So I’m trying to get back to the kind of posts I’ve generated in the past, and here’s what I’ve come up with. Folks, it’s time for a new edition of the Squeaky Wheel.
You might recall that previous Squeaky Wheel posts are all about my grumbling, cantankerous take on something that’s bugging me, and this one is no different in that respect. However, it does carry a serious message. It’s all about seniors driving, and the situations that come up.
Regular visitors might remember a post from earlier this year, in which I described my situation driving a 20+ year old Pontiac Gran Prix. The gist of it was that I saw no need to get another car as long as this one continued to do its job, so to speak.
Ironically enough, not too long after that post I found out that my old Pontiac needed several expensive repairs. (Wonder if I jinxed it?) So I found myself shopping for a new car. I was amazed at how different car shopping was these days. I was able to find several websites that had countless cars available in my area, complete with full specs and asking price. Apparently car dealers use these now, and it gave me the opportunity to narrow down my search into a few possibilities, and then see them in person.
I ended up getting a Nissan Sentra, a car that suited me just fine. It’s classfied as a compact but is plenty big enough for me, with a roomy interior and a pretty nice looking style. It also has some of the bells and whistles that I’d seen in other people’s cars — satellite radio, little color screen in the dashboard complete with back-up camera, and a few other things that I didn’t have the time to fully explore because my heart attack occurred a week and a half later.
So for the last three months the car has been beyond my reach and it remains so now. I’m still not physically able to even get in and out of it, let alone drive it. And I don’t know how much longer I have until I can. On top of my recuperating to the point that I can physically do it, my kids have mentioned that I should undergo testing for my reflexes and driving awareness.
Actually I’m okay with that. Many years ago we went through a similar situation with my adoptive grandfather. (He’d adopted my dad when he was a teenager, and put him to work. He was not the kind of guy who invited close relationships.) One day he pulled out in front of a huge truck, and in the resulting crash my grandmother died. He was barely scratched, and it wasn’t long before he was looking at new cars. The family tried everything to discourage him and we were successful at getting his license suspended, but he was soon finding ways around that.
It’s an unpleasant memory, and made me determined to not put my kids through that same ordeal. As much as I like the independence and enjoyment of driving, if and when my time comes to hang up the keys I plan to do just that. I’m just hoping it won’t be for a long time. . .