I was already 40 years old and living in Manhattan when I got my driver’s license. When I told my then boyfriend that I was taking driving lessons, he said “Uh oh.” Until then I had relied on trains, planes, taxis, buses, subways and other people (men) to get most places. There was a point, in my 30s and in Philadelphia, when I found myself boyfriendless, and my biggest concern was how I was going to get to Chinatown without a man to drive me.
That license to drive may have been the last step in my journey to complete independence. Within six months I had broken up with my boyfriend and been promoted at work, I assume because I had more time on my hands and took the job more seriously sans the boyfriend – which had never been a goal, but what happens happens.
These days, it’s a twelve mile round trip to the grocery store, but I’ve been driving less and less as this winter has worn on, and on, and on. The roads got narrower, and the potholes and “heaves” multiplied throughout the winter.
The snow is still pretty deep, but there are signs of melting. I can hear it even though I can’t really see it yet. So Glenn Curtis’ “four mile challenge” was the perfect excuse to get in the car again, and drive for no reason.
I chose to turn left instead of right today. Right takes me down the mountain and toward food, gas, and practically everything else that involves capital. Left takes me to lakes, ponds, a cemetery and some farms. The roads to the left are in worse shape, and they do not generally have yellow lines. At about the 3.5 mile mark, I had to decide whether to turn left or right again. I turned right, thinking I could possibly get to Winchester Lake at 4 miles, but I ended up at a fairly undistinguished field somewhere on route 263 in Litchfield county.
I took more photos, but they were all overexposed. I did get an inadvertent selfie of my own fingers.
I don’t care. I’m just grateful not to be driven.