God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Wipers Move Too Fast

How many jokes are there about backseat drivers? And..how many of these are unconscionably, blatantly sexist in their maligning of women who,as everyone knows, are the best drivers in the two available categories--male and female.

Our family has its own backseat driver who not only is not female but is not a driver--other than of bumper cars. Somehow at the tender age of 10, Casey has learned all there is about driving, allowing him to supervise each and every minute detail of our time at the wheel--whether the vehicle is automatic or manual. (Since there have been a couple decades since we last raised a ten year old, I need to ask parents of the appropriate age if this is normal.)

As he sits in the back seat, Casey keeps his eye on the speedometer, the steering wheel, passing vehicles of all types, pedestrians, dogs, stop signs and traffic lights--nothing escapes him.

There is a running monologue that goes something like this:

Don't go so fast (this may be when we're at 65 on the freeway as we would never, ever speed!)
Watch out for that dog (who is on a leash, firmly held by its owner and we love dogs.)
Keep your eyes on the road (which is good advice for Ken, but I don't need it.)
Are you sure you're out of neutral? Are you in drive? (as we move forward down the street.)
Shouldn't you put the clutch in and shift to second? (I rue the day I explained clutches to him.)
Push the air-condition button to get the heater. (this morning when it was cold on the way to school.)
Use the auxiliary channel for the IPOD. (How did he know that?)

All of these are true and accurate quotes. With time, I could remember more.

But, today's bit of advice took the prize and inspired this entry which I haven't thought to share before.

It is raining in So Cal this morning--a rare event and our version of bad weather. Actually, there is a storm due later but now it is just wet with drops falling. Sometimes our storms don't materialize so we will wait to see what happens.

But, driving to school this morning there was enough precipitation to use the wipers--which I first had to find as I was driving Ken's BIG car which is very different from my little 1998 Saturn, 5-speed, coupe --with 42,000 miles.

Finally, they were swishing and all was well; I could see and we were safe....when from the backseat came "The wipers are going too fast. You need more drops between them."

Fortunately, the back seat is a far reach and would have required taking my eyes off the road, resulting in another reprimand--which is most certainly not what I want.

So, next time you have your wipers on, remember the advice from the back seat!

Footnote: The rain has come and it is in a fury here. We need waders just to get out on the patio. The wipers will be busy tomorrow--maybe. Or, maybe the sun will be out.


Rita said...

Good morning,

It is all your fault, Jane. He spent too much time in Italy and they are natural drivers by instinct. Casey saw too many Italians getting their cars into the smallest parking spaces; I'm sure he rode with some Mario Andretti dads here and picked up their shifting practices; he's right on the wipers, they scratch when they are going too fast, turn them down.

And have Santa bring him a moped, Casey is ready for the road.


Jane said...

Rita, mia amica, you are funny and probably spot on!

8:30 AM

Judith in Umbria said...

That is worse than people critiquing the cooking. I'd make him ride in the trunk.

Message to Casey: it is not necessary to say everything you think. The mental calm of the driver is more important than your opinion of his style.

girasoli said...

Loved the "you need more drops between them" line. Funny post, although probably a little irritating in person with all the critiques.

Jane said...

Judith--don't think I haven't thought of the trunk.

Susan, I love that line, too.

Anonymous said...

Now Jane, I can identify with Casey's comments here. I have used some of them myself.

Tell Casey, R.'s BMW has wipers that adjust the speed on their own, as to how much rain is falling!

He is one sharp kid, isn't he?

Beautiful photo of your area of Italy.

Merry Christmas to all of you in San Diego.

chiaro di luna