Driving Miss Janie

My mother is independent. She likes to go where she wants to go and when she wants to go and with whom she wants to go. At over 80 she does fairly well with all this going, as long as she is going in good light. Her eyesight sometimes has trouble, especially in darkness. You can plan on driving in the daytime to have light, unless there is a big storm and then sometimes it gets dark, even in the daytime.

Her sister Edie and her husband Bill come to North Carolina and stay for a few months every summer and my mother likes to visit them. It’s a good three plus hour drive for my mother to get to the mountains to their house. This year I volunteered to drive, just in case there was a rain storm in the day time.

Going on a trip with my mother is always a learning experience for me. I get to hear many stories about her childhood, a favorite topic, followed up by the second favorite topic, questions for me about technology. Coming in a close third is the stock market.

Today’s trip followed the usual pattern. I learned information about relatives three, four and five generations back from me. We talked all about all her childhood neighbors which included my mother quizzing her much younger sister about her recollections about said neighbors. A new bit of information I learned is that they had a one next door neighbor family who they hated. The details about why were sketchy, but it involved dogs pooping in the wrong yards and they neither my mother, nor Aunt could remember exactly whose dogs were at fault.

My favorite technology portion of the day was when my mother thought she could lock her car with just her finger. She does have a car that has a capability to do that as long as you have the key nearby, but my mother thought she really only needed her finger. Unfortunately her key was inside the house. No magic finger on my mother.

Then we did discuss the stock market, a topic my Aunt is also and expert in. It makes me nervous when my mother tells me she is in risky stuff, but she assured me she can ride out ups and downs. I guess she is planning on sticking around at least another fifteen years.

I guess am going to have to be driving her a lot more, and carrying the key so she can lock the door with just her finger. Some technology conversations just don’t stick, not like family folklore stories.



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