So even though we are both owners of "The Grey Goose," it's essentially his car. It goes to work with him and he usually drives, except when I'm spelling him on longer trips. I walk, mostly.
Until now. Tom's recent surgery has made me the family driver for a while. And though I'm still walking, I'm also reconnecting with the four wheels in my soul.
There are hazards in this. My parking skills have degenerated, for one thing. The Goose isn't exactly designed for a short person, so I have blind spots and can't see the lines in a parking lot or how close I am to other vehicles. And the parallel parking I used to do without thought is now daunting. I look for large, empty swaths.
My years on foot have also made me hyper-sensitive to pedestrians. Other drivers make known their annoyance as I slow for crosswalks and yield.
But I am finding annoyance, too. I'm used to walking outside the door and just moving ... what's all this nonsense about unlocking, struggling in, dealing with the seatbelt and defrosting before you can even get to GO? And then, of course, there are other drivers. What has happened to attention? Is everyone really on their phones instead of paying attention?
The experience has been a demonstration of "walk a mile in my shoes." OK, I get it, drivers: You need that car, especially if you live in the suburbs where even getting a carton of milk requires a drive. I just hope that you don't lose empathy for those whose journeys don't begin with the bleep-bleep of an unlocking door.