashboard. I wondered how she could see out the windshield.
As is so typical of people in their 80’s who are still driving she would have none of my chauffering so I was obliged to be her passenger. All went well as we drove through the gated community up to the main entrance. We stopped to check for approaching traffic. There was some but it was a safe distance away. It seemed safe enough to make a left hand turn across two lanes and a divider. Jeanette gave her car some gas. Just barely. We accelerated to 20 mph. The approaching cars were getting closer heading for the passenger side_ and me! We were barely moving. The traffic was coming on . FAST! We snailed along. ” Wheeeeee!” shouted Jeanette. “Holy Moses!” I screamed silently. My friend crawled around the divider, I waited for the screech of brakes and the sound of crashing metal. It didn’t come. There was a blast of a horn and one raised middle finger. Unperturbed and unaware ,she continued to chug along toward the Golden Coral a smile of jubilation on her face. Magic Mountain wouldn’t have been more exciting to her. And once my heart steadied and the colour returned to my knuckles all I could do was laugh.
If you see me go through a large intersection and I am chuckling, be sure, I am remembering Jeannette and her whirlwind driving.