Today was another beautiful, rainy, sweater weather day and perfect for a drive in the mountains. Fortunately for me, I had an appointment an hour and a half from home, so I was allowed to have my car for the day, and I live at the foot of the Rockies.
This is what driving looks like for me: elevated and cushioned stump in a plaid sock to keep it warm and a bum in a heated plaid seat for the same reason.
I picked this car because of the plaid seats. When my previous car (same model, 1 year older) was totaled (I tested the safety features and they all totally work!) I got the same car again… because I wanted my plaid seats back. If I said it was because it’s a safe car and I love driving it, I’d be lying. It was always the plaid.
Anyway, I drove the short way to my appointment where my doctor and I discussed articles written by another doctor of mine and our thoughts and observations, and where he concluded his thoughts with the statement, “when this is all done you should write a book! I am serious! With all you have gone through and overcome, with all the strange things that happen with you, you should share your story. Doctors should know they don’t know it all and other people can be inspired by your strength!” After an appointment that felt more like catching up with a friend than what it was, I decided to drive the long way home.
Driving the long way, I should point out, more than doubled the time it took to get home but it was beautiful. I ended up driving through Pike National Forest and was just in time to see the Aspen starting to turn!
It was just as rainy high in the mountains as it was in the foothills and I didn’t feel like dealing with crutches in the mud or a wheelchair so I only was able to get a couple photos of the splendor when there was room to actually pull off the road.
These pictures don’t do the colors justice and they surely don’t capture the crispy coolness in the air.
At the summit of the highest pass I drove over, I was in the clouds as it drizzled outside the car. The mountaintop felt like it was glowing from a mysterious source.
The whole hilly, winding way I kept thinking, “This would be perfect on a motorcycle!”
Having watched one of my best friends get horrible road-rash in high school in the church parking lot when she was the only girl ballsy enough to try to ride some boy or other’s bike, I never had the desire to ride one. I sure as hell was never brave enough to try to drive one. I may have been able to tombé, pas de bourrée, glissade, jeté, step, grande jeté, step, “firebird” even up until last year, but I also can trip over a shadow.
Learning to drive a standard well took months, and I’m good at doing two different things with my feet. Clutching with one hand, breaking with the other, and shifting with one foot (I’m resisting the urge to Google this to see if I’m guessing/remembering correctly or if I’m just full of it) seems far more complicated than learning the Dance of the Cygnets from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and making it look good by not pulling the other cygnets over, which I have (she says with her best Indigo Montoya impression). I feel like learning to drive one would leave me looking more like the swan on the right in this Cygnet variation and that means I would be a menace. Nevertheless, today I found myself wanting to be on the back of a motorcycle.
I guess it’s moot at this point as I don’t know how I’d keep from sliding off the right side without enough of the left leg to hold onto anything but the leather seat, regardless of whether I was driving or riding. Still, it seemed like a terribly attractive idea today!
Many hours after I first began my drive, I finally made it home. Dry. Warm. Happy. And tired.