Monday, March 7, 2011

Driving the Cherry Bmb

When i was learning to drive, my family had only Big Vehicles. Lincoln Continentals from way back when, and large GMC vans were the norm. We also went on vacation in an RV soon after i got my license, and i was allowed to share the driving. In my life, i've owned and driven two used high top large conversion vans as well.

Also, i broke myself of my fear of bridges by making myself drive one of those big Lincolns over the old Huey P. Long Bridge, the very narrow one built for Model T Fords with the train tracks in the middle, that crosses Old Man River. It was during rush hour, with a train going over at the same time, and i made myself pass a lorry, with maybe about 6 inches clearance on each side.

All that to say that driving big vehicles is not new to me, so the Cherry Bmb, even though a bit of a challenge, wasn't unfamiliar in handling.

There is the question of why i was driving and not Sweetie. Some people assume the husband will drive when they are together, but in our case it's a bit more complicated than that. When we first met, and were only friends, he had just moved to town and didn't have a car, so i would give him rides. It sort of became a habit. Then there is the fact that he can't drive and talk at the same time, and if there is anyone in the car, he will talk. He will also go more and more slowly the longer the drive. If we are tootling around town, that's not a problem, When we are on the highway, or have to be somewhere in a certain amount of time, it can be.

Finally, he just loves to sit back and let someone else do the driving, so he can sleep, or read, or chat. Thus it is much easier for me to drive when we are all together, and i do.

The drizzly rain that had been predicted stopped for a convenient half hour while we loaded the car. Then it started up and followed us all of the way to Mobile. During the rain, and even after, the wind was kicking up, rocking the Cherry Bomb all over the road. This was especially bad when we were on bridges, or passing big trucks. It meant gripping and steering hard, but i consider it a challenge, and didn't mind.

We had agreed to meet my parents at 9am at the Mississippi State Welcome Center, and i told Sweetie to expect a call before that from my always early father. Sure enough, about 20 minutes until 9, his phone rang. He told my dad that we were about 10 minutes away, and ten minutes to the minute later, we pulled up alongside my dad's Lincoln (some things never change).

We agreed that my parents would follow us, as i tend to drive the speed limit, and dad does not. The next stop would be the Cracker Barrel in Spanish Fort, right on the other side of Mobile, so we headed out. Sweetie, as typical every time we drive this way, pointed out where he used to turn to go to High School, what exit led to his old house, etc. It's a trip down memory lane every time we come through.

Battling to keep the Cherry Bomb steady on the road past the bays and bridges and find things to listen to on the radio that we could all agree on took most of my concentration, and i was startled when we got a call from my mom only about 5 miles short of the restaurant exit. It seems my mother's bladder wasn't going to hold out, and we had to pull off one exit early for her. It's a shame, really, after one of the quickest and least traffic laden trips through Mobile we had ever made, flagged down so close. Thus it was an extra 15 minutes getting to the restaurant, and a longer wait for a table there. The earlier you get to most eating places, the better.

Today is:

Bolludagur -- Iceland (Bun Day)

Casimir Pulaski Day -- Illinois, US

Global Marathon For, By, and About Women in Engineering and Technology -- Global "Town Meetings" to connect girls and women, through the week

Great Lent -- a/k/a Clean Monday, Ash Monday, Pure Monday, Monday of Lent, Shrove Monday, Collop Monday, Rose Monday, Merry Monday or Hall Monday, and (in Cypress) Green Monday -- Orthodox Christian

Junonalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Juno)

Lundi Gras

Magellan Day or Discovery Day -- Guam

Masaryk Day -- Czech Republic; Slovakia

National Be Heard Day

National Crown Roast of Pork Day

Rosenmontag -- German-speaking Countries (Rose Monday, highlight of Karneval)

Shrove Monday

St. Drausius' Day

St. Felicity's Day (patron of mothers; against infertility)

St. Perpetua's Day

Teacher's Day -- Albania

Vejovis' Day -- Ancient Roman Calendar, sacrifices to the god of healing

Birthdays Today:

Ivan Lendl, 1960
Rik Mayall, 1958
Tammy Faye Bakker, 1942
Daniel J. Travanti, 1940
Willard Scott, 1934
Lord Snowdon, 1930
Maurice Ravel, 1875
Piet Mondriaan, 1875
Luther Burbank, 1849
John Herschel, 1792
Rob Roy MacGregor, 1671
Henry Purcell, 1659
Kano Tanju, 1602

Today in History:

Roman Emperor Constantine I decrees that the dies Solis Invicti (sun-day) is the day of rest in the Empire, 321
King Henry VIII's divorce request is denied by the Pope; Henry then declares that he, not the Pope, is supreme head of England's church, 1530
Massachusetts enacts the first bicameral legislature in the colonies, 1664
The French army enters Rome: the birth of the Roman Republic, 1798
Shrigley Abduction: Ellen Turner is abducted by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a future politician in colonial New Zealand, 1827
Charles Miller patents the first US sewing machine to stitch buttonholes, 1854
The City of Lábrea in Amazonas, Brazil was founded, 1886
Roald Amundsen announces that, on Dec. 14, 1911, his expedition had reached the South Pole, 1912
An 8.0 earthquake strikes Tango, Japan, 1927
Bloody Sunday: Alabama state troopers and 600 black protestors clash in Selma, 1965
Divers from the USS Preserver locate the crew cabin of Challenger on the ocean floor, 1986
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that parodies of an original work are generally covered by the doctrine of fair use, 1994
British House of Commons votes to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, 100% elected, 2007


  1. It's exciting to get updates from you while you are on the road! I hope that your travelling continues to go smoothly.

    As for you doing the driving, it's great that you and your husband are aware of who's best to do what. There's no reason for you not to do the driving, other than it getting fatiguing, so I hope that you are able to get breaks here and there.

    It sounds like you are off to a great start! Enjoy!

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