Tuesday, September 27, 2022

A Plucky Little Thing

I have recently posted a long-forgotten memory of my busby bank. On the same day, I had another and almost-as-forgotten memory surface from the murky depths of my gray matter.

We moved from Montreal to the far outskirts of Toronto on just about the day that I turned 15. When I say outskirts, I do mean outskirts. We weren't really in Toronto but a few miles beyond its suburban edge. So, I say Toronto because Cooksville would be rather meaningless to just about everyone in the world. And we were even outside of this Cooksville place.

Living on a nursery about 2 miles from the nearest store was quite a culture shock after residing within the actual city of Montreal. We needed a car, so mom got one and took driving lessons when she was closing in on her 50th birthday.

That was in 1962, so it must have been the next summer that we drove into Toronto and entered one of the multi-story parking arcades.

This was pretty new to us and after going up a few floors and not finding any parking spots, mom began to be concerned. As we came to the penultimate floor there was a space between a car and the concrete wall.

She asked if she thought there was enough space to park the vehicle. I said, "No," but she decided to try anyway.

After scraping the car on the concrete wall a few times, she decided that I was right and proceeded to the top floor where there were a number of spaces.

And that was the memory, folks. It came to me as others have — in the bathroom. Go figure, eh?

As I thought about it, I realized how astounding it was for mom to learn to drive at her age and then drive the car into downtown Toronto.

At 5'1" she was of diminutive stature, but I recall my paternal grandmother having called her a "plucky little thing."

And so she was. 

15 comments:

Marie Smith said...

Your mother have pluck for sure. My mother acquired her license at 62 after Dad died but God help her if she had to negotiate a parking garage in Toronto.

William Kendall said...

My parents first lived in Port Credit and then Cooksville when they got married.

Ed said...

When my MIL moved to the U.S., she wanted and we attempted to teach her how to drive at the age of 68. That wasn't going well so we hired several people over several years but after a few lessons, they always either told us that she needed to just practice more or mysteriously were too busy to take her on as a student anymore. I finally asked the last instructor what the real deal was (out of my MIL's earshot) and he said her eyesight was just so poor that he was afraid she was going to get into a wreck. That was the end of lessons and she occasionally mentioned it over the next couple years but has long since dropped the subject. Fortunately she has a pretty good network of retired friends willing to pick her up and take her places on occasion.

Margaret said...

That's very plucky! I can't imagine learning how to drive at 50. Memory is a strange and remarkable thing!

Barbara R. said...

What an adventure to remember. Kuddos to your mom learning to drive after all her life without doing so! I know my mother drove us in St. Louis to school, but don't know if she had learned to drive before then. No I do remember her driving to pick up my father after he was at some big dinner/presentation at the Shamrock Hotel in Houston before 1945, when I stayed awake some of the time but my sister was sound asleep in the back seat. My father was an accountant for the owner of the Shamrock Hotel, and I've heard there were some shady dealings (through the grapevine.)

Jenn Jilks said...

That's quite the memory

RedPat said...

My Mum always drove as long back as I can remember. She had 4 brothers and probably learned from or with them.

DJan said...

5'1" is my current height, from a much taller 5'3" when I was younger, much younger. I would like your mom, I think.

roentare said...

As one matures, most of cognitive capabilities diminish even with motor reflexes and reaction time to stimuli. The priority shifts towards safety instead of dignified wish.

Joanne Noragon said...

My maternal relatives travelled on vacations en masse; the entire family spread around the cars. My grandfather led the caravan, my great grandmother behind and my grandmother at the end. My great grandmother could manage flat ground, but not hills. So, my grandmother would push her up the mountain, my grandfather held her all the way down. And on flat ground, she was good to go again.

Red said...

Your Mom probably never looked back after that incident.

Kay said...

I drove while working in Illinois, but I'm much too gutless now to drive in Hawaii. I am not plucky like your mom.

Jeanie said...

I've been driving since I was 16 and I wouldn't drive in downtown Toronto unless -- I don't know WHAT unless. I'm sure there's something but driving in cities freaks me out. Well done, Mom!

Vicki Lane said...

Plucky, indeed. I can't imagine how scary that must have been.

Debby said...

Everyone should be blessed with a plucky momma!