Twice in the last two weeks I have almost been late for an appointment because I couldn’t find two empty parking spaces side by side. Previously, I wrote about learning to drive at age 50, but parking is a whole other animal.
I have asked my husband, Douglas, to teach me to park, but he says that, after 50 years of driving, he just does it by instinct, so he can’t teach me. He says you can only learn by doing it! What silliness!
Last Tuesday, I tried parking in the only space I saw, but I couldn’t figure out when I was supposed to start into my turn. When my car started to beep at me, I knew that I was in jeopardy of hitting one of the cars, so I abandoned the effort.
Looking behind me, I saw a man leaving, and, to my good fortune, the space next to him was also empty, thank the Lord! I backed up carefully. I had to stop a couple of time to remind myself which direction I needed to be turning the wheels. I finally reached the two empty spaces, and I was able to turn into them. I had to reverse a little, so that I could pull forward into only one space.
Then, on this past Tuesday, I had a medical test at the hospital. I left some spaces for the cars behind me, because I knew that I couldn’t maneuver into them. I think some people thought that it was my job to show them empty spaces!
I drove out and detoured to the other end of the lot, praying for the Lord to help me find two spaces or send an angel to help me park in one space. The appointment was at 10:30, and it was already 10:15. I started to just go home, but, I like to think that I am not a quitter.
I finally found a spot on my left that looked like I could get in it, so I decided to go for it. I had to back up twice, remember which way to turn the wheels, and then drive in a little more. I got out and found that I wasn’t all the way in the space, but I was between the lines and my back end was not in the way of other drivers. Yes, you could have parked a motorcycle with me, but I was in there!
I went for the test, and when I came out, I prayed for God to please help me get out without hitting someone. I had hit a parked car in a school parking lot when I first learned to drive, and, thankfully, I hadn’t done a lot of damage to either car, but I remembered the feeling of seeing the other person so distraught.
It took me a while to get out, for I was very careful to think in which direction I needed to turn the steering wheel to avoid the huge truck on my left. I realized that if turning the wheels to the left meant I almost hit the truck, then I needed to turn the wheels to the right. I got out, praise the Lord!
I was headed the wrong way, and an older black woman who was waiting for the space, looked at me as if I was a Martian or something but, hey, I was out and she had a parking space! That’s what mattered, isn’t it?
So, I am going to call a driving school and take some lessons on parking. I must, because I am going back to teaching, and sometimes I will be out after nightfall. If I can’t park in the daytime, I surely won’t be able to when there are shadows all over the places. Pray for me, people, and just in case, I drive a red Ford Escape. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!