Thursday, March 1, 2012

Things I Miss About Texas: Driving

My apologies to y’all (all five of you) that it’s been so long since I updated. It’s midterms season at NYU, and that has, of course, consumed my life.

The title of this post might be a little misleading. As a thing, I hate driving. It terrifies me. Plus, I’m awful at it. Every time my friends and I are going somewhere together and I volunteer to drive, they all insist that we go in their car. That’s probably for the best.

So when I say I miss driving, I mean that I miss the drive between my house and Holliday. It’s a 14-minute drive full of fields all around you and hardly anyone else on the road. Even during the summer, when we’ve all forgotten what rain is and everything is desperately dry and dead, it’s still beautiful to me. Living in New York has made me so appreciative of that little route along FM (that’s Farm-to-Market to you city folk) 1954 that’s so flat that I can see the sky all around me.

Took this on my phone while driving... Told you I was a great driver!

I also miss my car. This is no ordinary car. It is The Eep. We got The Eep when I was in preschool—one of the few memories I have from preschool is excitedly telling my preschool teacher that we got a new car, and when she asked what color it was, I couldn’t really tell her. It’s sort of a goldish/tannish color. I also remember once, when it was still my mom’s car and she got pulled over, the cop had to ask her what color it was.

You might be wondering why it’s called The Eep. It is one of my family’s great folktales. I am told that it happened about two weeks after we got it. There was someone parked directly behind our driveway, which is treacherous enough on its own. I don’t have photographic proof but our driveway is so narrow (even after adding onto it) that countless people—all of my friends; all of my family; all of my parents’ friends; and of course me, multiple times—have backed off of it and into our ditch. ANYWAY (so sorry—I always get really sidetracked when telling stories, evidently even when I’m writing them), someone was parked behind our driveway, and Buddy, my (step)dad (I hate the term stepdad—it has such bad cultural connotations. Buddy is wonderful and I like to think of it like I have two equally awesome dads.), backed into said car, knocking the “J” off the back of the brand-new Jeep Cherokee. Ever since, it’s been The Eep.

One of my senior photos (can't believe it's 3 years old already!), in which I show off The Eep and its missing J. (Photo by the very talented John Walker!)

So anyway, when I was 16, I was delighted to inherit the car I grew up in.

One of the only photos of The Eep that exists. Here it is (half of it, anyway), chillin' at a park in Holliday.

It’s got over 200,000 miles on it.

Yet another photo I took while driving. Clearly safety is my priority. This happened, according the timestamp on the photo, on September 3, 2008,  although I remember it happening in Spring 2009, while driving home from one act play rehearsal. WHATEVER, my faulty memory is beside the point--it's at 217,000-ish miles now.
 It breaks down constantly in the 105+ degree summer heat, and I yell at it, but we always make up once Buddy has come to rescue me from the Wal-Mart parking lot it broke down in.

In summary, I am a reckless driver known to take photos while behind the wheel, and when I say I miss driving, but I really miss the very specific experience of driving from my house to Holliday, with the world sprawling about around me, in my 17-year-old car.


  1. I love readying your blogs! They make me miss home too! Even though I'm a lot closer than you, I still don't get the chance to go back very often. I hope you're doing well. :)

    1. Thank you! That makes me so happy! There's nothing quite like home, no matter how far you are :)

  2. So, it’s not the wheels that you really like, it’s the whole experience or the journey itself that you enjoy the most. Anyway, in time, you’ll be able to conquer your fear of driving, and hopefully, find the courage to learn to drive too. Good luck!

    -Dewey Setlak