The Farmer's Wife: Reminiscing about driving decades ago


I mentioned last week that my peers and I aren't going to be able to tell the difference between long COVID and aging symptoms!! I've been thinking about that, and I have to admit I've had to remember an experience with a Home Health client in Nehawka.

When you are getting services from Home Health, you are supposedly “home bound”, meaning you are unable to leave the house without assistance or taxing effort. I knew for a fact he was getting in his car every noon and driving a couple blocks to the Senior Center for lunch. As a Medicare provider, I had to remind him of the restrictions.mHe replied he could drive easier than he could walk!  (He had a wound on one foot that required daily dressing changes, which is why we were seeing him.)

Well, now, I know how he felt!  I've been to Waco and back today for a funeral, taking the “scenic”route, Highway 34, so I don't have to fight the trucks on the interstate. And, I am really enjoying that 2018 Escape!  It rides nice, and is a pleasure to drive, at least for an hour, and I'm not doing so great at walking because of balance problems.

A friend who grew up in Glenwood, Iowa, commented they could not drive to school back in the Fifties. I told her that was definitely not the case in rural Nebraska; we were all driving by the time we were freshmen; and in the case of the guys, several years before that, so they could be on the tractors.

I had a “Holstein” Ford because it was a cream color with a black door from a salvage yard. When the pen pal from Chicago came for a week in summer, we took that thing to the hay field and taught her to drive! And she became quite proficient; if you can drive in Chicago, I'm convinced you can drive anywhere. She now lives in Phoenix, and is still driving. Of course, both of us have automatic transmissions now.

At the alumni affair a week ago, one of the fellows who graduated four years ahead of me told us about the time he drove into town in his '38 Dodge, where he was to meet eight other guys for a baseball game in Henderson that afternoon. Well, the guys were there, but no adult, and no coach. Of course, no cell phone to call home and ask what to do.

Instead of that, they all piled into the Dodge and took the back roads to Henderson, played the game, and even got brave enough to come home through York and on the highway back to Waco. He never did tell us who won the game, but he commented that apparently, no parent asked how they got to that game, and no boy mentioned that he drove.

Technically, we were to drive to school and back; that's what a school permit was for. But we all admitted to fudging about that. I remember friend, Marlyce, taking a pickup load of wheat to town to the elevator and I rode shotgun; not sure how I acquired that job.. But we thought we were pretty smart.

So, to be honest, I didn't feel too guilty about the fellow from Nehawka going  uptown for his noon meal.  He received more than food, as all of you who eat at the Senior  Center know, and we nurses knew to schedule our visits in the morning to catch him home. And we did get that wound healed  up!