Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tenth Grade

In tenth grade, we had the opportunity to take driver's ed. It was a good thing for teen's insurance, so I took it. I had been driving almost a year when the school year began and the class was more of a formality to me. It did give me confidence to watch some of my friends, scared to death, grip the wheel and make all kinds of mistakes. (And I'm sure I made my share as well.) If it wasn't our day to drive, the class was just a study hall; if it was our day, we cruised the back roads of our county, going up a nearby mountain and over one-lane bridges and generally giving our driver's ed teacher near heart attacks.
On the day I turned 16, I was called to the office during the day. There I was greeted with a "Happy Birthday" balloon that had a small box tied to its string. When I opened the box, there shining and new, was a key. From there my memories get a little fairy tale like as my mom led me out the front doors of the school and over to the driver's side door of my very own 1993 Saturn SL-1. It was blue with a green tint, and it was beautiful.
Later my parents said they thought I didn't like the car because I was so quiet as I saw it and took it for my first drive. I was quick (then) to tell them that I had loved it at first sight, but the weight of owning a car had settled on my psyche like a thick quilt. I owned a car. Wow.
During those first weeks, I would pull my car into our carport and then sit in it to study. I was that in love with it!
One night as I knelt beside my bed to pray that shining car (parked in our driveway) distracted me. I prayed that God would use that car however he saw fit--that he would take it and do what he wanted with it.
The next night I was allowed to take my cousin out to a movie. She and I, drunk with newfound freedom, were playing the radio loudly as I drove her home. I remember thinking with consternation about the song that was playing. My cousin obviously loved it, but the lyrics were slightly questionable; should I be playing that in this car? And then, as I followed a long line of cars turning left, time slowed down, and we were hit by a large SUV.
No one was hurt; we were traveling at maybe 15 or 20 mph and the other car was going maybe 30, but it was my fault (green light, not an arrow). The car was whisked away and declared totaled. My father nearly doubled what he had originally paid for the car by having it fixed.
From then on, it really was the Lord's car. I gave people rides, did a lot of praying (and sometimes crying) as I drove, and strove as I drove to give him glory for a beautiful gift. (And I gave my dad lots of hugs too!)
I kept that car until our first child was born. When my hubby and I took our first long trip in the car (the baby in the car seat in the back and me in the passenger seat actually leaning forward to allow the car seat to fit) we realized that we would have to get a bigger car. Even with being 10 years old and having been wrecked (okay several more times besides the time when it was new), it still fetched a good price for our trade. I'm sure my Saturn lived a long and happy life!

This post is in conjunction with a history-recording summer-long party over at Mommy's Piggy Tales. We're writing about one memory from a particular year of our lives each Thursday until September 16. Here is my walk down memory lane so far:
Second Grade: Wendy and Me
Third Grade: I'll Never Cheat Again
Fourth Grade: SURE Thing
Fifth Grade: The Pageants
Sixth Grade: Dynamite Lines
Seventh Grade: The Year That...
Eighth Grade: Relationship with Jesus
Ninth Grade: Futile and Pursue
Memory lane is definitely a place I love that brings me great joy! 


  1. were given a car!!!!!!!! Oh my...I only used my parents Honda (that orange one), it was never mine and it had to be returned to husband bought me my first car!!!
    I also had a wreck, my Dad bought the replacement fender, but it was silver and he would never have it I drove it two toned through my first months of marriage.
    Enjoyed your Mommy Piggy different and yet the same our stories are even with our stories being almost 20 years apart.

  2. How fun that your parents surprised you with it at school! My mom would NEVER have done anything like that, she was sorta 'all work and no play'. I was always jealous when the other kids had flowers or balloons or anything really (one girl had this fancy lunch service show up at our lunch for her 18th). But though it wasn't at school, for my 19th birthday, my fiance (I loved that word even today) arranged with my supervisor at work, to have a special lunch with me, and he brought a bear and flowers and balloons! It was so sweet!
    What a good attitude to have about your car too. I don't think I ever would've thought about it like that, as the Lord's car.

  3. I loved those Saturns! I wanted one too! I am glad you weren't hurt in the accident. How scary. We both kept our first cars a long time!

  4. I must admit...I'm a bit jealous! I didn't get my own car until my sophomore year of COLLEGE! If I wanted to go somewhere I had to drive one of my parent's vehicles...a mini-van or station wagon. Not nearly as awesome as a super cute Saturn!

  5. My first car was also a Saturn SL1 (but I got mine in law school). No new car for me at 16--but my parents bought themselves a new car and passed the old station wagon onto my sisters and me. I'm sorry about your car accident but that was nice that you turned it into the Lord's car and were very generous with it. Nice story!

  6. How mature of you to use even a car to further good purposes! I would have never thought of promising my car in such a way.

    Thanks for sharing, and thanks for stopping by my blog!