Car Confessions - Time to Giveup Driving

    While driving family cars I got to meet all kinds of people.  And most were quite nice, many were funny, some were amazing and a few were just unpleasant.  I also got to hear a lot of things, by overhearing or being told.  Some of which was private and will stay that way, but most of it was quite public.

    A good short example is from the family of an elderly lady who had died.  They told me about how she had bought a brand new Mazda 3.  She then only drove it to and from the shops for half a year before deciding to go into a nursing home.  As she would tell anyone who listened she was in her midd 90s and still a great driver, that she was young and able at heart.

    Because the car was only a few months old and with very few kilometres on it she thought it would sell for a fair bit.  But nobody would buy it, even after reducing the price to almost nothing.  Nobody would touch the car, which annoyed her immensely and she could not understand why.  Or I should say she could not see why.  Apparently the shops she drove to daily had yellow bollards by the driveway in and out.  A fact which she missed as she would scrape them daily.  One side going in, the other going out.  So her lovely new car had no pain and was covered in dents from the windows down on both sides.

    Her family who had not seen the car since she bought it thought the whole thing was rather amusing.  After her passing they had to sell it for parts as no other buyers or dealers wanted it.  We all had a laugh in the car about how it must have been just yellow and silver on the sides, a good 'safety feature'. 

    It is hard to know when enough is enough.  When one can no longer drive safely.  She thought she could drive perfectly, in fact she was convinced of the fact.  Yet she obviously did not even notice hitting the bollards let alone their existence.  I told this story to another person in my car who had given up driving as she got older.  She thought it was absolutely hilarious.  In her youth she had written off a car by snapping its axel while cornering "a tad too fast" but as she got older realised she could no longer drive.  

    But not everybody is like this.  There is a sister at a certain religious nursing home who is kind of known to us.  She is just a phenomenal driver.  The first time I was in a cortege, following the hearse, I saw her behind me in a little Suzuki Swift.  Most people leave such large, annoying and dangerous gaps between the cars in the cortege.  I was known for being able to follow the hearse and other cars very closely, closer than most others.  But here was a little old lady about 2 inces behind me at 80km/h, so much closer than I could ever drive.  And she did it safely and with control.  Later that day I dropped off the family and happened to be driving along when she passed me.  A blur of a white Swift was mostly what I could make out before she turned sharply and accurately into the nursing home.  A few weeks later I actually got to see her hop out of the car.  She hopped out with a slow but springy and lively step before grabbing her walking frame out of the back seat.  Then she shuffled off so slowly into the nursing home.  

    That's right, a nun in her 80s who walks slowly with a walking frame can drive faster and better than most experienced drivers.  And definitely better than the public in a cortege.


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