My first car was a 1953 Chevrolet. I couldn’t tell you any of the particulars.
My father decided I should have my own car and he found a 1953 faded blue Chevrolet and scraped together the money and purchased it as a gift for me. I expressed my happiness and gratitude for the car. I knew it a was gift he could not afford and it meant a lot to me that he put himself in the doghouse with my stepmother to give it to me.
The problem was, the car. I know it is crazy, but I have this phobia about the stuffing showing in car seats, couches, anything that has cotton or other type of stuffing in it and it starts to show because of tears in the fabric and I get sick. I mean I get physically sick at the site.
This was an old car. I could see not only the old dirty cotton stuffing, but the wire springs as well. I was to drive this car from San Diego to Los Angeles to move back in with my mother. All I could think about was, I would be in that car for two hours.
I asked my stepmom for any old sheets and blankets she no longer wanted. She reluctantly gave me two old faded white sheets and a plain blanket. I don’t remember the color of the blanket.
I took one sheet to cover the back seat and used the other for the front seat and put the blanket over that because I had to sit on it and I didn’t want to feel any of the cotton or springs.
The next morning, I was so excited about returning home, but not about sitting in that car. I said my goodbyes to my dad, stepmom, my two stepbrothers and stepsister, my half brother and sister. My dad gave me finally instructions about getting to Los Angeles and where to exit to get back to my mother’s home.
Despite having to drive this car, I was excited and fearful at the same time about driving by myself. This was a two-hour trip and I had only driven a car once before to Los Angeles, but with my father. He had been drinking heavy in the day and was passed out. Another story I may share sometime. This time however, I would be completely by myself.
You have to picture me sitting ramrod straight up in the seat so my back wouldn’t touch the back seat. If I could have stood and drove, I would have. That is how paranoid I was about the seats.
My dad had filled the gas tank and told me I shouldn’t have to stop until I made it home. I was truly grateful for that. I knew once I was out of that car, I would not get back in it to save my life. I just didn’t want my dad to know how I felt because he was proud of being able to give me a car. I couldn’t hurt him by saying or doing anything that would diminish his happiness.
So I got in the car, sat up straight and as close to the edge of the seat as I comfortably could and started the car. I was so nervous as I pulled out of the drive way and headed for the freeway. My hands and knees were shaking badly. Very badly. I don’t know how I made it safely onto the freeway.
After about thirty minutes I became relaxed enough to feel proud of myself. I was driving. By myself. I knew I could do this and I started enjoying the ride. The scenery was beautiful. We still had vast stretches of landscape with nothing but trees and shrubbery and slight hills to view. It was a beautiful drive and the beginning of my independence.
When I arrived home, my mom, sisters, brother, the kids I grew up with were all so surprised to see me drive up in a car by myself. They all made a big deal about it and asked a ton of questions about how I felt driving alone, was I scared, did I have any problems. I was feeling pretty good. Like I had done something huge and everyone was congratulating me on my achievement.
As I said, I was not getting back in that car. The car sat in the parking spot for several weeks before someone approached me about buying the car. I had to really think about it because my dad had given me the car, but I wasn’t driving it and it was just sitting there. I ended up selling the car. When my dad later asked if the car was still running okay, I lied and said I had some problems with it and I ended up selling it because I couldn’t afford to repair it. He accepted my explanation because it had been an old car and he said no more about it. He was just glad I was able to get home in it and had some time to use it before being forced to let it go.
I know you are probably trying to understand why I should care about my fathers’ feelings when he left us for another family. Well, the truth is, I still loved my dad even though I hated he left us. I took his leaving personally and I guess I still do. I had felt abandoned and like I didn’t measure up enough to be his daughter any longer. Silly, I know.
My dad later told me why things didn’t work between him and my mother. I accepted his explanation, but it didn’t erase the hurt I felt or how much I missed his not being a part of our life. I don’t care what people say, Dads are important in their children’s lives. Again, a story for another time.
So, that is the story of my first car. I have had several since then and I have driven a number of places by myself without shaking. I even drove from California to Louisiana with just the grand kids by myself twice. That is a time I should have been afraid. My grandson and granddaughter couldn’t see eye to eye on anything the entire trip.
Thanks for sharing the journey down memory lane about my first car. I liked sharing and remembering. I had forgotten about that car and remembering has brought back so many other memories I may share.
My next installment to you will be about my favorite children’s book. Don’t forget to click on the red comment word and let me know what you think about my blog stories. When I have finished all thirty installment challenges, I hope to have some idea of the direction I want to take the blog.
So, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, until next time, take care. lw