Freedom on Four Wheels

Many years ago, my husband built this Classic Roadsters kit version of a 1936 Mercedes Benz.  He said it was fun to build and to drive around.  We sold it when the kids were getting ready to drive.  We needed more practical cars.  Here are my daughter and son, years ago, waiting for a spin in the cool car.

Many years ago, my husband built this Classic Roadsters kit version of a 1936 Mercedes Benz. He said it was fun to build and to drive around. We sold it when the kids were getting ready to drive. We needed more practical cars. Here, two youngsters wait for a spin in the cool car.

I don’t like to drive when there’s someone else in the car who can take the wheel.  I’ll happily hand over my keys.  “Baby, you can drive my car” is my anthem. Maybe I’m lazy, maybe I talk too much and don’t focus on the road, maybe I don’t like backseat drivers. 

But when I drive by myself, I enjoy it.  I turn up the radio very LOUD and jump from station to station — my fingers wear off the numbers from the buttons — always looking for a better song (unless it’s Led Zeppelin or Chris Cornell, then I settle down and stop looking until it’s over.)

Now that gasoline prices are so high, I thought again about what cars mean to us.  They mean freedom.  It’s that simple.  And when you can’t drive your car, you lose some freedom.  Some family members go on errands that could easily be combined in a more efficient route. Sometimes they make two or three trips, when one will work.  I wanted to help them figure this out.  Of course, I was rebuffed.  They liked the drive!  They could blast the radio the way they couldn’t at home in a house full of people.  Ok, now I get it. I don’t make special trips just to get out, but now I understand all of the extra driving.  Freedom, baby. (The Kansas City area has more miles of road per driver than most cities, which makes it easier to cruise. Just avoid rush hours.)

It’ll be hard making the adjustment to less driving as gasoline prices continue to rise.  Even me, the staycation queen, likes to get out once in a while and blow out my eardrums as I go exactly where I want to go when I want to go.  I’m sure that if public transportation were better, I’d love to leave the driving to someone else and maybe find a new kind of freedom. I never missed a car while traveling in Europe, for example. I loved the trains! The overcrowded buses — not so much.



Filed under Automobiles, Cars, Family, Humor, Life, Personal, Random, Travel

3 responses to “Freedom on Four Wheels

  1. Hi Catherine,

    I have seen these wonderful roadsters occasionally here where I live since I was a child. I remember asking my dad how did the owners manage to preserve such old cars. He told me they were from kits. I would love to get one of these kits one day and with some help put it together. I love old cars.

    Living abroad has caused me to be more enamored with walking. Since gas prices went up, I see more parents walking their small kids to school and picking them up too around here. To relieve the stress of such high gas prices, America needs to invest in the type of mass transit system Europe and Turkey has. I haven’t heard either of the candidates come up with this idea. You really don’t need a car in places like Europe, and with driving being so treacherous in Turkey, I would never want to drive there. They drive like they did in the silent movies:)

  2. Catherine Sherman

    Hi, Sincerae,
    We do need much better public transportation systems. You could get just about anywhere in central Boston on public transportation from the apartment where my daughter lived, and a lot of people walked because there was nowhere to park! In the last year she lived there (2007) I noticed how crowded the “T” had gotten. I always walked or took public transportation there, because even if I had a car there, I would have been afraid to drive it. Those drivers are crazy. Sounds like your description of Turkey.

    In Kansas City, where I live, we need more bikeways so that people can safely ride their bikes. We should be spending money on that, not new stadiums!

    I just read that the actor Javier Bardem doesn’t know how to drive. He had to struggle to learn how to drive a car in a movie. At first, I thought: How can he live without a car?, but then I remembered he was from Spain and likely could take public transportation there. Now he can afford to hire someone to drive him….

  3. Hi again,

    Yes, I read that Bardem can’t drive either. I was a little shocked since he is nearly 40 and a guy, but really you can do without a car over there. My friend blogger Emma Alvarez is Spanish, and she and her husband rides a scooter. She can’t drive. I don’t know about her husband. I adore scooters. Since the crunch came, I see more people riding them here too. We have pretty good bike lanes here in Athens, Georgia. Still even with them, I would be a little afraid since people drive too closely.

    Emma’s website can be seen here:

    You might like it.

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