This post is dedicated to Bertha, the van that my parents had for ten years, but traded in order to take advantage of the Cash For Clunkers program.
With Bertha, I remember:
-getting into the driver's seat the very first time in the parking lot of the school that my dad works at in order to practice driving. We went really slowly and only turned the wheel about 4 times before my first driving lesson was over.
-going over to the north side of town the day before my driving test with Chad and practicing parallel parking for over 2 hours
-going 360 on the way to the mall last winter on one of the busiest roads in my town. It was icy and I was unbelievably lucky that my guardian angels were working overtime that night.
-listening to John Tesh (reluctantly, I might add-does anyone else out there hate listening to JT?) at night since Bertha didn't have any sort of tape deck/cd player. (Seriously, we only had the radio in this van.)
-gripping the steering wheel driving home from school last winter in the worst storm of the season (I don't even live that far from school, but I was bawling by the time I safely put the van in the garage. I remember my dad unloading groceries from the truck and I got out of the van, crying, and he just came over, put on his Superhero cape and gave me a hug and said "I know it's scary driving through that. It's okay.")
-blaring the radio whenever I heard Justin Timberlake's 'Sexy Back' or any other pop song that I liked (Admit it, you like some pop songs too...)
-the day after Thanksgiving, when I could finally turn the radio to 98.1 and sing along to Christmas songs while driving Bertha. My mom has always been firm that we won't have Christmas music on before Thanksgiving; there's always an opportunity to listen to it, before that though because 98.1 starts Christmas music in October.
-driving barefoot in the summer. (My feet get sweaty in those hot WI months.)
-drumming my hands on the steering wheel waiting for the green light.
Yes Bertha, you and I had some good times that I'll always remember. You were the first vehicle that I ever drove. I know that you had to be traded in for the younger, sleeker, gas mileage god Honda CR-V, but you're the best. (Not really because the CR-V that my parents bought is awesome . I'll be making memories with the (unnamed) Honda for the next -8 months, but you, Bertha, you were awesome.